Can anyone sign up to be a partner family?
Yes. The word family can be broadly defined to include an individual, a couple, and a couple with children. Age is not a factor. More than anything else, the MASSIE program is looking to match students with families who have a genuine interest in the students and who can provide a safe, welcoming environment.
What sort of time commitment is involved in being a partner family?
The program requests that families make an effort to meet their students at least once a month for the balance of the summer (mid-May to mid-August). Of course families are welcome to meet students as frequently as they like for as long as they like. The program leaves it to families and students to coordinate the timing, nature, and duration of meetings.
What sort of activities can we plan to do with our MASSIE students?
Meetings can include - but are not limited to - a family meal, a birthday party, an evening walk, a shopping trip to Moncton, an ice-cream run to Amherst, a day-trip to the beach, or even a weekend get-away to another Maritime location. The most successful events often don't require much in the way of detailed planning. The students are simply happy to get off campus and to spend time in a family context or home setting.
How well can the MASSIE students speak/understand English?
The students have taken at least 7 years of classroom English. Their knowledge of written grammar is likely quite good. Where they don’t have much experience - or where they lack practice - is with conversational English. This is one of the reasons why we pair students with an English conversation partner and match them with families. By exposing them to English as it’s naturally spoken in a small-group setting, it’s easier for them to find the confidence they need to practice their conversational English.
When is the best time to meet the MASSIE students?
Weekday evenings and weekends are best. The dining hall closes on the weekends, so MASSIE students must prepare their own meals. An offer to join a family meal on the weekend would surely not be turned down.
How can I know when MASSIE students are free?
The best thing to do is regularly check the MASSIE Events Calendar on the News & Events page of the MASSIE website.