My MLI Experience

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Ilinca-MLI

by Ilinca

After having been involved with MLI for the past three years, as a host sister and a Canadian Assistant, I can easily say that it has been a very rewarding experience. As a host family, we have an opportunity to get to know and really connect with a foreign student. By welcoming them into our family for the period of time that they are here, we are their gateway to Canadian culture and we are able to share our language and heritage. It is also a great way to learn about another culture and an amazing way to make a friend out of someone who we would not have otherwise met. IMG_0119As a Canadian Assistant, the experience is slightly different. During class hours, the job of an assistant is to be both a teacher and a student. We are there to help the ESL teacher deliver the course but we are also there to be a friend to the students. We sit amongst them in the class and encourage them to speak English and to participate fully in all activities. In doing so, we get to know the students on a more personal level and make real friendships.

Both types of experiences are extremely worthwhile and I would highly recommend it to anyone to take part in the MLI program.

Some of the friends you make may last a lifetime; for example I still keep in touch with some of the students I have had the privilege of working with two summers ago. In any case, this is a very unique opportunity that everyone should get to be a part of!

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My MLI experience

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by Pia Knappstein Knappstein_pia

I’m Pia and I’m from Germany. My Muskoka Language International experience is not the traditional student experience, but rather a university student experience. What I’m doing is an internship. I have now been with the company for over two months and I feel it has been one of the best decisions that I have made.

When I was 16, my parents gave me the chance to spend 9 months abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. That was when I fell in love with travelling, going abroad and getting to know new cultures. That is also the reason, why I came to Canada to do my internship. I knew that I wanted to do the curricular internship for university abroad and when my boyfriend was accepted in a laboratory here, I had to take the chance.

And now I’m here. And I love it.

So far, what I can tell you about MLI is that it is fun! The team is absolutely fantastic.

The first person I got in touch with was Kathy. I called her from Germany and the first impression was lovely. Every time we talked I was more and more looking forward to go to Canada. She made me feel welcome and valued before I came and she did not disappoint me once I arrived. Every time we talked on Skype I was more and more excited about what was to come.

When Cindy picked me up from the airport, she talked about Muskoka Language International as “the family”. I think that is just the right term for the company. Kathy welcomed me with a hug, I had a long chat with Mike about the company history and we had lots of cake – which was a really nice thing, of course.

I am working for Muskoka Language International with Michelle on social media. When I came, the media presence was… interesting. We started setting up all the different networks, went through all the material and sent many organisational emails. Going through all the photos and videos, I was reminded of the great experiences I was given as a student abroad and I am now being given again during this internship.

iStock_000002411812SmallIf you want to know what the company with the slogan of small town Canada is about, it is really about family. What Mike, Bev and Cheryl want for the students is also what they live behind the windows of MLI. Everybody is welcome, it is personal and everybody is as valued coming as leaving. The team has built very strong ties.

Besides working with Michelle on social media, I got the opportunity to gain some insights into the other departments and understand the different issues that arise and see first-hand how people support each other in problem solving. I don’t know if this is just Canadian nature, however I never experienced this level of teamwork before.

After 2 months of work, I feel that I have now decided the business I want to work in for the rest of my life. I am very much looking forward to all that is still to come. I can’t wait for it!