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Intercultural Communication


The Center for Global Engagement's Special Program in Intercultural Communication provides qualified international students with the opportunity of becoming global-ready graduates and earning a total of twelve academic credits from Florida State University. This program is currently available to students from Hansung University, Dankook University, Sookmyung Women's University, and Meiji University.

The Intercultural Communication Program provides participants with the enriching experience of doing intensive academic coursework in Intercultural Communication on the FSU campus followed by a 5-6-month academic training program at Walt Disney World® Resort near Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

The intensive three-credit on-campus course in Intercultural Communication provides the academic framework necessary to build important intercultural communication skills. Students also benefit from the experience of living and studying at a U.S. university and from interacting with FSU faculty, staff and students during their stay.

While at FSU, students also begin a three-credit Applied Intercultural Communication course, which will continue throughout their stay in the U.S. This course, combined with social and cultural activities, will help students prepare for their experience living, working and studying at Walt Disney World® Resort.

As this course continues at Walt Disney World® Resort, students will apply the principles of intercultural communication they have learned at FSU to their daily interaction with and observations of people from a variety of different cultures, in social, academic and work situations.

In addition, students will also complete a three-credit course in Corporate Social Responsibility and their three-credit Intercultural Communication Practicum during their time at Walt Disney World® Resort.

The Disney Academic Exchange Experience provides students with the opportunity to live in gated communities with students from a variety of cultures. They receive training and then engage in work-integrated learning throughout the Disney theme parks and resorts. Students engage in academic training between 30-37.5 hours per week, except when classes are not in session during which time the hours may exceed 37.5. Students also meet with an FSU professor monthly. Total immersion in such an experiential learning situation helps students develop the invaluable cross-cultural skills and competencies needed to be successful global citizens in the 21st century.


Students need to be at least second-year students in good academic standing at their home institution in a program of study in which academic training providing a work-integrated learning experience is deemed an essential part of the students’ education. Students must be enrolled in their home institution full time prior to participating in this program and must intend to return to their home institution after the program’s completion. They must be 18 years old or older. Ideal candidates are outgoing and friendly, have very good English conversation skills. All students must pass an oral interview with a Disney recruiter. Students should also possess a sincere desire to gain hands-on experience in intercultural communication as preparation for their future career path and be willing to be actively engaged in all components of the program.

Each partner school will implement a pre-screening process in order to identify highly qualified and motivated students with strong English skills. Only students receiving a minimum of the following scores on one of these standardized English assessment tests may be scheduled to interview for this program: 5.5 on the IELTS, 61 on the iBT TOEFL, 500 on the PBT TOEFL, or 550-600 on the TOEIC. Final acceptance into the program will be determined by the Disney recruiter conducting the personal interviews with each student.

Program Dates

Universities Arrive at FSU Arrive at Walt Disney World® Resort Program Ends

Hansung University

Dankook University

Sookmyung University

June 29, 2018 July 9, 2018 January 3, 2019

Meiji University

July 31, 2018 August 6, 2018 January 3, 2019

Program Fee

The program fee of $4,800 USD includes 12 FSU credits for coursework and academic training as well as scheduled activities at Florida State University, airport pickup in Tallahassee and transportation to Orlando by charter bus, textbook and materials for FSU course, FSU student ID card, FSU transcripts, bed linens, pillow, towel, FSU polo shirt, and ongoing support from FSU staff.  A health insurance policy which meets the specific requirements of the J-1 Visa program and the State of Florida is purchased by the student in a separate transaction.  The cost of this policy is deducted from the program fee paid to FSU so that the total program cost, including health insurance, is $4,800.

Students are responsible for at least the following, in addition to the program fee: roundtrip airfare, J-1 student visa application fee and SEVIS fee, Disney Program Assessment Fee, and all expenses while participating in the Disney Academic Exchange Experience academic training.


Program Faculty


Elcin Haskollar, Ph.D.

Intercultural Communication


Jayme Harpring, Ph.D.

Intercultural Communication


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Felecia Jordan Jackson, Ed.D.

Intercultural Communication



Robert Hughes, Ph.D.

Applied Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication Practicum


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Toby Weisslitz Graves, Ph.D.

Corporate Social Responsibility


Curriculum Overview


Intercultural Communication Program Academic Component

The academic component of the Intercultural Communication Program includes four Florida State University courses, as outlined below, for a total of 12 Florida State University credits. Students are required to make sufficient progress in all courses in order to continue in the academic training.


Intercultural Communication (3 credits)

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. They will practice conducting social scientific observation of human interaction at Florida State University so that they can continue conducting similar observations in the interculturally rich environment provided by the Disney International College Program. In this three-credit course, they will also be introduced to many of the key co-cultural groups that operate within the United States, and are present within the Walt Disney World® Resort community: African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, women, and the elderly. This will be an intensive course taken while at Florida State University and will include at least one course-related field trip.


Intercultural Communication Practicum (3 credits)

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. They will study crucial Disney operations: guest services, leadership, marketing and people management. And, at the end of the practicum, they will, analyze their progress towards meeting their professional objectives, and assess their overall experience.


Applied Intercultural Communication (3 credits)

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. 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.


Corporate Social Responsibility (3 credits)

This three-credit hour Corporate Social Responsibility Course is designed to encourage students to combine first-hand experience in a professional setting—during 30-37.5 hours weekly practicum—with an exploration of different areas of company policy which exemplifies Disney’s approach to corporate responsibility.

The above will constitute a full course of academic study as required by exchange visitor regulations. Any deviations from the course of study must be approved in advance in writing by Florida State University. No credit will be awarded for a failed course. Students who are unable to complete the program will be required to return home. Credit will only be awarded for courses completed at the time of departure. Please note that some partner universities may have some additional coursework or credit requirements.

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