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Should I Study in Malta?

As a resident of Malta and a person who has a lot of friends on facebook from other countries I get asked if it’s a good move to study in Malta. To which I obviously answer Yes! But that’s mostly because I’d like to see my friends in person.

So I found myself asking the question objectively: If I was living in let’s say, Finland, would I choose to travel all the way here to continue my studies? Well personally no, I wouldn’t. I’d stay in Finland because I don’t like the heat. However it occurs to me that my friends probably LOVE the heat and the beaches they can enjoy while they are getting a tan. I know, people are crazy right?

So yes, the heat and the beaches are two pretty good reasons to get on a plane and come and study in Malta. It also doesn’t hurt that because so many people think the same thing, Malta has built an entire business around that fact, so students are very well catered for. For example the university of Malta has a residence here specifically for foreign students. I’ve actually been there to visit a friend and it had a really great atmosphere. For one thing the grounds were very nice and had a real holiday feel (They’ve made sure there are lots of trees to give you a little bit of that island paradise feel) and because everyone was from somewhere else there was a lot of interesting socialisation going on.

So why is that better than a university in say England? Ok, first off I’d love to study in a British university that’s what I’d choose; However, I don’t really need that holiday feel… I’ve soaked up enough for a decade at least. Malta however has cultured a wonderful balance between having a holiday and getting down to some real work. It almost seems like magic but once you’re here you’ll naturally fall into the pattern of going to lessons, getting home and finishing your work and then going out to grab yourself some sun, sea, culture or clubs. There are reasons for this but let me not get into a lecture on culture and memetics. Let’s just say that the environments are specifically designed for students who want to study and have a good time.

Ok… So if I chose to study in Malta then I’d have a natural balance between work and play, Is that enough? Do I really want to travel all the way from Spain? We have beaches here too! And it’s also hot! Good question dear unknown reader. The answer to that is please let me visit you, I miss Valencia! And the second answer to that is Yes, there is another reason to come and study here. It’s a bit of a strange one but here it is: “Tourist population dynamics” or put simply, “In most touristic places you outnumber the residents!”.

Yes that’s right! In summer the tourist population outnumbers the resident population in place like St Julian's or Bugibba. Why is that a good thing you ask? Let me explain… When most of the students are foreign then there is a sense of camaraderie, It doesn’t matter if you’re from Germany or Japan you’re all still from the same place: Not Malta, and that means you own the place. Don’t get too cheeky it’s a my house is your house kind of deal, be nice to your own house ok?

Now this owning the place thing has another side effect and this one especially applies to language students: You will only have one common language and that’s English. Seeing as you can’t communicate in your native tongue easily you’ll pretty much be forced to use English more and more, Which is great, trust me. Yes you’ll swap a few words in your own language which is loads of fun and yes you’ll get to show people a youtube clip of a band from your native Italy (which is even more fun) but for most of the time you’ll be ordering coffee in English and setting up meeting times in English. The result? You will learn much faster. Also bear in mind that in Malta this isn’t just in the language school you are in, It’s everywhere you go!

So thanks to me writing this blog post; when my friends ask me if they should study in Malta I won’t just be saying yes because I’d really like to meet up and have a Cisk together. I feel that now I will truly be giving them an honestly correct “yes, of course you should”. So whether you’re from the Caribbean or the canary islands we look forward to seeing you here. Oh and remember “Mi casa es su casa”