The transition to a new community – particularly one as uniquely demanding as MIT – poses a number of difficulties to the spouses and partners of MIT students, faculty, and staff. MIT spouses&partners provide a wealth of resources for those new to MIT and the Boston area, but it’s not just for new arrivals: through weekly meetings, interest groups, and events, MIT spouses&partners cultivates a thriving community that helps to forge friendships, cultivate camaraderie, and create a valuable network for its membership that encompasses both personal support and professional opportunities.
“In my second week here in Boston, I decided to contact MIT spouses&partners,” recalls Jackie Phelesteen, whose husband is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering. “I met their program manager and we had a long chat. She told me about the weekly meetings. And when she found out that I had expertise in developing databases, she asked if I would be willing to do one for their group. I began to attend the meetings, and I got more involved with volunteering and organized events.
“Now, after a year of being here and getting involved with spouses&partners, I have lot of friends from different cultures – three of whom are among my best friends, and we spend lot of time together. I now have a pretty busy life, I am more and more confident with my English, and, by developing the spouses&partners database, I added one year of experience to my resume. Plus, my husband has peace of mind from knowing that I have things to do and that I am happy with what I do. It is always great to have a community that can understand and supports you.”
Sponsored by Community Wellness at MIT Medical, MIT spouses&partners was founded in 1972 and is open to anyone with a partner connected to MIT, regardless of whether it’s a husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend. A full calendar of events, along with a helpful Newcomer’s Guide, information on work and volunteering, and much more are available on the spouses&partners website.