A bit of history...

The MASSIE Program dates back to 2000 when Mount Allison received the first group of students from Kwansei Gakuin University (Nishinomiya, Japan).  In the years since, more than 1000 students from KGU and other partner universities in Japan have come to Sackville for short-term and semester-long English studies.  The result has been profound on the ties that have developed between Mount Allison, Sackville and Japan.

MASSIE began as the Mount Allison Sophomore Semester in English Program.  It was specifically designed to receive groups of second-year students from KGU for a semester-long English experience during the summer and fall months.  As the program grew to incorporate students from other universities at different times of the year, the name changed to the Mount Allison Semester Studies in English Program.

In the early years of the program, KGU sent two groups of students per year, one in the summer (May - August) and one in the fall (September – December).  In both cases, students returned to Japan at the end of the program to resume their studies at KGU.  In 2007, the program expanded to include a “MASSIE Plus” option for a limited number of summer students.  Under the terms of the “MASSIE Plus” Program, qualified students could remain in Sackville beyond the end of the summer program to register as one-semester exchange students in the fall.  These students enrolled in Mount Allison classes and earned Mount Allison credit which transferred back to their home university.

In 2008, Mount Allison entered into an agreement with Toyo-Eiwa University (Yokohama, Japan) to develop a short-term winter program.  The first group of TEU students came in February 2009 and successive groups of students have been coming ever since.  In 2012, Mount Allison added a separate 6-week winter program for KGU students.  The TEU and KGU winter programs merged in 2014 as part of a successful venture between the two universities.  This opened the door to future combined programs during the summer and fall months.

In February 2010 representatives from Mount Allison and KGU came together at KGU’s Uegahara Campus to formally mark the 10th anniversary of the MASSIE Program.  Over 200 former MASSIE and Mount Allison students filled the KG Reception Hall for an evening of speeches, photographs, fine food and happy reunions.  Later the same year, Mount Allison hosted 10th anniversary celebrations of its own.  KGU representatives and former MASSIE students returned to Sackville for a weekend of reunion activities. 

MASSIE has benefited from stable leadership and strong support over the years of its existence.  In the early years, Ms. Anne Semple (2000-2003) served as Coordinator and played a key role in conceptualizing the program and developing its initial framework.  Ms. Semple was succeeded by Mr. Adam Christie who served as Coordinator from 2003-2010.  The current Coordinator is Ms. Robin Walker (2010-present).

The long-term success of the MASSIE Program is a testament to the quality of the experience that Mount Allison and Sackville provide, the hard work of the program’s staff and volunteers, and the enduring support shown by KGU and Mount Allison.

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