Global Immersion

Marty and Rachel in Taiwan

As a natural extension of our global perspective, the global immersion program lets students deepen their skills and experience while living in another country. For four to six weeks students take on a real-world challenge facing a local company. In this way, students apply methods from service design, behavioral economics, and communication design while immersed in a different culture.

IIT Institute of Design (ID) graduate student teams have worked in Hong Kong, China, India, Brazil, Kenya, Myanmar, and Taiwan and recent partners have included Far Eastern Retail Group (FERG) in Taiwan, Godrej in India, and Itaú in Brazil.


Being part of the Indian Immersion Project with Godrej was a life changing experience. There we had the chance to lead multidisciplinary teams through the design process to create real solutions, all while exploring one of the most diverse cultures in the world.”

– Gordon Grado, MDes 2016

Read more about the India Immersion experience from Gordon Grado (MDes 2016) and Ellie Eberts (MDes 2016).



For me, this was the type of experience I was optimistically hoping for during my time at ID. It was a real-world problem that will have real-world impact. One part business, one part design, all parts wicked and complicated.”

– John Pew, MDes 2018

To say that the five and a half weeks flew-by is an understatement. As interns, I felt we were lucky to experience the drive, frustration, energy, community, uncertainty, excitement, teamwork and occasional shock that comes with participating in the design process. Our extended group worked towards a worthwhile goal and pushed ourselves to develop a bold concept, greater than anything we had seen previously.”

– Theresa Lafranchise, MDes 2018

Join our Graduate Program

Get complete information on application requirements.

Application Information

Spring 2022 admission
October 27, 2021
Fall 2022 admission
January 19, 2022 (early round)
March 2, 2022 (final round)
Late applications may be considered, please contact us
Admission to the MDes program with Foundation is offered for the fall semester only. You will receive an email confirmation when all of your materials have been received. Admission decisions will be communicated roughly four weeks after this confirmation.

Want to learn more?

Contact us to find out about current global immersion opportunities.