Swinburne’s 2022 virtual Open Day experience – Swintopia – is getting an international travel upgrade, giving students the chance to take a $20,000 trip of a lifetime.
Spearheaded by Swinburne’s next-gen now spirit, which strives to connect people and technology to build a better world, Swintopia is the award-winning gamified Open Day experience and takes cues from the popular game, Animal Crossing.
The 2022 version will showcase Swinburne’s iconic Hawthorn campus, course offers, guaranteed industry-experience and student life, and will also invite students to find and conquer ‘quests’ –where students hunt for their preferred university course via the virtual campus – with monthly prizes before the main $20,000 travel prize is drawn in October 2022.
For Year 12s, the time between finishing exams and starting university is typically a great end-of year summer vacation packed with family, friends and as much fun as possible – designed to help them unwind and celebrate their achievements.
Professor Susan Rossell, cognitive neuropsychologist at Swinburne, said the major disruptions over the past two years have severely impacted students’ mental health after being isolated from major rite-of-passage events.
“All the fun, end-of-year celebrations are key milestones for students that mark the transition from dependence to independence,” said Professor Rossell.
“These experiences give our brains a dopamine hit, making us feel happy. Milestones are also generally times for nostalgia and reflecting on how far we’ve come. When these reflections are positive thoughts, they are tied to optimism for the future and they reinforce our mental wellbeing,” she added.
“High school students have just undergone a couple of the most challenging final years of schooling in memory, and it’s important not to overlook the power of milestones, celebrations and holidays, to allow them to enjoy themselves before embarking on their next chapter of tertiary education.
“Now that these rite-of-passage events are back on the agenda, we hope to help students celebrate their well-deserved break like never before, and possibly explore the world as well.”
Swintopia can be played on mobile devices.
Swintopia ’22 will also inspire those who are able to explore Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus in real life. In 2022, in person open days are back and Swinburne’s Open Day will be on Sunday 31 July, where students will be able to continue their Swintopia adventure and see how Swinburne delivers blended online and in-person learning. But Swintopia is here to stay – enabling all students, no matter where they are based or what their situation is, to experience a taste of what Swinburne has to offer.
Skye Walsh, a Year 12 Victorian student based in Sandringham, said that the past couple of years had been tough, but with so much to look forward to this year, she and her peers are all the more excited to make up for lost time.
“At first, I was a little nervous about what 2022 had in store for me, but it’s looking like the worst is behind us.”
“It’s great to be back to face-to-face learning and I can’t wait for next year when I’ll be able to start my degree, do some travel and have more in-person experiences. I’ll be really interested in the study abroad programs,” Miss Walsh added.
There will be seven monthly Swintopia prizes drawn from May through to October, with three lucky winners each month and the grand prize winner to be drawn in October.
Monthly prizes will include the slim and sleek reusable memobottle, valued at $50, a Google Home or Alexa speaker, but in the form of Smart Pigeon – Swinburne's favourite character taking on the clever voice assistant device – valued at $100 and a Solar Backpack, enabling users to harness the sun’s rays to charge electronics, valued at $250.
The Swintopia experience launched on Friday 8 April.