The Academic Exchange Experience program will require students to take four courses for a total of twelve academic credits. Three of these classes will be taught by University of Florida professors either on campus or online and the fourth course will be taught in coordination with UF and The Disney Institute at Walt Disney World® Resort.
The following is a list of required courses, each followed by their respective course descriptions:
Summer - 3 credits
This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth managerial examination of a full service lodging firm including each major operating and support departments. This course exposes students to the unique characteristics of managing and operating a service-based lodging product that is delivered by a diverse employee profile and received by an equally diverse consumer profile. The objective of the course is for the student to become familiar with the lodging industry and current principles and management practices of lodging properties.
The course will focus specifically on the integration of the hotel front office with other rooms division operating departments, such as housekeeping, reservations, bell desk/valet, concierge and transportation departments. The front office is the number one profit center of most lodging businesses and successful properties will coordinate the activities of the rooms division with sales/marketing, food and beverage, accounting, safety and security, engineering, and human resource departments of the property.
Summer - 3 credits
This course on resort and destination development provides students with an in-depth introduction and application of the concepts, theories and practices involved in planning and managing of resort tourism destinations. The course also provides students with the opportunity to develop a resort destination concept similar to that of the offerings found at Walt Disney World and understand the role that key tourism assets such as resorts and attractions play in a tourism-based destination. Beginning with the resort and destination concepts and theory, the course covers the planning, development, management, marketing, financial and service delivery aspects of destinations and their resorts as important drivers of tourism in the U.S.
Fall - 3 credits
This course is designed to introduce the students an overview of one of the world’s largest industries: hospitality industry. The course covers the wide world of hospitality management by covering trend, organization, and operations of hospitality industry which including restaurant; lodging; travel and tourism; recreation and leisure; meeting, conventions and exhibition; managed service; gaming industry; and special event. This course prepares students for the tomorrow’s hospitality management career with lectures, in-class discussions, case studies, assignments, and exams.
Fall - 3 credits
This course provides students with practical field experience at the Walt Disney World Resort and exploration of tourism and hospitality career opportunities and real-world case studies. Students in the UF Disney International Academic Exchange Program will commence their internship in July and complete the internship in December. At the completion of the course, students will be able to:
Gain real-world work experience and explore career options;
Explore managerial issues and apply critical thinking to form possible solutions to these issues;
Develop valuable work competencies specifically for the tourism and hospitality industry;
Gain self-confidence, self-worth, and interpersonal skills;
Articulate and apply work-related principles learned both in and outside of the classroom;
Evaluate future job opportunities in the tourism field and learn about available careers.