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. As 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!