Partner Family Testimonials 

Alyson & Anthony Fromm

My husband, Anthony and I began participating in the MASSIE Program back in 2007, when our oldest daughter, Julie was not quite a year old, and before our youngest daughter Kaitlyn was born.  Anthony and I had spent almost 6 years living in Japan, from 1998-2003 and we were excited about the opportunity to keep in touch with the Japanese culture.  Being from a small town in Nova Scotia, there are not many opportunities to interact with people from diverse cultures.  We also saw this as a chance to introduce our girls to Japanese culture and hoped they would gain an appreciation and understanding of a culture that is quite different from our own.  

Since 2007, we have participated in the MASSIE Program 9 times, and our MASSIE Family has grown each year.  We have kept in touch with each of our “children” via Facebook and some of our first MASSIEs are now married - one recently welcomed a child of her own to the “family” (Congratulations, Chiaki)!  I guess that makes us “grandparents,” now!  Our MASSIE children are always welcome to visit us and a couple of years ago, were very happy to have Momi – one of our first MASSIE, come to visit us a couple of times while she was living for a year in Halifax.

We have loved getting to know the MASSIE students each year.  They are a fun-loving, polite, respectful group of young people, who have earned a place forever in our hearts.  We enjoy sharing our home and our world with them for the brief period of time that they are with us each summer.  We have taken them hiking in the Bird Sanctuary, picnicking at the beach, sightseeing at Fort Bausejour and Tatamagouche and many more places.  It is always a wonderful experience as we see our little corner of the world through their eyes!  

We remember all of our MASSIEs fondly and will never forget our summers with them. We miss you, Eri & Momi (2007), Chiaki & Sachiko (2008), Aya & Naoko (2010), Hitomi & Shiori (2011), Nozomi, Yuriko & Marina (2012), Riho & Rina (2013), Kanae & Yumiko (2014), Hiromi & Yoko (2016)! We will miss you, too, Nanami & Mika (2017)!

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Ruth Buckinger & Peter Carroll
(Summer 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013)

Summer 2009 was our first experience as a MASSIE host family. We expected to enjoy a pleasant cultural exchange. What we were unprepared for was how thoroughly delightful the experience would be.From our first meeting, our two MASSIE girls, Chihiro and Yumi, made a positive impression. They were unfailingly polite and respectful. They were also cheerful, appreciative, enthusiastic and curious. As we were getting to know each other we went on a few outings (a high school musical, a Moncton shopping trip, a foray to Frenchy’s, a picnic at the beach), but mostly we just relaxed together at home, sharing meals and good conversation. The girls quickly made themselves at home: cooking, eating, napping, laughing, teasing and being teased. They fit right in and brightened our lives. Our original commitment to MASSIE was to meet with the girls at least once a month. But spending time together was such a pleasure that we ended up getting together almost every week.

By the time we had to say our reluctant good-byes, the girls had both become very dear to us. In May we said hello to MASSIE students, but in August we said good-bye to new-found daughters. As Yumi and Chihiro wrote in their farewell card, “We are family.”  We wholeheartedly recommend the MASSIE host family experience. To us it was an unexpected gift.

Jon Parsons & Carla VanBeselaere
(Summer 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

How to explain why we keep coming back to be a Massie family.... Can you remember the excitement you felt the first time you went camping? Or how about the first time you first picked strawberries? How about the first time you encountered a live moose? If you are like me, those were pretty exciting maritime moments which have pretty much become old hat now. But with the Massie students you get to re-experience those "first moments" through their eyes. They remind you about what a wonderful place the maritimes are. Their excitement is contagious.

Don & Carol Oram
(Summer 2006, 2007, 2008) 

Choosing to be a host family in the MASSIE Program is one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences that you could give yourselves. Perhaps the first question that most prospective families ask would be, “What will we do with the students?” We have found our best times have happened when we simply included them in our everyday plans. Most of our summer is spent at our cottage on the Northumberland Strait, surrounded by family and friends. Overnight stays at the beach; drives to local “touristy” places (Pugwash’s Gathering of the Clans, the Balmoral Grist Mill, Cape Jourimain and the Confederation Bridge Interpretive Centre); motorboat trips to see the seals along the coastline; visiting with our friends, children and grandchildren; swimming in the icy waters and playing in the kayaks; sampling regional foods (lobster is a highlight); learning about local crafts; cooking Canadian and Japanese meals together; all of these activities give the students insights into our culture and way of life. Even better they give us an opportunity to get to know them better. Once they overcome their initial shyness and we assure them that all questions are acceptable, we usually have “frank and open” discussions that allow us a glimpse of their ways of thinking and being. We cherish the ongoing contact that we have with some of the students from earlier summers: emails, pictures and visits. For us summer includes MASSIE students.

Nev & Janice Garrity
(Summer 2004)

Our family experience with the Massie program in the summer of 2004 turned out to be much more rewarding than we could have ever imagined. We were the host family to two wonderful Japanese girls who quickly became part of our family and we grew very close to them as the summer went on. During that time, we enjoyed their company through regular visits and outings, occasional overnight stays, day trips and a couple of weekend trips to Fredericton to visit friends. The two girls enjoyed spending time with our 18 year old daughter and 15 year old son and particularly enjoyed getting to know their friends. Their return to Japan was heart wrenching for both the girls and our family as we thought we would never see each other again. Much to our delight, the girls have since returned to Canada twice to visit with us and we continue to be in touch with one of them regularly by email. We would highly recommend the Massie host family experience!