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Best Place to Study English abroad? Malta versus The UK – ESE and EIY
Where is the best place to study English Abroad?
Want to study English abroad but don’t know which country to choose?
In this blog we pit two study destinations – Malta and The UK against one another to help you to decide!
Why study English abroad?
Studying English abroad is a great way to improve your English skills and become fluent in the English language. By choosing to study English in an English speaking country you will get a fully immersive experience both inside and outside of the classroom – which will help you to improve your English much faster than studying at home.
England (& The UK), the home of the English language! What better country in which to learn English than it’s birth place!
English hailed from this small island hundreds of years ago and has been developing ever since as the international language of the world. Come and learn to speak ‘The Queen’s English’ right here in good old Britain! Think Hugh Grant and James Bond. Who doesn’t love a British accent?
Malta, a former British colony, also has a lot of history with the English language – so much so that English is one of Malta’s two official languages. (The other being Malti).
Malta attracts students and tourists from all over the world, as well as a large population of expats – with English being widely spoken by almost everyone on the island. With so many people speaking English as their second language, you will fit right in and become a confident speaker of English before you know it!
Malta: 1 – The UK: 1
It’s a draw! England maybe the home of the English language but English is also an official language of Malta so both countries offer a fully immerse experience.
2. The Weather
Famous for it’s lush forests and rolling green hills, the UK is also famed for its rubbish weather! Grey skies and rain clouds anyone? The UK can be wet, wet, wet for much of the year!
Okay so maybe we are being a bit harsh here as the UK does have a summer season too. Summers in the UK are warm and sometimes even hot…but they are short. Beginning in June, summer in the UK can see temperatures ranging from the low 20s- to the mid 30s degree celeruis. However by the end of August summer is almost over with September marking the start of Autumn. The leaves change colour, the temperatures drop and the nights begin to pull in as winter arrives. And the winters can be cold! Think ice, snow and minus degree temperatures!
Sun, sun and more sun! With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Malta is the place to be if you are looking to work on your tan! Malta is renowned for its long hot summers and short mild winters. When most of Europe have hung up their flip flops and swim suits for another year, Malta’s summer is still going strong! Starting in mid May and lasting well into October and sometimes even November! Winters in Malta are very short, lasting no more than about 3 months. Temperatures rarely fall below double figures and never drop below freezing. You will never see frost here, never mind snow!
If you want warm sunny weather and clear blue skies, Malta can offer you at least 300 sunny days a year! Who wants to learn English in the cold? Much better to leave class and head for a swim at the beach!
Malta: 1 – The UK: 0
No contest! Malta wins this one hands down!
3. History and Culture
With its majestic cathedrals and Roman cities, it’s quaint, charming village streets and rolling green countryside, it’s imposing castles and enchanting palaces, the UK certainly has a long and grand history. With Kings and Queens of old and many a battle or conquest, the UK offers history and culture in spades. From Buckingham Palace and Big Ben to Edinburgh Castle and Loch Ness, from Saint Paul’s Cathedral to Stone Hedge, to name just a few historical sites of interest, the UK is a history lovers dream. If you are looking for history and culture, the UK will not disappoint.
Malta has been conquered by just about every Empire and leading civilization over it’s long history. Everyone from the Romans, ……………..and ……………to the British and the British Empire from more recent times.
People have been living on the Maltese Islands for thousands of years. Did you know that Malta has some of the oldest freestanding structures in the world – with some of its temples dating back over 7000 years! That’s older than the ancient pyramids of Egypt!
The Knights of St John feature heavily in Malta’s past using the island for a number of years and leaving their mark on the country. The Maltese islands, traditionally a Catholic nation, have many historical buildings including 365 churches – one for every day of the year. History and culture can be found around every corner of the Maltese archipelago.
Malta: 1 – The UK: 1
Its a draw! Both nations have a long and rich history and culture offer.
Made up of 4 countries: Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, The UK is an island situated just off continental Europe. It may be a small nation compared to some of its European neighbours but with over 70 million inhabitants its certainly not deserted.
The UK offers large cities such as its capital London, with over …………living in this bustling metropolis as well as smaller towns and villages in the suburbs and countryside. The shoreline of the UK provides many different beaches and seaside towns along with the famous ‘white cliffs of Dover’ which welcome visitors heading over by ferry from mainland Europe.
They say that beautiful things come in small packages and this is very true when it comes to the island of Malta. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, just off the coast of Sicily, the Maltese Islands are often shown as nothing more than a small dot on maps of the world.
