Doing it all: How to balance getting your degree and doing a Disney Program

Often, we hear from participants who are interested in doing a Disney Program that they are nervous about the prospect of balancing the program and their schooling. If this is you, don’t dismay! Lots of participants find they can successfully participate in a Disney Program while in college; it takes a little bit of pre-planning and organization, but it’s completely doable! To help figure out your school game plan while on the program, here are some tips and words of advice:  

Speak with your school’s guidance counselor
Before you apply for a Disney Program, we recommend speaking with your school’s guidance counselor to see if your school or degree program has specific requirements for participating in the program. Sometimes students are required to complete assignments while on the program, have exams proctored, or enroll in Disney Education courses, while other participants do not have certain procedures they must follow. If you plan on taking a semester off to do the program, your guidance counselor will also be able to map out a timeline, and give you a better idea on if and how the program will affect your long-term plan. 

Enroll in Disney Education offerings
While it’s up to your educational institution and your individual degree program to determine whether college credit is awarded, we highly encourage you to enroll in Disney Education offerings during your program (note: participants at the Disneyland Resort are required to participate in education classes). Courses are offered each season in a variety of different topics and fields. Whether you’re looking to gain valuable career skills, or learn more about the ways in which Disney does business, you’ll be able to participate in a variety of offerings that will help in your career development. Keep in mind, Disney has been recognized for its unique take on business skills and professional development, and this is a great opportunity to learn the very skills that make The Walt Disney Company so successful. When you return to school to finish your degree, you’ll have brand new skills you can utilize in your coursework and beyond! 

Sign up for independent study hall
If you decide to take online courses through your university while on the program, independent study hall is a great resource you can utilize. This offering provides dedicated study time each week to complete assignments for your online courses, ensuring you have time scheduled off from work.  

Keep your focus
There’s so much to do on a Disney Program, it can be hard to concentrate and set aside time for your studies! While we know it may be hard to focus in, if you’re taking classes during your program, try to stay organized and make sure you are giving yourself enough time on your days off to study. You can always reward yourself when your assignments are done with a ride on your favorite attraction, or your favorite Disney snack! Additionally, don’t put off assignments for after work. You never know how tired you may be after work, and it’s always better to get things done while you’re fully rested! Utilize your Communicator calendar to keep your work times, study times and play times organized, or use a planner to keep everything straight! 

Stay healthy
Trying to keep everything balanced can be tough on both your physical and mental state, so make sure you’re take care of yourself! Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water (especially in the warmer months) and try to eat healthy. If you’re feeling stressed, get some physical activity by taking a walk or heading to your complex’s fitness center. By keeping health top of mind, you’ll find it’s easier to juggle everything! 

Working and going to school can seem like a lot to handle, but following these tips can help you find the perfect balance of the two! By speaking with your guidance counselor, looking into your Disney education offerings and options, and working to stay focused and healthy during your program, you can ensure each aspect of your program is setting you up for success! 

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