Walt Disney Cultural Exchange Program – Aftermath

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts but I applied to this program without telling a single soul. I just went on the website one day, saw the posting and applied. I didn’t tell friends, cast members, not even my parents. Which resulted in some…minor problems, like my parents not wanting to let me go…

Their main concern was whether or not it was a scam and whether I’d be kidnapped to Mexico and become a part of the human trafficking world. In the end, I wrote up all the information, similar to my previous blog post and I got a thumbs up!

Because it was such a last minute thumbs up, I had to rush to pay for the fees and submit my forms. I was told that I would get a little bit more time to submit my proof of student status since it was reading week but it was not given to me immediately. I had to call Disney to reopen my DOC and submit my form the day after. So if anyone was worrying, Disney is quite lenient as long as you have a good reason.

That basically sums up my application process. I still need to book flights, get a criminal background check and pay for medical insurance. I’ll update closer to the date but I’ll be posting Disney World pictures soon! Until then, have a magical day!

Walt Disney J1 Cultural Exchange Program – Interview

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We started off our day arriving at the office between 9:00AM and 9:25AM to sign in and gather in a seminar room. There was three recruiters that did a presentation about the program, the budget, roles and visa/SEVIS information which I will list below for your future references.

Presentation information for 2015:

  • The pay is $9.00 USD, for lifeguards (guarding at 2m deep) is $9.43 USD.
  • Canadians don’t need to do visas, UK and other applicants do. However, we still need to do the SEVIS fees.
  • Medical insurance from Disney (HTH) is a must, even if you have your own medical insurance. It’s about $60-80 a month.
  • There is a program assessment fee of $150 and a $4.50 credit card fee.
  • You will also need to pay $200 for your first two weeks of housing and after that housing will be deducted from your pay.
  • There are two arrival dates: May 12th or May 19th and everyone will be departing on August 7th.

After the presentation, a group of us went down to the food court and waited it out by talking and eating. We cannot stay upstairs near the office until five minute prior to our interview. I left about fifteen minutes before and got there right on time. It always nice to expect some elevator traffic or maybe you’re in five inch heels. Once I got up there for my interview, I waited in a meeting room with about 10 people before the recuiter called half of us into another waiting room to be called in separately.

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I feel like everyone always claims that the interview was super easy going, but I always found it generic. If you prepared and thought up some answers prior to the interview, it is definitely easier. This was one of my most well thought out interviews and I answered a lot better than all my interviews before. I’ll list some of the questions below.

  • Why do you want to be on the program?
  • What are you doing in school right now?
  • Do I live in dorms or at home?
  • How I would do in a dorm setting? In a different country and environment?
  • Why I chose the roles I wanted and if I wanted to do quick service food?
  • Work experience.
  • Volunteer experience.
  • Any questions or comments from me?

Overall, I think the questions were straightforward and pretty simple to answer. One thing I would change is probably mention that I really wanted to work in Magic Kingdom. I didn’t really have any questions because I did a lot of research and found blogs and vlogs documenting their experiences.

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I think I left on a good note, however, I am having second thoughts about the program. I recently made an impulsive decision to get a puppy and I don’t think I could part with her for three months when she’s not even a year old. I am also interested in restarting my YouTube channel after abandoning it for almost two-three years. My program is very broad and let’s face it, being in a fine arts program is going to be harder to find a job compared to someone in nursing. I want to create a name for myself, improve on my work before I graduate and be thrown into the real world. If I can actually stay committed to YouTube, I would assume I am going to be more comfortable vlogging and I would love to document my adventure at Disney. I’m not completely abandoning the program but I might just delay it since I still have two years to apply.

I will update this blog post when I get a response from Disney but this may be the end of my Disney CEP blogposts.

Status: Waiting for response.  Accepted! 

Walt Disney J1 Cultural Exchange Program – APPLICATION

I’m going to start documenting this so I could look back on it or maybe it could help someone! Let’s hope my blog posts don’t cut short and I make it to the end! Just a little brief background about me, I am applying through the Disney Careers website from Toronto, Canada, I am in second year university and I have worked as a cast member at the Disney Store.

I was looking into the program at the beginning of the year and I had checked the Disney Careers website late August as several blogs have said applications usually start in August but I found nothing and assumed I had missed the application date. It wasn’t a big deal to me since I wasn’t sure if I was ready to travel abroad and live in a different country as well as the fact that I’m not legal in America. However, you can only do this program a maximum of three times and in case I do want to do it three times, I’d have to start this year.

I started tweaking my resume and cover letter to fit the program better. I included all of my successful long term volunteering and employment as well as any short term volunteering that portrays my personality and character. My resume is about two pages long and as for my cover letter, I mainly talked about why I wanted to be in the program and what I loved about the company but I also included reasons why I would be suitable for the program to back it up. I have previous history with the company as a seasonal cast member for 2013 and 2014 so I briefly touched upon my experiences there.

I have yet to submit my application yet because I want someone to proofread my resume and cover letter. Personally I hate having someone proofread just because I know my English and grammar isn’t the best but that’s why I need proofreading, especially when it’s something like this. I would like to get it done right. I also want to use my resources and get references from my managers at Disney. Once I get everything proofread, I will get my references this week and hopefully submit everything by Monday.