Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest.
A beginners Guide to Malta! – Part 1
As an expat from the UK, and having lived in Malta for just over a year now, I can relate to being new to Malta and all things Maltese!
From what to pack, where to go and what not to miss, as well as some good advice & tips from our students already here, follow our Beginners Guide to Malta, to get the most out of your stay with us at ESE in Malta.
Welcome to the Rock! ….So where exactly is Malta?
Ask most people from around the world (my past self included) where exactly Malta is on a world map and the majority would be left scratching their heads…..in Europe?…..somewhere in the med…..?
A hidden gem, Malta is located right in the heart of the Mediterranean sea, between Sicily and North Africa. Malta is part of Europe and has been a member of the European Union since 2004.
The Maltese Archipelago is made up of several islands, the largest being Malta, Gozo and Comino, inhabited by a population of just over 400,000 people. Malta is the largest island measuring about 28 kilometers (17 miles) North to South and 14.5 kilometers (9 miles)East to West.
Despite its small size, Malta has plenty to offer. With over 7000 years of history, you will never be short of things to do and see during your stay here.
What do I need to pack for my stay?
There are a number of things to consider when deciding what to bring with you to Malta. The first is the weather!
Malta enjoys a pleasant climate all year round, with mild winters and hot summers, making it very popular with students and tourists alike.
21st June marks the official start of summer but by April the weather is generally warm and sunny. The hottest months are July, August & September with temperatures reaching over 30 degrees. Think flip flops, sunglasses and swimming costumes! We would advise you to bring sun cream and a sun hat for the hottest months.
Malta has very mild winters with temperatures rarely falling below 15 degrees. December, January and February are the coolest months of the year when you are most likely to experience rain, so it is advisable to bring with you an umbrella , waterproof coat and footwear. Also the evenings and night-time can feel very cold during the winter months as most buildings don’t have central heating due to Malta’s short winters. So it is a good idea to bring warm clothing and night wear.
It is always advisable to check the weather forecast before your arrival to help you decide what to pack.
Other items to remember:
Passport and/or ID and travel documents!
Course confirmation letter or details and any certificates required
Mobile phone and charger
Laptop/tablet and charger (Free WIFI is available throughout the school and at our residences. Student computers are available at school during school hours)
An adapter for ‘non-‘British plugs. In Malta we use three-pin plugs so packing an adapter to convert your appliances if they are of the two pin variety is advised.
Smart clothes if on work placement (depending on area of work)
Please check our WELCOME GUIDE to help you prepare for your stay.
Transport………how to get around?
Malta is a small country and as such nowhere is ever very far away. Many places are within easy walking distance of each other and for longer distances Malta has a good public bus service, providing links to destinations all over the island.
During the summer a bus ticket is just €2 (or €1.50 in winter) and will last for two hours however many buses you ride or the distance you travel.
Bus cards can also be purchased on-line from TALLINJA for just €26 a month giving unlimited travel and works out better value for money for those who use the buses frequently.
Making friends and finding your way
Travelling to a new country, especially alone, can be a daunting experience. Will you make friends? Will you get lost? Will people understand you?
From the moment you land in Malta, our ESE staff are on hand to offer you a warm welcome. Our Welfare Support Services are available 24/7 through our School Reception Service, to assist you so you can have peace of mind for the duration of your stay.
One of our students Top tips – Make sure you attend the Orientation Walk on your first day of school and the Welcome Party.
ESE arranges a Welcome Party each week for new and arriving students. This is a great way to not only learn how to get around the local area but also make new friends. Our friendly leisure team staff are on hand to help you discover all that Malta has to offer.
English is one of the two official languages of Malta and is spoken fluently by the majority of the island’s inhabitants. The Maltese people are a friendly, hospitable nation and welcome thousands of visitors from around the world each year. As such, Malta is the perfect place to fully immerse yourself into the English Language.
Whether you are already fluent in English or have only a basic knowledge of the language, you are able to practice and use your English on a day-to-day basis.
So how can you improve your spoken English during your time in Malta?
Sounds obvious, but the key is to speak English!
ESE encourages all its students to speak only English as much as possible during school hours, both with your teachers and ESE staff and with your fellow students and friends.
We also recommend you continue to practice your English at your place of residence and during your leisure time. This way your friends become your teachers and you theirs, constantly learning not just from your teachers during school hours but from your friends and the people around you too.
You will be surprised the difference it can make to your fluency as some of our past students can testify:
“First of all it must be said that the 2 weeks I spend at the ESE pulled my English grade up. The progress I made during my brief stay is still unbelievable to me…”
Celesteiv, from Germany
….Anyway, all I want to say to recommend ESE school, I couldn’t speak English before ESE, but now I can speak Fluency. Of course it’s not Perfect, but for 6 months, I can definitely say it’s been really improved more than I’d expected..”
“…ESE Malta has been one of the best things ever happened to me. I met a lot of new friends (teachers and students). My English had improved from A2 level up to C1 for three months……At ESE I improved not only my English but my general knowledge by meeting and getting along with people from all over the world. I learned about many different cultures. ESE is the best mixture of knowledge, leisure, new experience and see life in a different perspective!”
That’s it for Part 1 of our ‘Beginners Guide to Malta’!
Please check out Part 2 for more information about where to go and what to do and see during your stay in Malta.
Focus on Fluency
expat – (noun) short for ‘expatriate’ – a person who lives outside their native country
scratching their heads – (phrase – informal) to think hard about something
med– short for ‘Mediterranean’
gem – (noun) refers to a precious stone (but in the context of the text)- something or somewhere special or outstanding
daunting – (adjective) something difficult to deal with in prospect, intimidating.
on hand – (phrase) present, especially for a specified purpose.
peace of mind – (phrase) a feeling of being safe or protected
hospitable – (adjective) friendly and welcoming to visitors or guests
immerse – (verb) involve oneself deeply in a particular activity
testify – (verb) serve as evidence or proof that something exists or is the case
check out – (phrasal verb) take a look at something.
Author: Samantha Dixon
About the Author: Samantha is British and has taught English as a foreign language in several different countries including Thailand and Finland. She has been with ESE since March 2016 and has recently joined the Marketing team as a Marketing Executive. Samantha enjoys being creative, painting and writing when time allows. She also enjoys spending time with her 3 year old son, soaking up the Maltese sun.
About this blog
Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest. Please feel free to write to us with any comments, suggestions or any articles you may have written and would like to share with us and our students.