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.
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 six-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 six-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 their three-credit Intercultural Communication Internship during their time at Walt Disney World® Resort.
During the Disney Academic Exchange Experience, students live in a state-of-the-art student housing complex complete with full amenities along with other students from a variety of cultures. They receive training and then engage participate in work-integrated learning throughout the Disney theme parks and resorts. 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 in good academic standing. They must be pursuing a degree program at an FSU partner university for this program, and their major must be approved by their home university to participate. At least some of the credits earned during the program must count toward students' graduation requirements. Students must be enrolled in their home institution the semester prior to participating in this program or be considered to be enrolled by the home university during their program participation. Students 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 who receive a minimum of the following scores on one of these standardized English assessment tests and who are nominated through their home university's pre-screening process may be scheduled to interview with a Disney recruiter: 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.
2024-2025 Program Dates
|Arrive at FSU
|Arrive at Walt Disney World® Resort
Catholic University of Korea
Sookmyung Women's University
Woosong University / SolBridge International School of Business
July 12, 2024
July 22, 2024
January 16, 2025
August 2, 2024
August 12, 2024
January 30, 2025
The program fee of $5,000 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.
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, health insurance which meets the specific requirements of the J-1 Visa program and the State of Florida, and all expenses while participating in the Disney International College Program academic training.
2023-2024 Program Faculty
Jayme Pekins, Ph.D.
Bryant Harden, Ph.D.
Robert Hughes, Ph.D.
Applied Intercultural Communication
Intercultural Communication Internship
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. This will be an intensive course taken while at Florida State University and will include at least one course-related field trip.
Intercultural Communication Internship (3 credits)
This three-credit hour internship 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. At the end of the internship, they will analyze their progress towards meeting their professional objectives, and assess their overall experience.
Applied Intercultural Communication (6 credits)
This six-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.