Malta has always packed more into its tiny coastline than any other island. Situated in the very center of the Mediterranean, it boasts an enviable combination of beautiful scenery, frenetic nightlife, rich history and a people noted by St. Paul as “unusually friendly.” Malta is a cross between an open air museum and a hedonistic Mediterranean resort and remains one of the safest English speaking countries in the world. As a result, its popularity amongst students and travelers has been growing steadily, but what can one expect from studying or working on this wonderful island?
In contrast with the work possibilities, studying in Malta offers a plethora of choice whether you are considering a language course, or undergraduate study. Courses are cheap by comparison with the rest of the EEC, while educational standards are exceptionally high, especially at the University (www.um.edu.mt), which is one of the oldest educational establishments in the world. Learning, European languages or Arabic are the most popular choices, but there are courses available on everything from medicine to traditional lace making and handicrafts. Places at the university are limited, so apply early. Courses are always in English and, with the exception of law, all courses are recognised internationally.
There are almost 60 language schools on the island. There are schools in all the major towns. St. Julian’s, the nightlife hub, and Valetta, the UNESCO protected capital city, are the most popular choices. There are also courses available on the smaller island of Gozo, which offers a more rustic, sleepy lifestyle by contrast with the bustle of Malta. Regular ferries connect the two islands. Course quality is generally high, but some smaller schools in isolated villages lack the facilities and the buzz of the larger institutions. It is wise to spend a couple of days assessing schools in person.
English is spoken by the Maltese tutors with a quirky accent. It is based firmly on old fashioned, BBC-style English and learning here offers an alternative to U.S. style courses and pronunciation. For those traveling or studying, visas are usually not necessary if you are from a Commonwealth country, the EEC, the U.S. or Japan. There is a full table of visa exemptions below along with a link to the Maltese government web site for further information.