MTA logo topbar.

MASSIE Frequently Asked Questions

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 Allisonfs 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 studentsf 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 classes?
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 MTAfs 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 studentsf confidence to speak and share their ideas. Itfs a lively class with individual and group projects designed to promote speaking. Listening uses music, dictation, the media, and the internet to develop studentsf aural comprehension and interaction. CTIE challenges students to think about/discuss difficult issues in todayfs 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 700 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 900 Mt.A students have volunteered as conversation partners since the programfs 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, itfs 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 Communityh 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 donft 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 Programfs beginning in 2000?
Three. Anne Semple (2000-2003), Adam Christie (2003-2010), and Robin Walker (2010-).

What is the MASSIE Program Coordinatorfs contact information?
International Student Centre, 2nd Floor

62 York St., Sackville, NB
E4L 1E2 Canada

Tel: (506) 364-2176
Fax: (506) 364-2130

© 2012 Mount Allison University
Maintained by the Webmaster
May 29, 2013
Mount Allison University.