MASSIE PROGRAM FAQs
What is the MASSIE Program?
The Program was created to give 2nd year international students the opportunity
to live and study in an English environment for one university semester.
The program is administered through a partner university in Japan (Kwansei
Gakuin University in Nishinomiya) and has been responsible for bringing
over 550 mostly Japanese students to Sackville since the first session
in September, 2000.
What does MASSIE stand for?
Mount Allison Semester Studies In English.
Who are the MASSIE students?
The MASSIE students are 2nd year students at Kwansei Gakuin University
(KGU) in Nishinomiya and Sanda, Japan. They are typically Japanese although
students of other nationalities (all KGU students) have also participated
in the program.
What is Mount Allisonfs association with KGU?
Mount Allison and KGU enjoy a 21-year history of faculty and student exchanges.
The first faculty exchange happened in 1986-87 when Dr. Peter Ennals was
invited to assume the role of Visiting Professor in Canadian Studies.
Other Mt.A faculty who have since been invited to lecture at KGU include
Dr. Jack Stanton, Rev. John Perkin, and most recently, Dr. Bill Godfrey.
Following the ratification of a reciprocal student exchange agreement
in 1996, 1-2 students from each university have participated annually
in the year-long exchange.
What is the duration of the Program?
There are two programs, a summer session (May-August) and a winter session
(September to December). Students are at Mount Allison for 3.5 months.
What is the goal of the Program?
The primary aim of the MASSIE Program at Mount Allison is to provide students
with an opportunity to improve their proficiency in academic and conversational
English through classroom work, field trips, volunteer service, and participation
in campus and community life. Through the studentsf involvement with their
roommates, conversation partners, and friends in the community, it is
furthermore hoped that they gain a more personal knowledge of the unique
aspects of Canadian culture and local history.
Do MASSIE students take regular Mount Allison
Yes and no. Regular MASSIE students attend special, closed classes aimed
to help them with their understanding of and improvement in various complimentary
aspects of the English language. Beginning in 2007, a select number of
summer MASSIE students who met MTAfs entrance requirements for international
students were permitted to stay for the fall semester and take regular
classes as KGU exchange students.
What do the students study?
There five component courses that all students must take. They are: Oral
Language Skills (OLS), Listening, Critical Thinking in English (CTIE),
Writing, and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). OLS places
an emphasis on building studentsf confidence to speak and share their
ideas. Itfs a lively class with individual and group projects designed
to promote speaking. Listening uses music, dictation, the media, and the
internet to develop studentsf aural comprehension and interaction. CTIE
challenges students to think about/discuss difficult issues in todayfs
world. Students prepare presentations and have discussion afterwards.
Writing covers the mechanics of essay-writing, and TOEFL reviews troublesome
areas of English grammar.
How many hours do the students study and what is their typical schedule?
The regular Mt.A semester is divided into three terms for which students
receive credit at Kwansei Gakuin University for study successfully completed.
The first term requires students to study English for an intensive 30
hours per week. In the second and third terms students study English for
a total of 25 hours per week and have the opportunity to take one or two
intro-level university courses (Introduction to Canadian Literature or
Introduction to Canadian Studies) which are taught specifically for MASSIE
students by Mount Allison faculty and associates.
Where do MASSIE students live?
MASSIE students live in residence at Mount Allison. In the summer, they
get single rooms but live in residences/sections with Mt.A students for
monitors. MASSIE students who come during the fall semester share a room
with full-time Mount Allison students so as to facilitate the cultural
and linguistic adjustment to life in English-speaking. In total, more
than 350 Mt.A students have been involved with the program as roommates
since September, 2000.
Who are the MASSIE English Conversation Partners?
The MASSIE conversation partners are made up of Mount Allison students
and faculty who have volunteered to spend at least 1 hr/week with a partner
MASSIE student. Each MASSIE student is assigned one partner. The partner
aspect of the program is another way in which MASSIE students are given
the opportunity to make new friends, improve their English, and learn
more about Canadian culture. In total, more than 500 Mt.A students have
volunteered as conversation partners since the programfs beginning.
Do MASSIE students volunteer in the community?
Yes. During the last 2 weeks of their stay in Canada, the MASSIE students
participate in what is called, gCommunity Outreach.h Community Outreach
is an activity that is a required function of every MASSIE Program. It
provides opportunities for all students to become more involved in community
daily life but, more importantly, it provides an excellent chance for
everybody to put their English skills to use. Activities include job shadowing,
working with elementary, middle school and high school students in their
classrooms, volunteering with local businesses and local community groups
and, providing Japanese cooking lessons to local residents.
Japanese In-Home Cooking Lessons
At the conclusion of every MASSIE session, the students volunteer their
time and talent in the kitchens of the community. Students visit the homes
of local families and share in the preparation of a traditional Japanese
meal. The event is designed to provide for a friendly exchange of food
and conversation between MASSIE students and residents of Sackville (and
environs). For MASSIE students, itfs an opportunity to make some personal
connections in the community and to learn more about local life and traditions.
For members of the community, it is an opportunity to learn more about
Japan and Japanese cooking.
What is the gAt Home in the Communityh Family
and Student-Pairing Project?
During the summer, the MASSIE Program matches pairs of students with local
families. The families take on an adoptive role with one pair of students
and invite them to their homes on a bi-weekly basis from May to August.
The idea of the Family & Student-Pairing Project began as an initiative
to get the students out of the residence and into the community so that
their Canadian cultural experience would be a more personal one. As the
summer students donft have roommates, this project has been a successful
way for the students and community members to meet and interact.
How many Program Coordinators have there been
since the Programfs beginning in 2000?
Three. Anne Semple (2000-2003), Adam Christie (2003-2010), and Robin Walker
What is the MASSIE Program Coordinatorfs contact
International Student Centre, 2nd Floor
62 York St., Sackville, NB
E4L 1E2 Canada
Tel: (506) 364-2176
Fax: (506) 364-2130