Get involved with MASSIE | Mount Allison

Discover the program from the inside.

The success of the MASSIE Program depends in large part upon the enthusiasm and dedication of its many volunteers. Whether you sign up as a conversation partner, a summer residence assistant, or a partner family, you are sure to come away from the experience with new friendships and and cross-cultural discovery.

In the same way that MASSIE has the potential to be a deeply impactful experience for the program's participants, it can be just as rewarding for its volunteers.

 

Opportunities for the MtA-Sackville community to get involved

Conversation partner (summer, fall, winter) - Summer 2022 MASSIE Conversation Partner Application is now open. 

Hang out, chat and make a new friend! Spend at least an hour per week in casual conversation with your assigned MASSIE partner.

SUMMER 2022

The MASSIE Conversation Partner application for summer 2022 is now open!  The application is below.  Application deadline is April 29th, 2022 at 11:59pm. 

In pre-pandemic times, MASSIE students who came to Mount Allison for a 15 week (fall and summer) or 6 week (winter) were paired with Mount Allison students who volunteer their time as English conversation partners.

Pairs would meet a minimum of once a week for an hour at time for the duration of the program.

There was no expectation for conversation partners to know or teach the formal elements of English grammar. Conversation was meant to be casual and the time spent together was intended to be fun. This was an opportunity for friendship, conversation and cross-cultural exchange.

Since winter 2020, we haven't had any MASSIE students on campus.

Summer 2022 will represent the first time that a group of MASSIE students will be back on campus.    There are 24 students that will join this cohort from Japan. 

Don't miss out on this super fun opportunity to be a conversation partner to a Japanese university student and make new friends around the world!  

APPLY HERE

For more information email studyabroad@mta.ca

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Partner family (summer)

Make MASSIE part of your summer!  

Help a pair of Japanese university students experience local life and culture beyond the classroom by applying to be a MASSIE partner family.  

What is a MASSIE partner family?

Pairs of MASSIE students are matched with local and area families (Sackville, Amherst, Moncton) who agree to meet their students at least twice a month over the course of the summer (June to mid-August).

The date, duration, and nature of each meeting is left for the families and students to decide on their own. It might be a backyard BBQ, a trip to the beach, an afternoon of shopping, or an evening spent watching minor league soccer action.

Families are not expected to go out of their way to make elaborate plans for get-togethers with the students, but are encouraged to include them in that which is routine. It's through this natural contact with members of the community that the students come to experience the language and culture in a first-hand and often unforgettable way. It's through this same contact that families hopefully come away from the summer with a unique cultural experience of their own.

Partner families are not host families. The students live in residence and eat on campus. Partner families help to take the MASSIE experience beyond the classroom and into the community.

FAQ

Can anyone sign up to be a partner family?
Yes. The word family can be broadly defined to include an individual, a couple, and a couple with children. Age is not a factor. More than anything else, the MASSIE program is looking to match students with families who have a genuine interest in the students and who can provide a safe, welcoming environment.
 
What sort of time commitment is involved in being a partner family?
The program requests that families make an effort to meet their students at least once a month but ideally twice for the balance of the summer (late-May to mid-August). Of course families are welcome to meet students as frequently as they like for as long as they like. The program leaves it to families and students to coordinate the timing, nature, and duration of meetings.
 
What sort of activities can we plan to do with our MASSIE students?
Meetings can include — but are not limited to — a family meal, a birthday party, an evening walk, a shopping trip to Moncton, an ice-cream run to Amherst, a day-trip to the beach, or even a weekend get-away to another Maritime location. The most successful events often don't require much in the way of detailed planning. The students are simply happy to get off campus and to spend time in a family context or home setting.  If families would like to take the pair of students they are matched with on an overnight trip, there is a form that is required to be filled out in advance.
 
How well can the MASSIE students speak/understand English?
The students have taken at least 7 years of classroom English. Their knowledge of written grammar is likely quite good. Where they don’t have much experience — or where they lack practice — is with conversational English. This is one of the reasons why we pair students with an English conversation partner and match them with families. By exposing them to English as it’s naturally spoken in a small-group setting, it’s easier for them to find the confidence they need to practice their conversational English.
 
When is the best time to meet the MASSIE students?
Weekday evenings and weekends are best. The dining hall closes on the weekends, so MASSIE students must prepare their own meals on Saturdays and Sundays. An offer to join a family meal on the weekend would be a great way to connect and share an experience. 

How can I know when MASSIE students are free?
The MASSIE program staff will send out calendar of events and activities that have been organized for group at the start of the summer.

 

Residence assistant (summer)

Live in residence with the summer MASSIE students as part of a team of Mount Allison student staff (paid position).

Experience summer in Sackville.  Discover another side of Mount Allison University through the international student community.

Each summer, the International Centre hires a number of Mount Allison students to serve as live-in residence assistants (RAs) during the summer months.

The MASSIE program has been running a summer program since 2001 and students from Japan have been coming to campus for a 15-week program during the summer months to have an immersive English language experience in Sackville.

New for 2022, Mount Allison will host a cultural immersion program in late August for degree-seeking international students that would like to come to Sackville early to learn about Atlantic culture.  These students will live in the same residence as MASSIE students and Residence Assistant's will be responsible for assisting these students with their life in residence. 

RAs are assigned single rooms in residence and are responsible for the in-house supervision and care of the  students in residence.

RAs play a key role in helping students adjust to and get the most out of their time at Mount Allison. They are there when the groups of students arrive and remain actively involved in the students' daily lives.

If you're planning to remain in Sackville over the summer, this is an excellent option to off-set the cost of housing and to make some new and lasting friendships in the process.

Previous experience as a MASSIE conversation partner, International Mentorship (mentor) and/or Mount Allison residence assistant is an asset.

School visits and community outreach

Stepping out of the classroom and into the community.

"Community Outreach" is a program designed to further immerse the fall and summer MASSIE students into the local community.

Through this program, students volunteer at various local schools, businesses, community groups, and organizations in order to apply in a more practical setting that which they have studied in the classroom.

There are two weeks at the end of each program (for the fall MASSIE program it normally happens from the end of November to early December and for the summer MASSIE program, the volunteer schedule usually runs from the end of July to early August) devoted to community outreach.

The result of the interaction between the community and the students is reciprocal. The students receive an opportunity to interact with a greater range of people from the community while being exposed to a new learning environment. The sponsors in turn benefit from increased exposure among students while having the workplace internationalized in the process.

If you are a member of a local school, business, community group, or organization and would like to have MASSIE students volunteer with you, please contact us for more information about how to get involved: massie@mta.ca.

Japanese cooking exchange

Get cooking with MASSIE

At the conclusion of each MASSIE program, students volunteer their time and talent in the community — and the kitchen.  

In exchange for the cost of ingredients, students will visit local homes and share in making and eating a traditional Japanese meal.

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 Japanese culture and cuisine. 

Food serves as a bridge to culture and communication the world over. Consider sharing your table and your kitchen with MASSIE. Opportunities also exist for cooking hosts to arrange a reciprocal cooking exchange that features Canadian recipes and fare.

To find out more, email massie@mta.ca.