Today’s global economy requires college graduates to develop the cross-cultural skills they will need to compete and succeed in a diverse and multicultural workforce. Florida State University (FSU) offers two Special Programs in Hospitality Management and Intercultural Communication designed to help students gain valuable experience in the field of hospitality and develop intercultural competencies through 12 credits of FSU coursework and 5-6 months of work-integrated learning at Walt Disney World® Resort.
Students spend 10 days at FSU participating in an intensive course in either Hospitality Management or Intercultural Communication and experience student life at one of the only two pre-eminent research institutions in the state of Florida.
During their 10-day stay at FSU, students complete one of the following three-credit courses taught by FSU faculty members:
- Managing Service Organizations: This three-credit course is designed to provide an in-depth examination of the concept of service and the linkages of the three most important functional areas of the firm: marketing, operations, and human resources. The course addresses the concept of quality customer service and how hospitality-based companies address and successfully sustain quality customer service.
- Intercultural Communication: Through completion of assigned readings, participation in small-group and class discussions, and various homework exercises and fieldwork, students will learn to apply the basic concepts of intercultural communication, and sociocultural and sociopsychological theories of communication to their interactions with Florida State University students, faculty and staff, and the wider Tallahassee community.
During the 5-6 month* internship (academic training) which follows the 10-day on-campus experience at FSU, students work in assigned roles throughout the parks, resorts, and entertainment areas of Walt Disney World Resort ®, gaining valuable experience from Disney’s world-renowned approach to customer service and interacting with a highly international customer base.
While completing their internship (academic training), students are enrolled in nine credits of FSU coursework. These courses are taught using a hybrid modality, combining online work with monthly face-to-face class sessions with FSU faculty and staff who travel to Walt Disney World ® Resort to provide course instruction and offer ongoing program support.
During their time at Walt Disney World® Resort, students are enrolled in the following three courses, earning nine FSU credits:
- Applied Intercultural Communication: This three-credit course is designed to build the foundations for healthy cross-cultural adjustment, reinforce key principles of cross-cultural interaction, and teach essential elements of American culture in order to prepare students to study and live in the United States.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: This three-credit hour course offers an exploration and reflection on Disney’s commitments to corporate social responsibility, drawing on students’ experiences during their internship (academic training) at the flagship destination of Disney’s worldwide corporate enterprise.
- Hospitality Practicum or Intercultural Communication Practicum: This three-credit hour practicum is designed to provide the student with hands-on, work-integrated learning in a professional setting. Students will complete all necessary training for their assigned role(s), and work up to 37.5 hours per week in their role(s). They will set their own professional objectives and evaluate their progress towards achieving those objectives over the course of their program.
Florida State University On-Campus Experience
FSU’s Intensive Summer Programs in Hospitality Management and Intercultural Communication offer students the unique opportunity to join students from some of FSU’s other international partner institutions for 10 days* of intensive academic study and intercultural interaction on the beautiful Florida State University campus, in Tallahassee, Florida.
Students who are majoring in Hospitality, Business, Marketing, Tourism, and closely-related fields of study are eligible to participate in the Hospitality Management Program. Students from other majors are eligible to participate in the Intercultural Communication program.
During their 10-day stay at Florida State University, Hospitality Management students take an intensive three-credit course in Managing Service Organizations. Intercultural Communication students take an intensive three-credit course in Intercultural Communication. Both courses incorporate experiential learning, using a combination of classroom instruction and at least one course-related field trip
While at FSU, students live on campus in an apartment-style residence hall and eat at the historic “Suwannee Room” dining hall or in the convenient Center for Global Engagement dining room. Four current FSU students are selected as Peer Mentors. They act as cultural ambassadors and provide ongoing support to program participants. Peer Mentors live and eat with the students, as well as facilitate a variety of social and cultural activities in the afternoons and evenings.
Disney International Programs Academic Exchange Experience
Upon completion of the 10-day on-campus component of the program, students travel to Walt Disney World® Resort for their 5-6-month* internship (academic training) experience. Students work in one of the parks, resorts, or entertainment areas of Walt Disney World® Resort.
While students are in Orlando, faculty and staff from Florida State University travel monthly to Walt Disney World® Resort to facilitate classes and provide ongoing program support. During this time, students earn three FSU credits for their 5-6-month internship (academic training) and six additional FSU credits for Applied Intercultural Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility.
During their internship (academic training) at Walt Disney World® Resort, students live in company-sponsored housing specifically designated for program participants. The apartments are fully furnished and include utilities, internet, and access to a bus system specifically for Disney Cast Members. For more details click here.
International Partner Universities
|St. Lawrence College||Service Leadership
|Loyalist College||Advanced Service Management
|Meiji University||Intercultural Communication|
|City University of Macau||Hospitality Management|
|Macau University of Science
|Universidad de Colima||Hospitality Management|
|Dankook University||Hospitality Management
|Hansung University||Hospitality Management
|Sookmyung Women's University||Hospitality Management
*Due to requirements involving students’ arrival date, Meiji University students spend nine days on the FSU campus with an overall program length of five months.