Malta is a tiny island if compared to the UK – measuring just ……………….by …………………… More people live in the UK’s capital city London than the whole of the Maltese islands combined! Less than 500 thousand people inhabit Malta and Gozo.
However being smaller has its pluses too. You will find it hard to get lost in Malta and the sea front is never far away. You can easily get from one side of the island to the other in just over an hour or so – making exploring and moving around easy and fun. Don’t let its small size put you off, Malta is definitely a hidden gem of a country with plenty to offer.
Malta: 0 – The UK: 1
If size matters then the UK wins this round. The UK offers many large cities and vast countryside to visit along with 4 different countries! However if you are looking for a smaller, friendly and more intimate experience, Malta has this in spades!
What does it cost to study and live in each country during your study travel holiday?
As one of the richest countries in Europe, education here does not come cheap. Coupled with living costs, courses in the UK can be expensive.
The cost of living in the UK is in line with other western countries so depending on the country that you are coming from, you may find it more or less expensive. Obviously living in big cities such as London or Edinburgh will cost more in terms of accommodation and transport among other things, as opposed to staying in more rural locations.
Public transport can also be quite expensive, especially rail travel, the underground in London and long distance traveling.
The cost of studying in Malta is often much cheaper when compared to countries such as The UK and America. This is especially true if you are looking to study for several months at a time. The cost of living is also very affordable and many schools offer accommodation within walking distance to your place of study.
Public transport is also very cheap in Malta with talija cards available to save you even more money each month.
Malta: 1 – The UK: 0
Malta is probably the more budget friendly option.
The UK is a safe country for a study travel holiday. It does not have the gun culture of countries such as the USA – the police in the UK do not carry guns and most people feel safe in their towns and cities. However due to the country’s size and population (over 70 million people) when compared to Malta, crime rates are inevitably higher.
As with all large cities and heavy populated areas, there can be increased levels of crime. When traveling on busy trains or buses, or walking along crowded streets in big cities such as the capital, one needs to be aware of pick-pockets and exercise common sense. Keep your valuables where you can see them/safely in your bag and out of sight of potential thieves. Having said this, in my 30+ years of living in the UK I have never been a victim of crime and always felt safe.
Malta is considered one of the safest countries in all of Europe. Crime rates are very low. Serious crime is also very rare. You are unlikely to be mugged or have your pocket picked. Indeed I have witnessed people in cafes leaving their laptops unattended while they visit the bathroom – not something we would recommend – but it goes to show how relaxed people feel in Malta and how little crime there is in the country. Malta is also a very family friendly country, welcoming thousands of holiday makers every year.
Malta: 1 – The UK: 0
The UK is hardly the gun-slinging capital of the world, in fact it is a very safe country, however when compared to the small island of Malta inevitably crime rates are much higher in the UK.
7. Things to do and see
From the bright lights of London to the rolling hills of the Yorkshire dales, from the Scottish Highlands to the beautiful beaches of Devon and Cornwall and everything in between – the UK offers more to do and see than you could ever imagine! With 4 countries to explore, you will never run out of things to see and experience during your study travel experience to the UK.
For a small island Malta is jam packed with things to do and see. Relax on one of the many sandy and rocky beaches on the island. Dive into the crystal clear waters perfect for sailing, swimming, diving and snorkeling in some of the best diving sites in the world. Explore the island with countryside hikes and rock climbs. Experience Malta’s rich history and culture in its many historical cities such as Mdina and Valletta. Hop on a boat to the beautiful island of Comino and the breathtaking Blue Lagoon. Take a ferry to Gozo, Malta’s sister island. Spend the weekend in neighbouring Sciliy – just a short boat trip away. There is always something to do on this sunny island.
Malta: 1 – The UK: 1
We will call this one a draw. Both countries offer plenty in the way of things to do and see and although the UK may be larger in size, Malta also offers the opportunity of exploring the rest of Europe in your free time!
Focus on Fluency
- spearheaded (v) -lead, head or front something such as a campaign or movement
- avant-garde (n) – new and experimental ideas in art, music or literature
- etchings (n) – Art work produced by the method of etching using plates or objects
- duo (n) – a pair of people or things
- ravaged (adj) –damaged or devastated
- ‘two fingers up’ (n) – the action of putting up ‘two fingers’ as a means of swearing or protesting
- omitting (v) – to leave out or exclude from something
- grinning (v) – to smile in a playful way
- midst (prep.) – in the middle of something
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