Spring, Summer, & Fall Westmont in San Francisco
Welcome to Westmont in San Francisco!
Westmont in San Francisco is an internship-based, semester-long program in which students hone the professional skills transferrable to every career and vocation: critical thinking, intercultural competence, creative problem solving, and clear communication. In a living-learning community in the very heart of the vibrant and complex city of San Francisco, students grapple with the big questions of Who am I? Who is my neighbor? What is God’s calling on my life? Get off campus and make this 7 mile x 7 mile city your classroom.
Spring 2020 online application will be posted soon. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to be notified when the online application will be available.
Open to students of all majors, First Years through Seniors. Priority will be given to students who apply by the deadline (TBA). However, there may still be slots available after the standard deadline.
An elaborate Victorian mansion, the Clunie House is located on “The Panhandle” of Golden Gate Park, a few blocks from the famous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Its unique setting offers students the chance to become fully immersed in city life and culture. The house is centrally located in the City; only three miles from downtown and four miles from the Pacific Ocean. Close to several public transportation options, Westmont in San Francisco is located is in a prime location for exploring the City's many attractions and commuting to various internship sites. The Haight-Ashbury, Inner Sunset, Inner Richmond, Japantown, Pacific Heights and Castro districts are minutes away. Directly across the street is the beginning of Golden Gate Park, which offers green space for outdoor recreation. With the city of San Francisco at your front door, the possibilities are endless!
At the beginning of the semester, students prepare for their internship search through various training sessions with Career Development & Calling staff. These sessions are designed to equip students with job search skills such as resume-writing and interviewing. Students find this training to be helpful for their internship search as well as professional endeavors after college. Students also meet with faculty to identify possible internship placements in San Francisco, and may interview with internship sites known and unknown to the program. Each student is expected to complete three interviews at various placement sites before choosing an internship.
Required Courses (all semesters)
This 8-unit course is centered on participation in an internship related to the professional and vocational interests of each student. Internship opportunities exist for students of all majors. The amount of major credit received is determined by departmental guidelines and the type of internship selected. Components of the course include attendance at all placement orientation workshops during the first week of the semester (for Fall/Spring only); interviewing with at least three agencies/organizations prior to selecting an internship site; development of a detailed learning contract in consultation with one's site supervisor; and engagement with regular reading and writing assignments aimed at the reflective integration of theory and praxis.
The internship is accompanied by a required weekly seminar.The purpose of this required seminar is to enable students to critically engage and reflect on their daily internship experiences in renewed faith-based ways. The course is designed to foster a deeper understanding of personal-vocational identity. Through guest speaker presentations and shared dialogue on common workplace dynamics, this course seeks to help students discover what it means to live faithfully amidst a range of complex and diverse settings while integrating a Christ-centered perspective
“Engaging the City” is a one-unit course Introduction to San Francisco that will take place the first half of the semester and provides essential background and context to help students understand the history and diversity of San Francisco, especially the challenges and opportunities facing specific neighborhoods of this city where they will be living, learning, and working for a semester.
Students will engage with the presence and influence of “The City” in our world by becoming more confident navigating this particular city, San Francisco. As students become accustomed to navigating this city, they will deepen their encounter with the urban world. Students will gain knowledge and experience of the city’s diverse social and cultural communities through field trips, interviews, reading, and neighborhood studies.
Satisfies GE Reading Imaginative Literature and GE Writing Intensive requirements.
This course will explore the relationship between the literary imagination, environment, and public policy in America. Students will be challenged to understand 1.) the roots of some of the assumptions about nature imbedded in American mythology, 2.) the role of writing, storytelling, poetry, and other imaginative and creative work in the cause of sustainability and global survival, and 3.) the relationship of local and bioregional understanding to
planetary thinking. This course is taught by Dr. Marilyn McEntyre, former Westmont College Professor of English.
Satisfies GE Understanding Society requirement.
This course invites students to cultivate a deeper awareness of, and engagement with, cultural difference and diversity--specifically in relation to the urban context of the San Francisco Bay Area that will serve as the living-learning laboratory for an integrative exploration into the themes of a) empathy and compassion; intercultural intelligence and competency; and social privilege and inequality from a committed, hospitable Christian worldview perspective.
We will begin by looking at the nature of empathy and compassion in conversation with the biblical imperatives around love of neighbor/other/stranger as well as perspectives found within the fields of psychology and the social sciences. We will then look at the dynamics of culture, cultural intelligence and cross-cultural competency as a theoretical framework for engaging difference and diversity in a variety of contexts. Finally we will seek to apply these understandings/frameworks to selected urban issues that reflect religious, race, class and gender “otherness” and challenge us to consider anew the questions of “Who is God?” “Who am I?” and “Who is my neighbor?” amidst our present times.
Incorporating the connected disciplines of theology, sociology and cultural anthropology and drawing upon a broad range of local guest speakers and practitioners, this course will expose students to both the theoretic foundations and narrative journeys marking each of the topics undertaken. Moreover, the course will provide students with a mix of reflective and praxis-based assignments aimed at developing increased empathic and cross-cultural capabilities and communication skills in response to selected urban/global issues.
Local guest speakers supplement significant text readings, reflective writing and guided discussions.
Satisfies GE Thinking Globally and GE Thinking Historically requirements.
This course surveys the history of Christianity from the New Testament to the present in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and from the colonial period to the present in North America and Latin America. Particular attention will be paid to intellectual, cultural, political, theological, and institutional developments in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. This class is taught by Dr. Peter Choi of San Francisco City Church and the Newbigin House of Study.
This course is designed to help Westmont in San Francisco students stay active and healthy while offering opportunities to explore the landscapes, streetscapes & local opportunities for indoor physical activities throughout the City. Involvement in this course will give students practice in exploring new urban spaces, in minimizing your impact on resources, and in discovering how some forms of exercise can help navigate the stress of urban living.
As needed, students may take courses at City College San Francisco to fulfill their academic requirements. Please note this may require arriving earlier or leaving later in the semester to accommodate the CCSF academic calendar. Students must get consent from WSF faculty before enrolling in courses. More information can be found on the City College of San Francisco website.
Faculty & Staff
With over twenty years with Westmont in San Francisco, Brad is the Director and Professor of Urban Practicum and the Faith, Ethics and Vocational Formation seminar.
Karen has taught Urban Studies, English electives and Independent Studies tutorials on Westmont in San Francisco since Fall 1997.
Kailie joined the Westmont in San Francisco staff in June 2015 as the Student Life Coordinator. She became Assistant Director in 2018.
The cost of the program matches the cost of a semester on Westmont’s campus (tuition, fees, room and board). Yes! Financial aid applies even if you have studied abroad already or plan to go abroad in the future. Consider a semester in San Francisco as Westmont off-campus housing.
Additional information about Westmont in San Francisco may be found at the Off-Campus Programs Office on your home campus. Download and read the WSF Student Handbook. This will answer a lot of your questions and prepare you for your time in San Francisco.