With the Disney College Program continuing to invite new seasons of college students to apply to intern at Walt Disney World, one question has been popping up on social media more and more…What about Disney International Programs?
Disney International Programs is essentially the international version of the Disney College Program. Under this internship program, college students from other countries are able to spend some time in the U.S. working for the Mouse, living in company-sponsored housing, and potentially earning college credit.
The program is most known to regular Guests for the students who normally would work in the pavilions for each country located in World Showcase in EPCOT, as prior to the COVID-19 pandemic each country was staffed by Cast Members who are actually from those countries (primarily from the Disney International Programs.) EPCOT was not the only place where Disney International Programs students could work as part of a Cultural Exchange Program or Cultural Representative program. Just like Disney College Program participants, they could work in most roles all around Walt Disney World, including locations at other theme parks, resorts, or at Disney Springs.
Since the spring 2020 Disney College Program season came to an abrupt end when the parks closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney International Programs have yet to return, and so far, we have heard no news on if or when they will return from Disney.
Our best guess at when Disney International Programs will return is next year at the earliest, and it may vary by country of origin for each season. In recent years, Disney Programs have really upped their openness on social media, and we don’t expect that they’d open applications back up for international students without teasing that at least some kind of news is coming up later on social first. For that reason, we think next year would be the earliest we’d see these programs return to Walt Disney World.
The application process for Disney International Programs varies slightly by each country anyway based on required visas and study abroad programs. (If you had been looking at the Disney Careers website in the past and you noticed specific listings for applicants from say, Norway, that is what we’re referencing here.)
Disney Cast Members outside of Disney Programs come from all over the world to work at the Walt Disney World Resort, and it truly makes an impact on Guests visiting to be able to interact with Cast Members in such a unique global experience. This is particularly true for Guests visiting EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, as visiting these three locations alone can allow Guests to interact with people from Canada, the UK, France, Morocco, Japan, Italy, China, Norway, Germany, and Mexico, in addition to multiple countries throughout Asia and Africa without ever leaving Florida.
It is also worth noting that while the Disney College Program is back, it is only back for the Walt Disney World Resort, and no news has come out on when the program will return to Disneyland (or if it will return at all.)
We hope to learn more about returning opportunities from Disney Programs soon, and will share any new details we learn as soon as we have them here on Disney Fanatic.