MASSIE programs and courses | Mount Allison

MASSIE for each season.

MASSIE offers three programs for visiting students from Mount Allison's partner universities.

Spring/Summer (May-August)

The spring/summer MASSIE program begins in early May and ends in mid-August.

Highlights of the spring/summer program include:

  • 22-25 hours of class-time per week x 12 weeks of classes
  • 2-week community volunteer component at the end of the program
  • an opportunity to experience Atlantic Canada during the warmer months of spring and summer: outdoor festivals, beach trips, holiday travel
  • private residence rooms (single rooms in the same residence building)
  • residence assistants: help, support and friendship provided by Mount Allison student staff who live in the same residence
  • conversation partners: Mount Allison students volunteer as English conversation partners and meet with you on a weekly basis
  • partner families: local families volunteer to spend time over the summer months with pairs of MASSIE students
  • trips (e.g. Halifax, Prince Edward Island, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, New York City, etc.)
  • activities (e.g. canoeing, camping, white-water rafting, horseback-riding, hiking, and more)
Fall (September-December)

The fall MASSIE program begins in late-August and ends in mid-December. 

Highlights of the fall program include:

  • 22-25 hours of class-time per week x 12 weeks of classes
  • 2-week community volunteer component at the end of the program
  • an opportunity to experience the start of a new academic year at Mount Allison: meet students, join clubs, and be a part of campus life
  • experience the beauty of the fall season in Atlantic Canada
  • live in residence alongside Mount Allison students (shared accommodation in a double room)
  • residence staff: Mount Allison students work as residence assistants and house executive committee members to help and support you
  • conversation partners: Mount Allison students volunteer as English conversation partners and meet with you on a weekly basis
  • trips (e.g. Halifax, Prince Edward Island, New York City, etc.)
  • activities (e.g. canoeing, horseback-riding, apple-picking, curling, attending hockey games, etc.)
Winter (February-March)

The winter MASSIE program begins in early February and ends in mid-March. 

Highlights of the winter program include:

  • 22 hours of class-time per week x 6 weeks of classes
  • An opportunity to experience life in Canada without missing time at your home university (the program runs between semesters for Japanese universities)
  • An opportunity to experience the winter/spring term at Mount Allison: meet students, participate in student activities, and be part of campus life
  • live in residence alongside Mount Allison students (shared accommodation in a double room)
  • residence staff: Mount Allison students work as residence assistants and house executive committee members to help and support you
  • conversation partners: Mount Allison students volunteer as English conversation partners and meet with you on a weekly basis
  • trips and activities (e.g. skating, curling, skiing & snowboarding, snowshoeing, attending hockey games, maple-syrup tasting, local crafts, etc.)
  • An opportunity for local volunteering (e.g. school visits + international cooking exchanges)

    Classes and curriculum

    The following courses form the core of the MASSIE curriculum.

    During the summer and fall programs, additional courses for extra credit are offered on an optional basis. Classes start at 8:30 a.m. and often end around 2:30 p.m. 

    Classroom hours per subject vary per program.

    • The summer and fall programs typically offer 21-24 hours of classroom instruction per week.
    • The winter program typically offers 22 hours of classroom instruction per week.
    Oral Language Skills (5-6hrs/week)

    This course focuses on communicative language practice.

    The primary goal is to improve students' oral language skills and develop language confidence.

    It includes everyday conversation and discussion, individual and collaborative participation, risk-taking in language situations, role-playing, natural presentations (not formal speeches), pronunciation, and vocabulary development

    Critical Thinking in English (5-6hrs/week)

    CTIE offers students the opportunity to think critically about controversial subjects and provides a safe forum for discussion.

    The primary goal of the course is to help students understand and appreciate different sides of an issue and to then form and defend their own opinion.

    The course includes presentations, debates, seminars on controversial subjects, short opinion papers and essays, and research essays.

    Writing (5-6hrs/week)

    This course operates on the approach that writing is a process as well as a product. Its primary goal is to give students the skills they need to improve their academic writing.

    Students also read various texts to see examples of written English and to develop their reading skills and vocabulary.

    It includes brainstorming for ideas, thesis statements and main ideas, development of ideas, classification of information, essay structure and unity, academic research and documentation, and journal writing.

    Listening (3hrs/week)

    This course helps students to develop effective listening strategies through regular listening practice.

    The course includes listening for main ideas, listening for details, listening for accuracy, guest lectures, and dictation.

    TOEFL (3hrs/week)

    This courses helps students improve their TOEFL scores.

    It includes practicing exercises in reading, structure, and listening, doing regular testing, and receiving advice and strategic tips from the teacher.

    Canadian Studies (3hrs/week, winter program only)

    This course will provide a broad survey of Canadian life, literature, history and geography.

    It will be taught primarily by our in-house teaching staff using a textbook designed for this purpose, but allowances will be made for special guest speakers to come in and speak on topics of specific interest and expertise.

    In many ways, this course will serve as an introduction to many of the field trips and activities which will be built into the students’ program.

    Topics to be covered may include: Acadian history and culture in Atlantic Canada, Aboriginal history and culture in Atlantic Canada, Canadian multiculturalism, the geography of Canadian regionalism, and Canadian art and literature.

    Canadian Studies: Aboriginal & Acadian Issues in Atlantic Canada
    (optional + extra credit, 4hrs/week)

    This course will focus on Aboriginal and Acadian history. 

    It will talk about who Canada's aboriginal peoples are and what happened after the Europeans settled North America (the impact of colonization).

    It will then discuss Acadian history. We will look at life before and leading up to the deportation of 1755 when the Acadians were expelled from Canada.

    Canada & International Issues (optional + extra credit, 4hrs/week)

    This course will explore Canada's role on the international stage.

    It will discuss:

    (a) Canada's foreign policy
    (b) Canada's role at the United Nations, including peace-keeping and human rights
    (c) international trade, particularly with the United States and Japan
    (d) Canada's role in the global economy