The Orlando program has been moved to 2023.
Our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Each Study USA program fulfills 3 of your Honors credit requirement.

Registration works on a first come, first served basis!

This is the Way: Disruptive Leadership


**This course counts towards your Global Learning medallion**

Course Description

Drawing on the global executive expertise of leadership and service at the Disney corporation, the trailblazing problem-solving of NASA, the innovative mastery of virtual reality at Oracle, and the creativity of LEGO this course explores the implications of what it means to be a great leader in a planet and society that is exponentially changing due to digital technological and environmental disruptions.

As virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, digitalization, climate change, health pandemics, and other critical factors influence the nature of work and ways of working, relevant leadership has never been more necessary.

During this Summer course you will confront, examine, and experience not only the theory of leadership but also challenge and create practical solutions for the future of leadership as well.

Orlando is frequently disregarded as just a place of play and fun. We will look behind the scenes of this iconic international city at the leadership that has made Orlando and the companies that call it home a hub of innovation, quality interaction, engineering excellence, and a place where magic seems truly real.

Our trips will be guided and analyzed by the following instructional material: We will read the text “If Disney ran your Hospital,” use case studies from companies like Disney+, Chevrolet, Google, and Netflix, and excerpts from “Emotional design: why we love and hate everyday things.”

Spring 2022 Study USA Honors Hour Video



2022 Syllabus

What Does it Cost?

Price per person: $650

*Pricing is based on Double occupancy

What is Included?

Local Transportation
Admission to Animal Kingdom
Admission to Hollywood Studios
Admission to Epcot
Admission to Kennedy Space Center

What is Not Included?

$250 Honors College administrative fee
FIU tuition
Vaccinations if needed
Personal expenses

When Will You Take the On-Campus class?

This Summer C semester | Hybrid (3 credits) | Day: Wednesdays | Time: 11:00am- 12:35pm

When Will You Go on the Trip?

June 20, 2022 – June 26, 2022

Level of Physical Activity


You will be expected to walk long distances in the Florida summer and participate in virtual reality and augmented reality simulations.

What is the Focus?

Leadership, Human Literacy, Innovation, Sustainability, Disruption. The impact of economic, environmental, and social issues related to digital technological and global environmental disruptions.

What Will You Do?

You will participate in a 3-day immersive design review of three strategic theme parks along with guided tours of specific exhibits. You will participate in virtual reality and augmented reality simulations. You will tour and experience one Disney park, LEGO store, and the Space Kennedy Center.

Students have the option to participate in Astronaut training at the Kennedy Space Center. And there will also be an optional night kayaking trip in a bioluminescent bay near the Kennedy Space Center.

What Will You Learn?

Relevant leadership for a world that is exponentially changing. You will discover and experience Disney’s 9.5 principles of running a hospital. You will learn how learning, work, and even interaction is evolving and being disrupted. You will learn the behind the scenes of a designed experience and the history behind financially successful, creative, and space-focused organizations.

Where Will You Go?

Disney World Orlando theme parks, LEGO store, Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island.

Who Will Be Interested?

Ideal for students interested in creating a business of their own or starting a private practice. Students majoring in business, pre-med, engineering, healthcare administration, organizational psychology, anthropology, sociology, and environmental studies. This program is relevant to all students.

About the Program Director

Maikel Alendy is currently the Associate Director of Instructional Learning Technology with FIU Online. With degrees from the University of Florida and Florida International University in the fields of cultural anthropology, healthcare, and business; his main research interests and publications are in cardiovascular molecular biology, aging, social media, anthropology, and online pedagogy. Within FIU’s honors college Maikel teaches the fully-online course Digital Fairytale; merging social movements, disruptive technologies, and business trends with a dash of neuropsychology. He is also an instructor for the hybrid course Power of Play, in which students examine the importance of play throughout their lifetime and partner with local elementary schools to design games for K-5 students. Maikel currently serves on the University’s Academic Integrity and Student Conduct committees, the online experience consultant for FIU’s Honors College, the Upper-Division Curriculum co-chair, the CDO for a digital consulting company based in Miami, and he is on the board of VirtueCo, a non-profit organization that provides art programs and resources for underserved youth throughout South Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
Email: malendy@fiu.edu