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Every year, about 150 students of DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore go on a sojourn to the DigiPen campus in Redmond, Washington, US, as part of the annual Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP).

An experience greatly anticipated by DigiPen (Singapore) students since the program’s inception, it is compulsory for all students pursuing Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) degrees with its overseas university partners.

The program is aimed at providing enhanced and well-rounded learning experiences in their alma mater that includes lectures, hands-on project work, workshops and industry visit.

For DigiPen (Singapore) students, this means the opportunity to attend classes in the main campus that are taught by US-based faculty members, interact with the tech industry movers and shakers based in Redmond, experience life abroad and have a taste of independent living – many for the first time in their lives.

OIP gave Bey Shu Yong, currently a year 3 student in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design program, a glimpse of a lifestyle that he had not known about. “I enjoyed getting to know an overseas culture that is very different from us,” he said.

Being able to get up close to trailblazers who work in the headquarters of MNC-household names was a priceless experience for others.

Tan Yao Wei, final year Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation student said: “I quite enjoyed Redmond and most of all, the OIP was a great networking experience. The area where I was (Redmond, Washington) is close to the headquarters of many global MNCs like Amazon and Microsoft. The US is indeed the land of opportunities.”

Bong Aik Tong Daryl, a Year 3 Bachelor of Arts in Game Design student valued the good connections he made with the DigiPen lecturers in Redmond who have years of game industry experience under their belt.

“The faculty have great industry experience and there is a strong emphasis on creativity and design work.” Most of all, Daryl found that OIP developed other aspects of his character, which are just as important.

“The short stint helped me gain a new sense of independence. I learned to pick up life skills like cooking.”