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Disney International Co-op & Academic Exchange

Six-month paid international co-op work term and academic exchange
Where: Comox Valley
Starts: July
  • Gain a paid international training experience with the Disney corporation.
  • Earn a Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management or a Certificate in Management from University of California Riverside.
  • Network with individuals from around the world and make life-long connections.
  • Learn important business philosophies from Disney leaders while earning NIC credentials.


  •  A rare opportunity. NIC is one of six Canadian post-secondary institutions to take part in Disney's International's Academic Exchange program. This unique, international learning opportunity gives NIC business or tourism and hospitality management students a competitive edge.
  • Expand your resume. Build your CV through experiential academic training. Disney's training opportunities include a range of roles from hospitality, concierge and culinary roles to vacation planning and other customer-service oriented positions.
  • Life-changing opportunities you can't get anywhere else. Learn important business philosophies from Disney leaders and make friends around the world while earning your credentials at NIC and the University of California Riverside.


Earn a Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management or a Certificate in Management from the University of California Riverside (UCR). Combine academic coursework at the beautiful UCR campus with a paid, academic training at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.
This program is designed for exceptional students who seek careers in the field of tourism, hospitality management and business. As an exchange student, you will study on the UCR campus and participate in field experiences at popular attractions in Southern California. When complete, you will move on to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where you will have the opportunity for paid, work experience in the hospitality field.
Visit our Student Success page to learn more about previous student experiences in the Disney International Co-op and Academic Exchange program.


Living at the University of California, Riverside
During the California component of your program, students will stay in the Extension Residence Center on the University of California Riverside campus (double-occupancy). The cost of the residence and breakfast is included in the program fee.

See UCR's Housing site for more information.

Living in Florida
While participating in the Disney International College program, students live in company-sponsored, fully-furnished two-to-four-bedroom apartments near the Walt Disney World Resort. A bus system provides students with transportation to work, classes, shopping and social activities. 24-hour security is provided.

The accommodation charge covers the housing fee, utilities, high-speed Internet, local phone service and transportation. This charge is deducted from participants’ weekly paychecks.

See Disney International's Living Experience for more information.

Wages and Costs

Your Disney International program experience includes paid work experience opportunities. While hourly wages vary according to the position, you can expect to work a maximum of 37.5 hours a week while studying and up to 45 hours a week during non-class times.
You will graduate from your work term with a certificate from the University of California, Riverside in either Management or Hospitality and Tourism Management. The costs to participate in this part of the program is $3,800 USD. This includes:
  • Group transportation to and from the LAX airport to the University of California, Riverside
  • Residence accommodation and meals at the University of California, Riverside (double-occupancy) for the California portion of the program
  • Tuition and fees for credits from the University of California, Riverside including all texts and/or course materials for the UCR courses
  • UCR Identification card
  • Supervision during the academic training portion of the program
  • Ongoing support by UCR staff for duration of the academic training

Additional Costs

  • $450 non-refundable application fee: payable to UCR when you have been accepted into the program
  • $180 non-refundable J-1 Student Visa application (SEVIS) fee, payable to the US Consulate in your country
  • $1,215 mandatory medical insurance for the duration of the program
  • Flights from Canada to California, California to Florida and Florida to Canada
  • Disney International Programs accommodations (see Living in Florida above)
  • Some Disney courses include a material fees ($14-$55) and/or textbook fees (typically $15-$100)
  • $155 program assessment fee (submitted directly to the Walt Disney World Resort)
  • Meals while in California.
  • $400-$500 for miscellaneous living expenses and student costs during their stay in Florida
You may be eligible for a partial tuition scholarship from UCR. Check with your advisor for more information.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the University of California, Riverside Disney International Co-op and Academic Exchange you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have completed one year (24 credits) of an NIC business or tourism program
  • be in good academic standing, with a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • have the financial means to pay for the program costs
  • have a can-do attitude and be flexible
  • be willing to share a bedroom/dorm space
  • be accepted as an NIC Co-operative Education student
  • attend an interview with University of California Riverside and Disney recruiters

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Alex Bowman
Employment Service Advisor
North Island College

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