Disney International Programs Academic Exchange Experience


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 have included 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, they will be living with other university students from the U.S. and countries in the new state-of-the-art Flamingo Crossings Village designed specifically with all of the amenities to meet the needs of student participants.

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Florida State University Coursework

While participating in their academic training experience at Walt Disney World® Resort, all program participants will be enrolled in two Florida State University courses, which will help them to maximize the learning opportunity provided by their immersion in Disney International Programs. These courses are taught using a hybrid modality, combining online work with 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.

  • Applied Intercultural Communication (6 credits) 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.
  • Hospitality or Intercultural Communication Internship (3 credits) will provide students 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.

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:

Disney International Programs

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