What is the MASSIE Program?
MASSIE gives visiting students from Mount Allison's partner universities the opportunity to live and study in an English environment for one semester or less. Through classroom work, field trips, on-campus and community involvement, the program is designed to improve students' academic and conversational English in a small-scale, supportive and personalized environment.
What does MASSIE stand for?
Mount Allison Semester Studies In English.
Who are the MASSIE students?
MASSIE students are typically 2nd-year students from Kwansei Gakuin University (Osaka, Japan) and Toyo-Eiwa University (Yokohama, Japan). The Program may expand to include students from other partner universities in Japan and beyond.
MASSIE currently operates on a closed basis and only accepts students from its partner universities. Interested students should inquire through their home university or contact the Program Coordinator directly for more information.
When did MASSIE begin?
MASSIE began with 50 students from KGU during the Fall 2000 Term.
How many MASSIE students have come to Mount Allison?
MASSIE typically receives 75-90 students per year. Since the program's first session in September 2000, over 1000 MASSIE students have come to Mount Allison.
There are two semester-long sessions, one in the spring and summer months (May-August) and one in the fall (September-December). There is also an abbreviated 6-week winter session (February-March).
Do MASSIE students speak English?
Yes. MASSIE students from Japanese universities have typically taken 7 years of classroom English before coming to Mount Allison. The program exists to give them an opportunity to improve their confidence and proficiency in conversational English.
Do MASSIE students take regular Mount Allison classes?
No. MASSIE students attend specialized, closed classes which run parallel to regular Mount Allison classes.
Where do MASSIE students live?
MASSIE students live in residence at Mount Allison. During the spring/summer session, they are assigned single rooms in the same residence where they live alongside Mount Allison residence staff. Fall and winter MASSIE students are assigned roommates and live in double rooms throughout campus.
Who are the MASSIE English Conversation Partners?
MASSIE conversation partners are Mount Allison student volunteers who commit to spending at least one hour per week in English conversation with their assigned MASSIE partner. Conversation partners meet weekly for the duration of the program (14-15 weeks). The Conversation 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, nearly 1000 Mt.A students have volunteered as conversation partners since the program’s 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, “Community Outreach.” 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.
What is the Japanese Cooking Exchange?
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’s 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 “At Home in the Community” 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 at least once a month 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’t have roommates, this project has been a successful way for the students and community members to meet and interact.
How many program co-ordinators have there been since the program’s beginning in 2000?
Three. Anne Semple (2000-2003), Adam Christie (2003-2010), and Robin Walker (2010-present).