The Maltese archipelago guarantees a study abroad experience that will make any history buff squeal with delight. Due to its location in the Mediterranean, Malta played a key role during the bombardment of WWII and has significant Arabic, British, and Roman influences. Walled cities, crumbling fortresses, and fortifications speak to distant memories of violence in a now peaceful country. Promising a quick commute to the sea, affordable prices, and an English-speaking population, study abroad in Malta is an ideal choice for those looking to explore cultural studies and gain international experience.
A small country roughly double the size of Washington D.C., Malta still offers a diverse set of locations for study abroad. Students can experience a variety of environments during their time in Malta, it all depends on what type of experience they desire. Cities in Malta are densely populated, and therefore feel surprisingly metropolitan. Many small villages still exist, however, especially on the smaller island of Gozo.
Sliema, the second largest city in Malta, provides students with the opportunity to live and learn oceanside. Sliema is a major tourist destination on the island, full of hotels, bars, restaurants, and shops. Additionally, Sliema is known to be a cultural centre on the island, with a developing modern arts scene. Students looking for urban life will enjoy studying abroad Sliema, and all the amenities that come along with it.
St. Julian’s is known for its nightlife and hospitality industry, making it a hotspot for study abroad in Malta. This cosmopolitan entertainment district sets you up for the perfect balance between study and play. Individuals from large metropolitan cities will be comfortable in St. Julian’s, as it has a dense population and towering buildings and hotels.
Gozo is a smaller island just a 25-minute ferry ride from the main island of Malta. The entire island is easily traversed by bus (or foot for those willing to brave the rolling hills and humid climate). Communities are tight-knit and locals are wonderfully friendly. Don’t be surprised if someone pulls over to offer a ride if you are walking in the heat of the day. The University of Malta has a satellite campus on the island, providing students seeking an established institution with a more intimate cultural experience than they would find in the bigger cities.
Studying Abroad in Malta
Study abroad programs in Malta are offered throughout the year; although students may find it uncomfortable to study abroad in Malta during the summer months, when temperatures soar. Program options range from weeklong crash courses to extensive immersion programs, and their are specialty courses to consider too. It is in the hands of each individual to customize his or her study abroad experience.
Marketing students will find Malta offers a phenomenal setting to study advertising and marketing communications, with its blend of small, family-owned businesses and large corporations. The international perspective you will gain by studying marketing in Malia will be invaluable for your professional resume and overall career development.
Malta is a goldmine for those looking to study history abroad. With evidence of civilizations dating back to Neolithic times, Malta has since been under the rule of the Romans, Arabs, French, and British, before gaining independence in 1964 and becoming a Republic in 1974. These influences are reflected in the language, religion, and general culture of the Maltese people.
Due to the nation’s diverse and highly influenced cultural development, students will discover Malta is also a spectacular country for cultural studies and anthropology. Friendly and outgoing natives make for welcoming fieldwork too; it is normal and effortless to strike up a conversation with the local people, and they genuinely eager to teach foreigners about the Maltese way of life. Also worth noting, as a Roman Catholic country, many traditions center around the Church. Be sure to check out as many local festas as you can; these celebrations are tied to the Catholic Saint of each town and involve food, music, and fireworks!
Scholarships & Costs
The cost of tuition for study abroad programs in Malta varies based on the length of stay and program inclusions. Depending on the number of hours spent studying, tuition ranges from $130 to $600 per week, with higher level courses lying on the upper end.
The good news is the cost of living in Malta is cheaper than most larger European cities; this is especially true in smaller villages and on the island of Gozo. One can enjoy a pastizzi (a must try!) or other local street food from 25 cents to $3. At an average mid-range restaurant, expect to pay anywhere from $9 to $20 for a dinner entree. As an interesting note, salads are typically more expensive than other menu items like pizza or sandwiches.
Be cautioned: the economy in Malta has been suffering for the past five years, so prices and cost of living have been consistently on the rise as wages fall.
Accommodation & Visas
Living accommodations offered differ greatly between programs. Students who are accustomed to independent living may opt for apartment or flat style housing, where program participants often end up living together and quickly building friendships and memories.
Homestays are also a popular type of accommodation option for those who study abroad in Malta. Living, eating, and interacting with native residents will give you a glimpse into daily life. This housing arrangement also allows participants to forge close relationships with local people.
Visa requirements depend on each student’s citizenship and country of residence. For United States and EU citizens, there is no visa requirement for study abroad in Malta up to 90 days (three months). Malta does ask for visa applications from many South American, African, and Middle Eastern countries, however. Most study abroad programs in Malta will expect students to research and make the needed visa arrangements on their own.
Benefits & Challenges
Sand, Surf, and Studies. Malta provides students with the opportunity to study and grow in a breathtaking environment. Outside of coursework, students can learn to scuba dive, take in the vast history, and interact with the easy-going and hospitable locals.
Island Fever. Studying abroad in Europe often gives students the chance to travel and conveniently explore a number of other countries, but this is not always the case with study abroad in Malta. While flights can be cheap, there is only one small airport on the island. If you are someone who tends to feel trapped or claustrophobic when stuck in one place for too long, the island life might not be for you.