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Disney Academic Exchange Program

Central Michigan University (CMU) is excited to announce a life-changing study abroad program at the place where dreams come true. To participate in the Academic Exchange Program, your academic institution must have an exchange partnership with Central Michigan University.  

mexicans-moi--castle-2.jpgThrough the CMU Department of Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services, the Center for Leisure Services is offering an exciting program for international undergraduate students that will combine academics and a paid training experience at the Walt Disney World® Resort.   As a cast member, you will gain valuable training and experience that will increase your skills while completing academic requirements for CMU. 

Please contact your international academic institution to see if they have an exchange partnership with Central Michigan University for this program. 
To participate in the Academic Exchange Program, you must be: 
  • Able to speak fluent English
  • At least 18 years of age at the time of application submission
  • Currently enrolled and in good academic standing at a participating international college or university
  • Engaged in an appropriate course of study
  • Able to exit the United States and return home upon completion of the program
The Program is the best fit for undergraduate students who are studying Tourism, Leisure, Hospitality, Business, Communications, Marketing, Management, and/or Sports and Recreation. 

CMU has more than 35 years of experience sending its own students to Walt Disney World® Resort as well as providing credit to students from more than 200 other U.S. universities and colleges while participating in the Disney College Program. 

Program Information

    Students enroll with Central Michigan University and go directly to the Walt Disney World® Resort to participate in the J1 Academic Exchange Experience. The experience is designed for you to earn a certificate for 12 or 24 academic credit hours over a 6 or 12-month program. 

    There are three major components to this exchange experience... 
    Students will be engaged in a variety of educational opportunities provided by both CMU and Disney. In many cases, students can choose the kind of seminars or workshops to attend that interest them the most. Upon successful completion of the semester, students receive a certificate and transcript (available upon request) from CMU indicating grade and academic credit earned. It is up to the international school to validate the credit earned from CMU as transfer credit. 

    Students live in fully-furnished apartments with 24-hour security located near the Walt Disney World® Resort property. A bus system provides students with transportation to work, educational seminars, grocery stores/shopping, and social activities. A housing fee is payroll-deducted from the student's earnings each week. The housing fee includes utilities, high-speed internet, local phone service, and transportation. 

    Students are placed in entry-level positions at one of the four theme parks, two water parks, Disney Springs, or over twenty resort hotels that are part of the Walt Disney World® Resort. Students will be scheduled between 30 and 37.5 hours per week at an hourly rate (depending on the role).

For Assistance
Dean Wallin
Director, Center for Leisure Services
Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration

College of Education and Human Services | Central Michigan University | | 195 Ojibway Ct | EHS 426 | Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 | (989) 774-3079