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OHIO Eastern students experience learning – Disney style

An Ohio University education reaches far beyond traditional classroom walls, sometimes even to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. 

OHIO Eastern students Sydney Carpenter of Barnesville, Ohio, and Katelyn Groves of Beallsville, Ohio, recently embraced an experiential learning opportunity by enrolling in the Disney College Program. 

The Disney College Program is a paid internship that allows students to work at Walt Disney World. Students who are accepted work in Disney parks, resorts, and restaurants while taking part in college course work and building relationships with students from all over the world.

Groves, a junior elementary and early childhood major, was accepted to the Disney College Program in February 2020 for the Fall 2020 semester. However, the program was shut down and the parks were closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the program reopened in summer 2021, Groves spent five months in the program. She worked in all the Disney Parks as a cashier, with her home location being Animal Kingdom as the company celebrated its 50th Anniversary Celebration.

“The program taught me a lot of responsibility as I had to plan my work schedule, my shopping, cleaning, and, of course, my fun time,” Groves said. “It was interesting to see how a large company runs, and all that it takes to preserve and make magic happen for Disney guests. I also had the wonderful experience of being exposed to people of every age, race, culture, ethnicity, and gender identity as they all shared the same love of Disney that I do.”

Carpenter, a junior business studies major, is currently enrolled in the Disney College program.

“I am hoping to gain more social skills, interact with different cultures, and gain valuable work experiences while I complete my internship, “ Carpenter said. 

To help fund her internship expenses, Carpenter applied for and was awarded a $1,000 experiential learning grant through Ohio University to help fund her internship expenses, such as transportation and living expenses.

Ohio University is committed to putting experiential learning within reach for all students. Toward that goal, awards and grants are available to support students in pursuing experiential learning opportunities and to support faculty/staff in providing them. Funding opportunities are available on all OHIO campuses. 

Undergraduate Experiential Learning Awards are available to individual Ohio University undergraduate students. Students may apply for any amount between $100-$1000. Applications are currently being accepted to support opportunities taking place in summer 2023 - spring 2024. The application deadline is March 10, 2023.  Visit for more information or to apply for funding. 

March 9, 2023
Donielle Flynn