On the night of the 30th August 2009, a group of 47, Diploma in Music & Audio Technology (DMAT) students gathered at Singapore Changi Airport to embark on their journey to Harbin, a city in Northern China. They were to begin their 3-week Overseas Immersion Program (OIP) at the Harbin Normal University. The Objectives of the program are mainly to gain some knowledge in Traditional Chinese Music system, focusing on its history, performance and folklore, as well as to experience what it would be like to be a University student.
Upon arriving at the university, the Year 1 and 2 DMAT students have initially experienced a culture ‘shock’, as they were not used to the place, climate, language, and social practices. However, they took everything in their own stride and settled amicably into the new environment.
Over the next 2 weeks, the students have gradually immersed themselves into the Chinese culture while attending 7 hours of lesson each day. They made new friends with the local students, fostered relationship with the university’s highly qualified lecturers. They have also acquired substantial knowledge in the field of Traditional Chinese Music. One student casually commented that they would be missed by the owner of the nearby provision stall!
On completion of their studies, the students were treated to a sightseeing tour where the local university students brought them to the famous Jing Shan Jing Cultural Museum, the Harbin Tiger Park and the Confucius Museum. The students also visited the Harbin’s Farming Research Lab where they were given the chance to harvest fresh fruits of their liking. The students visited a recording studio and the university’s media production facility. They were also taught the importance of the Chinese personal seal.
Before departing for home, the university prepared a small graduation ceremony for the students, presenting them with a certificate of completion and local souvenirs. The students showed their appreciation by performing their rendition of the popular Chinese song, “The Moon Represents My Heart”. They then bid farewell to their newly found acquaintances and headed for Shanghai where they spent a day at the Science and Technology Centre before transiting to the flight back to Singapore.
Over the course of this immersion program, the students have not only acquired new knowledge but also fully experienced the Chinese culture where they have learned to adapt to the new environment.
“This Overseas Immersion Program has helped me to better appreciate independence as well as instill a better understanding of university life. It is a valued experience that I feel very fortunate and grateful to have received. The past three weeks has been as eye-opening as it is priceless. Being able to spend every moment of that with my awesome course mates, I wouldn't have it any better. I know for a fact that this unforgettable experience will be treasured in our memories as the journey we have gone through together has made a very lasting impression.” - Chery Yang Lynn P0956396 DMAT Year1
“This Trip was an excellent opportunity for everyone to bond and know each other we underwent and the things we learnt about each other will go a long way in rest of our time in SP and beyond!” – Goh Si Kai P0940517 DMAT Year1
“I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to visit Harbin. The scenery was beautiful and the trip never failed to surprise me! I thoroughly enjoyed myself spending time with friends while learning about a new culture." – Amelia Y Dizon P0848037 DMAT Year2
Sept 28th 2009