Canadian university students travel to Florida for valuable Disney experience

December 11, 2017


Six months ago, 18 Canadian university students left their homes to embark on a journey at the University of Florida and Disney in the Disney Academic Exchange Program. The students spent their initial two weeks living in Weaver Hall and exploring the facets of attending an American university.

After their time at UF, the students traveled down to Orlando do begin their program at Disney. For six months, the students were enrolled in one class taught by a Disney associate and another class led by TRSM senior lecturer, Dr. Gregory Dunn. In addition to taking these two courses, the students were put into different roles all across Disney Parks and Resorts. With roles spanning from working in merchandise in Animal Kingdom to attractions at Epcot, the students received a wide variety of experience working front-line at one of the largest theme parks conglomerates.

“I had a wonderful, yet eye opening, experience working for Disney where I saw that even the global leader in entertainment needs a lot of work,” Brock University student Jonah Graham said. “This experience helped me solidify my goal of pursuing a career in tourism and I wouldn't have changed a thing about it.”

After spending many long days and nights together, the students grew extremely close and it was very apparent during their end of semester presentations that were scattered with some tears and a lot of laughter.

“Working at Disney has been the experience of a lifetime I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world and if I had the opportunity to do it again, I would in a heartbeat,” University of Waterloo student Brandon Brock recalled. “Everyone has a different story and everyone can impact and change your life, and giving yourself the opportunity to engage with more people is such a great thing.”