Disney in Orlando is the destination in January for four Ara Timaru International Tourism students. Emma Webb, Ashleigh Ogg, Jess Bathgate and Tatiana Voice are set for a work experience like no other.
Every year Disney opens their doors to New Zealanders, with their Cultural Exchange Programme and it is the third year Ara (formerly Aoraki Polytechnic) students have been accepted. International Tourism tutor Gene Foster helps them through the application process and this year was particularly successful.
“Three years ago we sent a student for the first time to work for Disney so it is a step up to send four this year. Everyone always comes back with a great experience, so we’re very excited for the students.”
From left to right: Ashleigh Ogg, Emma Webb, Jess Bathgate and Tatiana Voice.
The students had to go through a strict application process, before being accepted. The work experience lasts six months but can be extended for another six months. They will receive full time employment, accommodation and a salary .
“When I heard I was accepted I jumped out of bed and ran down the stairs to the living room to tell everyone. I am so excited. It’s a great way to be able to go overseas and Disney is just so much fun.”, says Emma.
“I am very excited. It’s a massive opportunity. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I was young. And the United States is an amazing big country. I look forward to experiencing a new culture,” adds Tatiana.
They will be working in different areas, like merchandising, front of house hospitality and tickets and reservations. Tatiana will be a recreational supervisor. “I will work in arcades and mini golf. I got given a list of jobs I could do and had to rank them. This was my first choice, which is cool!”
“I’m happy that we’re going with four girls from Ara. It is always good to know people.”, says Emma.
First the students have to finish their certificate studies. The last class is on 18 November and then they will be counting down to January.
“I can’t wait”, adds Emma.
More information about the Disney International Programmes can be found here: http://ip.disneycareers.com/en//cultural-exchange-programs/australia-newzealand/