Academic Semester Program in Intercultural Communication
With Academic Training - Overview
The Florida State University Special Academic Program in Intercultural Communication is designed to provide highly qualified students from our long standing partner institutions with the opportunity to study at Florida State University for one semester. This program is currently available only to students from Meiji University. Dankook University and Sookmyung Women's University. Students must have advanced English-speaking skills and a minimum of 80 on the IB TOEFL or a 6.5 on the IELTS to apply. They also need to be serious about their academic performance, as well as be willing to actively engage in campus and community activities.
During the program at FSU, students gain the invaluable experience of completing an academic semester in a large, research U.S. university, in addition to developing the skills, competencies and experience necessary to compete and succeed in a diverse and multicultural workforce upon graduation.
Program participants are enrolled in four academic classes with FSU students. One of the four courses is an Intercultural Communication course which brings international students and U.S. American students together to conduct a multi-disciplinary exploration of culture and identity, as well as academics, in the United States.
During the academic training at the Walt Disney World Resort, students will perform their assigned roles as well as complete other academic requirements to fulfill the program of study set by Florida State University. Students will engage in academic training between 30-37.5 hours per week. The academic training provides students with the opportunity to apply and expand the principles of intercultural communication through daily interaction with people from a variety of different cultures in social, cultural, academic and work situations. It also provides them with the invaluable experience of being part of a large company with over 50,000 employees that is highly organized, efficient and world-renowned for excellent guest service.
Students must also pass the oral interview with a recruiter from the Walt Disney World Resort in order to be eligible for this program. Students should have a genuine desire to participate in both the academic semester as well as the academic training and be willing to be actively engaged in all components of the program.
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Students are responsible for at least the following: roundtrip airfare, immigration and visa fees, health insurance meeting FSU requirements, textbooks for courses at Florida State University and the Disney International College Program, transportation to Orlando and pocket money.
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Students earn 12 Florida State University credits for successfully completing the academic semester at Florida State University. Students will earn 9 additional Florida State University credits for the successful completion of the 6-month academic training at the Walt Disney World Resort and an additional FSU course.
Students will have an independent travel break from the end of fall semester until the beginning of their academic training program at the Walt Disney World Resort in January.
Semester on the Florida State University Campus
SPC 3210 Contemporary Human Communication. This is a 3-credit introductory course that surveys current scholarship in five areas of communication theory: group, rhetorical, interpersonal, legal and performance communication. Lecture style format.
SPC 2608 Public Speaking. This 3-credit course provides both theory in the principles of public speaking and the practice of preparing and delivering speeches. One hour weekly in lecture format and two hours weekly in small groups.
SPC4710 Intercultural Communication. This 3-credit course is an introduction to the concepts, theories, functions and behaviors associated with intercultural communication. A variety of perspectives on intercultural engagement will be observed, explored, and analyzed.
COM 4930 Culture, Identity and Communication in Context
This course will bring international students and US American students together to explore their cultures and individual identities. Special attention will be given to studying the dominant U.S. American cultural perspective and the cultural contexts from which the international students in the class come. Students will compare the impacts of their home cultures on a particular set of contexts: the education system, the business world, the health care arena, the media, the political arena, social interaction and everyday life; and examine dynamics of intercultural communication in these contexts.
Semester at the Walt Disney World Resort
COM 4945 Intercultural Communication Practicum (6 credits, S/U)
This three-credit hour practicum is designed to provide the student with hands-on, work-integrated learning in a professional setting. As part of this practicum, students will participate in Disney’s Traditions class, complete all necessary training for their assigned role(s), and work up to 37.5 hours per week in their role(s). Through this practicum, students will develop new professional skills and examining key areas of Disney operations. Students will set their own professional objectives and evaluate their progress towards achieving those objectives over the course of their program. They will make presentations about crucial Disney operations: guest services, leadership, marketing and people management. And, at the end of the practicum, they will write a final report summarizing their professional role, analyzing their progress towards meeting their professional objectives, and assessing their overall experience in completing their practicum.
COM 3930 Applied Intercultural CommunicationÂ (3 credits, letter graded)
This 3-credit course begins at Florida State University and continues with regular class meetings throughout the academic training period. The Florida State University portion of the 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. During the academic training period, students will explore the cross-cultural implications of working for one of the largest entertainment and hospitality organizations in the world, including working with an international customer base, and living and working with thousands of international and American college students. They will develop an increased awareness of their unique cultural identity, and an increased respect for the world views of others from diverse cultural backgrounds.
The above will constitute a full course of academic study as required by exchange visitor regulations. Students must maintain fulltime study in order to participate in academic training. Credit will only be awarded for courses completed at the time of departure.
Peer Mentors will be hired to serve as the students' first point of contact if they should have problems of any kind. The typical Peer Mentor is an upper level FSU student who is knowledgeable about FSU, is interested in learning about other cultures and has experience traveling abroad.
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There are Ethernet connections in the rooms for students with laptops. Students may also be able to access the FSU wireless network from various places on campus.
An unlimited meal plan at the on campus dining halls will be purchased for each student. The dining halls are all-you-can-eat style, so students are able to drink and eat as much as they wish during each visit to the dining hall.
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After students finish their study at Florida State University, students will begin a 6-month academic training experience at the Walt Disney World Resort. During this time, students will complete several academic requirements, including a monthly class; live in company sponsored housing for Disney Internships & Programs participants; and work in one of the parks, resorts or entertainment areas of the Walt Disney World Resort in order to receive the 6 hours of Florida State University credit for the practicum experience.
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Participants live in company-sponsored, fully furnished, one- to four-bedroom apartments near the Walt Disney World Resort. A bus system provides students with transportation to work, classes, shopping and social activities. Security is provided. An accommodation charge covers the housing fee, utilities, high-speed Internet, local phone service and transportation. This charge is deducted from participant’s weekly paychecks.
To find a complete description of apartment amenities, current housing rates and other fees and housing information, visit: www.disneyinternationalprograms.com/aee.html
The most common roles are quick service food and beverage, merchandise and operations. Students offered these roles can expect to change roles after three months, and by so doing, experience two different work environments and learn a new set of skills. Students offered the Rotation Role which includes quick food and beverage, merchandise and operation will be assigned two out of these three roles by Disney. Students may not choose the two they prefer, and they may not choose to stay in their first role for the entire six months. Disney will not leave students in the same role, if it is a Rotation Role, for six months. Students who are offered a role in hospitality, concierge, lifeguard, culinary or character performer will have the opportunity to learn about their role over the full six-month internship.
The role a student is given will be decided by the Walt Disney World Resort, not FSU. Students will find out which role they have been assigned in their offer letter from Walt Disney World Resort. The student can then accept or deny the offer. Occasionally, the Walt Disney World Resort reserves the right to change a role assignment after the student has signed the offer letter.
Students may be placed in a variety of locations, including any of the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks or resorts. Each location will vary slightly, but all should have a coordinator and manager. The coordinator and manager can help students with work related issues, such as scheduling or upset guests. In addition to these cast members, each work location will have some full-time workers as well as other college program members (CPs) and international college program members (ICPs). Each location provides a multicultural work environment where there is much that can be learned.
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