Materials Science & Nanotechnology in San Francisco Bay Area, California

Study Tour
Delivery Method:
Single Term

About the Program

Not Open For Applications

This past program is no longer offered by SAF. Continue browsing our website for other exciting study abroad opportunities. 

An elite three-week graduate experience, this Materials Science & Nanotechnology Program in California’s San Francisco Bay Area takes you deep into the world of polymer science, nan-synthesis, and modelling. You’re guided by leaders and practitioners in the field, who deliver guest lectures and accompany you on field and site visits to university and industry research labs where cutting-edge work happens every day to further developments in the discipline.

See BioMEMS development at UCB’s Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center

Guest lectures from superstars of the materials science and nanotech world

Bond with classmates at the welcome dinner and during Bay Area activities

An elite graduate program on polymer science, nan-synthesis, and modeling

Program Advisor

Saffy Winter
Your Student Counselor is your study abroad ambassador and supporter. They join your application journey when you’ve confirmed you’re interested in studying abroad. At this point, they guide you through each stage of the application, notify you of the documents you need, let you know when your admission results are in, and walk you through the next steps, including class enrollment and organizing pre-arrival tests.
Schedule a Consultation

At a Glance

Language of Instruction:
Language Prerequisite Level:
GPA Requirements:
Academic Level:
Visa Required:

Stay Healthy & Safe While You Study Abroad


Led by faculty from Sorbonne University Alliance—University of Technology of Compiègne (ASU-UTC) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech), your coursework on nanostructured materials explores the challenges and opportunities of connecting length and time scales. You journey into the intricacies of polymer physical chemistry, nano-object synthesis, nano-reinforced polymers, going from processing to macroscopic response. Your in-house experts walk you through multi-length and time-scale modelling and build your understanding of graduate-level research methodology in the United States.


You start your study-abroad graduate experience at a welcome dinner, with your impressive program faculty in attendance. During your three weeks in and around San Francisco, you take three guest lectures related to materials science and nanotechnology, visit two prominent research universities in Northern California, and tour three research facilities or laboratories that have a committed focus on materials science and nanotechnology. To make the most of your time in California, you also enjoy a comprehensive program of cultural activities: food tour, a baseball game, a coastal adventure, and a trip to the notorious Alcatraz penitentiary.

Get To Know Our Application Process

From academics to visa requirements, our structured process helps you choose the right program and university for your goals. Complete a strong application, and prepare for success abroad.

Personalize Your Study Abroad Plan With Your SAF Counselor

Each student has unique academic goals for a study abroad experience. As you think about studying abroad, your SAF Counselor will help you plan for success and support you every step of the way.

Application Requirements

When applying to study abroad, you must meet the entry requirements set by the host university - and SAF is here to set you up for success.

The requirements outlined in this section include the language proficiency scores you may need to demonstrate your language skills, a guide to the GPA range and other academic prerequisites required by your host university, and a list of documentation and other application materials you will need to finalize your application. You may need to supply additional information throughout the process, and you will be alerted through your emails and SAF Student Portal if this is the case for you.
  • Language Proficiency
  • Academics & GPA
  • Application Documents & Materials

Language Test Score Requirements

To prove your language proficiency, you will need to provide one of the following:

  • CEFR – B2
  • IELTS – 6.5
  • TOEFL Internet based – 80
  • Duolingo – 105
  • TOEIC - 685

Learn More About Language Requirements

Program Dates

When studying abroad, you will want to consider the time of year and how long you are away. Most programs follow the host university's academic calendar.

The dates shown below are general estimates, and as you get closer to the start of the term, you will get more detailed information from SAF. If you have any questions, your Student Counsellor and Program Specialist are always here to support you and point you to the correct information.

Housing Information

A student works at their desk in a small bedroom with a large window, a bed, and comfortable seating.

As academic study tours are typically a short, intense period of exploration and discovery, with a narrow lens on a specific theme, they usually last a few weeks—shorter than the normal study abroad experience—and sometimes travel to multiple destinations.

For this reason, SAF arranges the best short-term student accommodation, which usually means the cohort stays in hotels or hostels during term time and, for summer programs, in university campus or off campus, private residence halls. Each program has different accommodation requirements, so SAF plans for each diligently. Program advisors can share more detailed information and field additional questions.

About San Francisco

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Why San Francisco

Art, culture, fashion, museums, and abundant fitness make San Francisco a profoundly eclectic place to visit. From the redwood forests in the hills to the seafood restaurants overlooking the Bay, every day is different. This is also home to massive tech names, Meta, Dropbox, Twitter, and Uber—and the place to be if you have your eyes on a top-level tech career.

Learn more about San Francisco

The Student Experience

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Student Health & Safety

We champion health, safety, and security. As part of IES Abroad, the largest study abroad organization in the United States, we have set the standard for health and safety in study abroad for decades. We plan for the ‘what if’, so you can get on with the experience of a lifetime.
International Health Insurance

International health insurance included in the cost of your program

24/7 Emergency Phone Support

Total coverage to support you while traveling and in your new city

Location-Specific Information

Health and safety information prepared based on your destination

Health In Your Language

Highly trained multilingual staff to connect you to healthcare providers

Secure Housing

Quality, safe, secure housing within close proximity to your classes

Dedicated Expertise

Protection by a Dean of Students Office advocating for your interests


Before You Leave

Your study tour experience starts well before you travel. We guide you through application, and support your preparations for leaving.

On Arrival

We’re by your side from the moment you arrive, collecting you from the airport, transferring you to your accommodation, and helping you settle with your tour buddies.

Get Acclimated

The SAF Staff on the ground will introduce you to the details of your itinerary and explain where and when you eat, how to see a doctor or a dentist, which bus or train to catch. They have all the answers, just ask!

Learn by Doing

Academic experts guide you through a learning by doing experience, blending culture with best pedagogic practice to support your coursework and development and to help you retain knowledge.

Keeping You Safe

We enroll you in the SAF emergency alert system, so you hear safety concerns relevant to you.

Get Social

Your tour group will share in the arranged social and cultural events as well as hands-on learning, so you have many opportunities to collaborate with other international SAF Scholars, experience the destination you’re in, and build friendships for life.

Advising and Support

The process of studying abroad could quickly feel overwhelming, but we have been doing this for decades and do everything we can to support you through it. 

Many SAF staff are alumni and have walked this path. They have real-life experience to draw on as they advise and support you through every step of our comprehensive services. They’re in your corner, taking care of all the details and explaining what you need to do next.

Take the first step in your study abroad journey by scheduling a consultation with your closest Student Counselor. You can discuss your for-credit academic courses and language programs and explore internships, research programs, and study tours. When you know what you want to do, we guide you through the pre-program steps, help you arrange your visa and transport, and finalize your accommodation or digital experience.

Get To Know Our Application Process

From academics to visa requirements, our structured process helps you choose the right program and university for your goals. Complete a strong application, and prepare for success abroad.

Personalize Your Study Abroad Plan With Your SAF Counselor

Each student has unique academic goals for a study abroad experience. As you think about studying abroad, your SAF Counselor will help you plan for success and support you every step of the way.

Commonly Asked Questions About Studying Abroad

Commonly Asked Questions about Study Tour Programs

Student Blogs

Why Travel With SAF?

Studying abroad is an unforgettable experience, one that stays with you in your career, your contacts, your future. It can define you. At any of our prestigious university partners, you can build personalized for-credit programs that can last up to a whole year.

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