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Disney International Programs Academic Exchange Experience

Overview

After their 10 day experience on the FSU campus in Tallahassee, program participants will spend six months engaged in full-time academic training at Walt Disney World® Resort near Orlando, Florida. This experience will give them the opportunity to learn from an industry leader in the field of service and hospitality.

This experiential learning in service and hospitality will occur primarily through their Disney role(s) as they work full-time within different areas of the theme parks, resorts, or entertainment areas which make up Walt Disney World® Resort. Typical roles include work in merchandise, quick and full-service restaurants, and operations. Additional roles include lifeguard, hotel front desk staff, and character performer. Participation in all roles includes training in Disney’s approach to guest services, in addition to the practical training required to complete the functions of the particular role.

Students will also benefit from the rich intercultural dynamics which are unique to the Walt Disney World® Resort setting and Disney International Programs. They will be interacting with resort guests from all over the world on a daily basis, in addition to living with other university students from a variety of nations and cultures in their program-sponsored apartment complexes.

 

Florida State University Coursework

While participating in their academic training experience at Walt Disney World® Resort, all program participants will also be taking the two Florida State University courses described below, which will help them to maximize the learning opportunity provided by their immersion in Disney International Program. These courses will be taught by FSU faculty and staff who travel to Walt Disney World® Resort each month. 

  • Applied Intercultural Communication will provide students with an academic framework for understanding their intercultural experiences at Walt Disney World® Resort and to grow in their intercultural competencies. It will also help them to understand, from a practice-based perspective, key areas in which cultures differ and how those differences can affect intercultural relationships and workplace functioning.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility will help them understand Disney’s approach to being a responsible corporate citizen in terms of its social and business ethics. It will also give them the opportunity to reflect on cross-cultural dynamics involved in decision-making regarding corporate social responsibility.

Program Benefit

Throughout their six-month experience participating in Disney International Programs and continuing in their Florida State University coursework, students will experience significant growth in their understanding of hospitality and service, of intercultural communication, and (for non-native English speakers) in their use of the English language. They will also get to experience the “once in a lifetime” opportunity of living and working at Walt Disney World® Resort.

More information about Disney International Programs can be found at the following links:

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