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About Malta

About Malta

Malta, officially the Republic of Malta consists of the main island of Malta and the smaller islands of Gozo and Comino. Each Maltese island has its own unique peculiarities and attractions. The Maltese islands located between Sicily and North Africa in the Mediterranean Sea are inhabited by 460,000 people. Malta is in the TOP-10 of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is a popular tourist destination known for its warm climate and breathtaking landscapes. Tourism, together with financial services drive Malta’s economic sector.

As an EU Member State, Malta is internationally recognized as a safe and secure place, with high economic and political stability. It is an attractive cost and tax-efficient base for financial operators. This enhances the country’s attractiveness as a center for international business and high-quality education in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

History block

Malta has a rich history spreading over 7,000 years. Located south of the Italian island of Sicily between Europe and North Africa, it has been occupied by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, the Knights of Malta, and later by France and Britain. Traces of the cultures passed through Malta are still evident on the island. Built around 3600 BC, the Megalithic Temples of Malta are the second-oldest structures in the world. In its history, Malta was always strategically significant for the domination of the Mediterranean. Independence from Britain was achieved in 1964. The Maltese people were awarded the George Cross for defending crucial military bases during World War Two. Malta became an EU member in May 2004. Over the last 15 years, the island has become a main freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a popular tourist destination in Europe.


Maltese cuisine is exquisite and diverse. It reflects Maltese history and shows strong Italian influences as well as influences from Spanish, French, and Provençal cuisines. Maltese food itself is genuine and healthy, although it can be fairly calorie-dense. Being a country surrounded by the sea, fish is considered one of the most popular food. Beef and pork also are commonly used components in the most popular traditional Maltese dishes. Maltese traditional cuisine includes rabbit in various forms, usually in a ragout or stew. The Maltese definitely know how to work with pastries and sweets.

Maltese cuisine can best be described as Mediterranean with continental and Arabic influences. Starters tend to be soups, pasta, risotto, or dips with bread. Mains include pasta, potato, meat, or fish. It is advisable to taste pastizzi, a savory pastry stuffed with a filling of ricotta cheese or mushy peas. It’s a Maltese national dish available everywhere in the country – at pastizzi shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. This popular Maltese street food is usually diamond-shaped or round. Plenty of Maltese restaurants are now giving local food a modern, international twist as well as a beautiful artistic presentation.

Geography and Climate

Malta is one of the smallest countries in Europe covering an area of 316 km². Compared, it is about twice the size of Washington, DC, and would fit into Luxembourg eight times. The island group is situated east of Tunisia and about 100 km south of the island of Sicily (Italy). It means it’s quite close to both Western Europe and North Africa. Malta’s coastline is picturesque with many harbors, bays, creeks, sandy beaches, and rocky covers.

Malta’s climate is strongly influenced by the sea and is typical of the Mediterranean. The Islands have a very sunny climate with a daily average of five hours of sunshine in mid-winter and around 12 hours in summer. Winters are mild, and summers are hot, dry, and very sunny. Annual rainfall is low and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in neighboring Italy.


The official currency of the Maltese islands is the Euro (EUR). The Euro replaced the Maltese Lira (MTL) as the official currency in 2008, when Malta joined the European Union. As of April 2023, the Euro is divided into 100 cents and there are eight different coins in circulation, ranging from 1 cent to 2 euros. There are also seven different banknotes in circulation, ranging from 5 euros to 500 euros.

It’s important to note while the Euro is the official currency in Malta, every international student can use it in every shop, restaurant, museum, or cafe in the city. All residents and guests of the island don`t have any problem with using cash or debit cards, but it is better to have a certain amount of cash after arriving

Living Expenses

Malta has a comparatively low cost of living compared with other European countries. Malta is a cheaper and more comfortable country to live in due to its economic development and low taxes. Prices depend on what city you choose, your lifestyle and accommodation preferences, and of course spending decisions, but let’s talk about average prices. While students think about the expensive life in a European country by the sea, all of them will be surprised to find the cost of living in Malta for a single person or a family.

There are many housing options in Malta. Prices on them can vary depending on location, views, amenities, square meters, and overall quality of the build-out. A furnished two-bedroom apartment in the city center within walking distance of the beach cost approximately 800 € a month. The average cost of an apartment for two or three people outside the city center reaches 600 € per month.

As Malta is a rock island, most of the food is imported. It doesn’t influence the price of groceries and food. Since the country become part of the EU, it’s become part of the Free trade zone. The ferries from Italy arrive daily. They transport a variety of goods, groceries, clothes, pharmacies, and other needed for comfortable life products from all around the European continent. If students choose to shop at the small markets, they can really save money. The price of healthy and fresh food including meat, vegetables, fish, and dairy varies from 130 to 180 € per month. Dinner in a low-cost restaurant cost just 12 €, and a meal at a middle-range restaurant costs 25 €.

If students decide to visit any of Malta’s shopping malls, they realize prices are equal to other European countries. It means buying quality jeans costs no more than 50 €, and running sneakers from brands like Nike for over 70 €.

When it comes to public transportation, unlike the rest of Europe, Malta does not have a train system. The transport system in Malta is a network of bus routes covering the entire Malta. Buses are safe, and efficient and travel nearly everywhere. A one-way ticket cost €2, but you can also buy weekly or monthly passes gives much better value.


Average apartment rental prices in Malta vary from city to city. The absolute champions in the value of housing are Valletta, Sliema, and St Julians. As of February 2022, the average price tag for real estate rent in Malta is as follows:

  • Valletta — an apartment up to 35 square meters costs 680 € per month, 35-50 square meters — 820 €, 50-70 square meters — 1000 €, and above 70 square meters — about 1300 €;
  • Sliema — an apartment up to 35 square meters costs 550 € per month, 35-50 square meters — 700 €, 50-70 square meters — 850 €, and over 70 square meters — about 950 €;
  • St Julians — an apartment up to 35 square meters costs 450 €. per month, 35-50 square meters — 500 €., 50-70 square meters — 600 €., above 70 square meters — about 750 €.

Leisure Activities

Malta offers its residents and tourists a diverse cuisine, exquisite culture, numerous historic sites, and unimaginably beautiful views. The country has a beautiful Mediterranean climate allowing year-round outdoor activities. You can go scuba diving all around the islands. There are plenty of dive courses teaching beginners how to dive or guiding experienced divers around World War II wrecks, caves, and other underwater sights. Other water sports include swimming, parasailing, sailing, jet skiing, and speed boating.

All students can attend sports competitions such as water polo, football matches, and horse racing. You will be able to enjoy various leisure activities aside from the sun and the sea. Golf amateurs can head to Valletta, where you’ll find the Royal Malta Golf Club. If you just want to relax after hard work or studying, you can try walking, meditation, reading, playing games, and dancing. Participating in leisure and recreational activities can help you better manage stress and reduce depression, therefore it’s so important to have time for something recreational in your life.

You will love discovering the different aspects of the local culture, especially through the numerous festivals celebrated across the country. As culture is an inseparable part of Maltese society, you can also enjoy theatre, ballet, concerts, and many other events held all year long. At night, you will be amazed by the Maltese cities’ dynamism. Nightlife lovers can enjoy nightclubs, bars, pubs, and restaurants. Malta also hosts a few casinos in popular tourist areas.

Malta is a beautiful and interesting country with its own charm and atmosphere. If you want to spend your students’ years in such a place — we are sure it is worth it!

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