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  • Locations: San Francisco, United States
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Cost Estimate: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Description:

California: A Journey Through the Sharing Economy, Customer Experience Fieldwork in San Francisco 

Is this program for me? Cal1

In 2011, Time Magazine declared collaborative consumption to be one of ten ideas that will change the world. Less than five years later, peer-to-peer marketplaces have shaken established industries to the core. According to a 2014 PwC report, nearly 20 percent of the US adult population has engaged in a sharing economy transaction. Most consumers familiar with the sharing economy perceive that it promotes affordability, sustainability, and builds stronger communities. At the same time, peer-to-peer experiences are often considered to lack consistency and suffer from a lack of trust.

The travel and hospitality sector is at the epicenter of the sharing economy, with companies such as AirBNB, HomeAway, Uber, and Lyft experiencing huge growth relative to their established peers.

This blended learning course integrates fieldwork, corporate visits, and client presentations. Students are trained exposed to the context (i.e., historical and current issues involved in the sharing economy) and process (i.e., research methodology) via online classes before taking part in a seven-day residency in San Francisco. During this residency, students will create their own peer-to-peer travel itinerary, benchmark the sharing economy user experience, and visit with several innovative travel companies in this marketplace.  Students will conclude their experience by presenting their results to executives and entrepreneurs in the sharing economy marketplace. 
After completing this course, students should be able to:
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the travel and hospitality-based sharing economy
  • Utilize a variety of qualitative methods to evaluate user experiences in the peer-to-peer marketplace
  • Build upon important workplace skills (e.g., communication, teamwork, analytics) through experiential learning activities and client presentations
  • Enhance professional networks through corporate visits and meetings

Academic Credit

3 credits are awarded for successful completion of this program.  Students will be enrolled in TSTD 6290 or MGT 6290, based on preference.  

This program fulfills general elective credit for Master's and MBA programs. This program has also been pre-approved to fulfill elective credit within the following MBA Concentrations: Consulting and Tourism. Students may petition to have study away courses count towards other MBA concentrations or Master's degree requirements by speaking with their academic advisor.

Calendar pic2

Sunday, March 12, 2017
Online/In-Person Pre-Travel Class Dates
July 19, August 2 and August 16
6:00 - 8:00pm
In-Person Class Dates:
September 5 and September 6
Time: TBA

Off-Campus Dates:
August 19 – 26, 2017


This program is open to graduate students only.


Click HERE for cost estimate.

Information Session

View a live recording of the information session here.

GW Professor

Stuart Levy ( - Associate Teaching Professor of Management

Additional Information

DRAFT Syllabus_California_Levy_Sum17.pdf

DRAFT Itinerary_California_Levy_Sum17.pdf

Read about former program participants' experiences on the Summer 2016 "Sharing Economy" program blog:


This program is administered by Global & Experiential Education in The George Washington University School of Business.

Feel free to contact us at 202.994.0767 or with questions. 

Helpful Links

Eligibility & Payment (GWSB Graduate)
Non-Participant Accompaniment
Withdrawal & Refund Policy (GWSB Graduate)
Cancellation Policy for Short-Term Abroad
Pre-Departure, Health & Safety Orientation for Short -Term Abroad