The program is looking to have students experience the technology driven world of Silicon Valley. They will spend time understanding new technologies, what drives them and how to be prepared to be entrepreneurial and use technology and the internet in creative ways. Beyond the design of devices and problem solving, to see market forces, customer-driven needs and rapid design and prototyping in a new light via company visits, guest lectures, interviews, activities and teamwork.

The highlight is the Silicon Valley itself – it is the Innovators’ and Entrepreneurs’ dream world! Some ideas being considered are looking in depth at 6-8 trending and growing technologies represented by start-ups or other companies in the Bay Area (e.g., Intel, self-driving cars). Then for each technology, the students would visit a company, have a guest speaker, etc. Also, visiting closer locations such as San Francisco, etc.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: November 1, 2019
  • Application Deadline: December 3, 2019
  • Application Extension Deadline: January 15, 2020
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Faculty Interview: Faculty will schedule interviews with applicants of interest to determine acceptance. The interviews can occur anytime before the final deadline.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?

Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.50
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.
Other Requirements
  • Student Requirements: Highly motivated and naturally curious students about how things work, Mainly, rising sophomores and juniors, who are interested in technology innovation, technology transfer, startup companies and the culture of entrepreneurship in the region. Also, for students across the entire University who wish to learn about Technical Innovation, and who want to bring advancement and a better future to their communities.
  • Possible Student Challenges: Inspiring interactive activities, away from traditional college learning environment, and new venues are some challenges students have to face.


The courses give an opportunity to students to learn about customer-driven technical innovation and product prototyping, to gain a more detailed knowledge of how the process works, so that they can apply it later in their professional life. Also, a more complete perspective on the customer need, design process and prototyping. The experiential and interactive learning in this program will enhance students’ educational path.

These intro courses are designed to enhance the basic understanding for students across the entire University who wish to learn about technical innovation, product prototyping, the culture of entrepreneurship, and who want to bring advancement and a better future to their communities.

  • GE2010 - Introduction to Customer-Driven Technical Innovation – Silicon Valley : Studies the role of engineering innovation in addressing customer needs in early start-ups and the need to conceive successful innovative engineering design as part of a commercialization strategy. Emphasizes understanding how engineering innovation can meet real technical market needs and how to gather the necessary, relevant technical information early in the innovation process to produce a successful engineering design. Uses a series of practical engineering design projects to demonstrate how students can assess the technical capabilities of the start-up in producing an innovative design, how to communicate with customers in an iterative engineering design process and how to correspondingly design and innovate to meet customer technical requirements. Taught in Silicon Valley.
  • GE2030 - Introduction to Product Prototyping – Silicon Valley : Seeks to develop in-depth knowledge and experience in prototyping by focusing on engineering processes and instrumentation that are used in different industries. Studies the prototyping cycle, from initial process flow and sketching to prototype development to testing and analysis, with an emphasis on iteration. Analyzes how different kinds of engineering prototypes can address design and user-interface needs versus functional needs, such as looks-like and works-like prototypes. Offers students an opportunity to obtain operating knowledge of methods including 3D printing, SolidWorks, off-the-shelf hardware-software interfaces, simulation, embedded systems, product testing, prototype analysis, and prototype iteration. Taught in Silicon Valley.


Northeastern Tuition: Summer term tuition as published by Northeastern
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $3,000
  • Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee Includes: 8 Northeastern credits, accommodations for program duration, international security and emergency support, and program related expenses (local transportation, field trips, excursions and some group meals)

Additional Expense - International Airfare : $500-800
  • The Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee does not include round-trip airfare from Boston. For this program, Students are individually responsible for booking and paying for their flights. Students should not purchase their airfare until they receive further information from their faculty leader instructing them to do so.

Additional Expense - Meals and Incidentals: $1,340-2,005
  • Students should anticipate spending this estimated amount during the program for meals and incidentals.

    If necessary, students may incur additional fees for visa costs and travel to consulates or embassies to obtain the visa. If you have questions about costs you may incur while participating in this program, please ask your GEO advisor.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Dialogue of Civilizations programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!


Silicon Valley is the ground zero for customer driven technology evaluation, innovation and prototyping. Doing Dialogue in Silicon Valley is unique for highly motivated and naturally curious students about how things work, mainly, for rising sophomores and juniors, who are interested in technology innovation, technology transfer, startup companies and the culture of entrepreneurship in the region.


  • Hotels: In San Jose, students will stay at the Wyndham close to the downtown San Jose and the San Jose airport. The hotel provides breakfast, wifi and shuttles. In San Francisco, students will also stay in a hotel.

Host University or Organization

NU campus at Silicon Valley. It has lecture rooms, maker space, and study rooms.

Faculty Advisor