1. English is an official national language
The Maltese Archipelago was a British colony until 1974 and the influence of the British Empire led the country to establish English as one of its official languages. Its 400,000 inhabitants are bilingual and among the largest communities of foreigners residing on the island are British and Italian. Malta is currently one of the most prominent places to study English and pursue a higher education programme.
2. Country member of the European Union
Since 2004, Malta has been part of the European Union and has the largest number of English speakers outside of Britain and Ireland. Its strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea puts the island just a few hours away from important European cities such as Rome, Milan, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Istanbul and Athens. When studying in Malta you can travel freely through the 28 European Union states at extremely low prices.
3. One of the most peaceful and safest places in the world
Malta is one of the safest countries in the world. Its inhabitants and residents are very friendly, respectful and well educated people in most cases. The crime rate on the island is one of the lowest in Europe, and besides that it has also been listed as one of the places where natural disasters are less likely to occur.
4. Extremely economical
Unlike other English-speaking countries, Malta is one of the cheapest to live and study. Prices for accommodation and food are affordable and students get special deals in restaurants, gyms and are able to take part in different activities. Public transport also offers special rates for those who are enrolled in academic programmes of a minimum duration of 3 months.
5. High-quality education
Malta has a large influx of students from all over the world with thanks to the quality of its programmes and the presence of international educational institutions like the London School of Commerce (LSC Malta) www.lscmalta.edu.mt, which in addition to offering English programmes, offers a Bachelor (Hons) Business Management Studies and a Master of Business Administration in association with globally recognised British Universities.
6. Breathtaking places and landscapes
With a privileged location in the Mediterranean sea, Malta has medieval cities and landscapes that have attracted the attention of dozens of filmmakers. ‘Murder on the orient express’, ‘Gladiator’, ‘Troy’, ‘Agora’ and ‘Popeye the sailor man’ are some of the films that have been shot on the island. Even one of the most viewed series in the world: ‘Game of Thrones’, chose it as the setting for one of its first episodes. There are hundreds of places to visit, festivals, and other activities that can be found in Malta, Gozo and Comino.
7. Perfect climate
Malta is privileged with approximately 300 days of sunny weather a year. Unlike other European countries, the island does not experience very low temperatures during winter. January and February are the coldest months of the year with temperatures between 10 °C and 15 °C during the day.
8. Students from all over the world
The fact that Malta is the only English-speaking country in the European Union outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland, gives it popularity all over the world, especially in the student communities looking for opportunities to study English or pursue higher education programmes.
9. European Capital of Culture
Malta has been chosen to be the European Capital of Culture for 2018. This title set the scene for hundreds of international activities and events. Its capital Valletta, will receive different types of artistic performances, such as a biennial of contemporary art, music festivals and film shows.
Before going to Malta
1.It’s crowded. Malta is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with 423,000 souls packed into an area one-tenth the size of Rhode Island and one-fifth the size of Greater London. Most live on the congested island of Malta, with a few more spread onto the calmer Gozo, and the rest — all three of them — on Comino. But there’s still space for visitors: Tourism took off in the early 1960s and now accounts for 12% of Malta’s GDP. Its photogenic, ancient cities (the capital, Valletta, is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site) and turquoise lagoons and beaches keep travelers coming.
2. The Knights put Malta on the map.Malta is the navel of the Mediterranean, floating in the sea between Sicily and Libya. An ancient temple-building civilization, later Phoenician, Roman, Arab, Norman, and Aragonese occupations all made some mark on Maltese culture and left an impressive collection of UNESCO-anointed sites. Then for a couple of centuries from 1530, the Order of the Knights of St. John–originally hospitallers recruited from Europe’s noble families accompanying pilgrims during the Crusades–ruled Malta, pulling it culturally towards Europe and transforming it into a maritime power that gave the Ottomans a run for their money. The noble Knights also, quite literally, furnished Malta with Europe’s finest art and architecture. With the Knights’ power on the wane a couple of centuries later, Napoleon took the islands with little resistance. After two turbulent years of anti-clerical French rule, the Catholic Maltese asked Britain for help kicking out the French. The Brits, sensing opportunity, obliged, and remained for 164 years until Malta became independent in 1964. Malta joined the European Union in 2004.
3. Don’t follow the white taxis—they’re bad news.Locals give these a wide berth, for good reason. The white cabs at the airport are expensive, and the drivers are rude and slack about switching their meters on. It’s smarter to use one of the cab companies that do online bookings. Ecabs and John’s are both reliable. Buses are a cheap alternative and cover almost everywhere, and there is a limited night service too. (Malta also has one of the densest road networks in the world.)
4. IN summer, you can’t avoid the festa.All Maltese towns and villages celebrate their patron saint in style with weeklong activities leading up to feast day, which climaxes with a procession, music, and fireworks. The most impressive fireworks displays are in the south of the island, where the villages of Żurrieq, Mqabba, Qrendi, Għaxaq, and Gudja compete fiercely. Santa Marija in August brings fireworks geeks from all over, because several feasts are celebrated simultaneously, naturally with fireworks befitting the occasion.
5. Malta’s bathing waters are the cleanest in Europe.This is thanks to sewage treatment plants part-financed by the EU. But the most popular sandy beaches are near large hotels and can get quite crowded in summer; Comino’s famed Blue Lagoon is swarmed with day-trippers during weekends. Gozo has just one large sandy beach but is blessed with a good number of secluded rocky coves. Għajn Barrani, also in Gozo, is a good candidate for a secluded beachy getaway: a perfectly flat rock shelf with some huge boulders that provide welcome shade. There are no amenities, and it’s a kilometer (just over half a mile) on foot to get there, the last part on clay slopes. Blissfully, it’s not signposted either.