Discover the heart of the Mediterranean Sea on the largest of the Maltese Islands. With over 7,000 years of history and culture, Malta is described as "one big open-air museum" because so much of its past is visible today.Visit the Megalithic Temples, which are the oldest free-standing structures in the world, and learn to snorkel in the magnificent Blue Lagoon.



Languages Spoken:

English, Maltese

Education System

HIGHER EDUCATION

The University of Malta, established in 1592, is Malta's only university. Today, there are some 10,000 students including over 750 international and exchange students from nearly 80 different countries, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses. The University of Malta teaches courses in English, and is one of the oldest universities in the British Commonwealth.

STUDYING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MALTA

Classes and Credit Hours
Full-time students at the University of Malta typically enroll in 30 ECTS units each semester. However, as an international student, your home university will determine the minimum number of units you can enroll in. The number of credits per course can vary, as can the length of the course. Courses may meet for only a portion of the semester, for six or nine weeks, while others meet for the duration of the semester. Additionally, class schedules may be a little different from what you are accustomed. For example, a class might meet for two one-hour sessions on a Monday and then for a one-hour session on Thursday.

Academics
Since the scheduling of classes at the University of Malta is more rigid than at U.S. institutions, students tend to spend longer periods together attending common classes and working on group projects. Emphasis is placed on working in groups and credit is awarded for team effort. Exchange of notes and study materials among students is a common practice within the various faculties.

Homework usually consists of keeping up with readings and reviewing lecture notes; professors question students on assigned readings. This style of learning may be more independent than you are accustomed. When in doubt, ask your local classmates about how they study and prepare for papers or exams.

Grades and Assessment
All courses or study-unit at the University of Malta are allotted ECTS credits, which describe the student workload required to complete them. Students may be assessed through assigned coursework, examinations, fieldwork, practical placements, etc., as detailed in the syllabi. If students fail to complete the necessary requirements for the course they will not receive a grade. Students who do not sit for their examinations or fail to submit assignments on time (without a justifiable reason) will receive a failing grade on their transcripts. Some courses may only grade students using a final examination, so it is important to keep up with coursework and attend class regularly.

Grades are assigned between A+ (top mark) to F (failure). A grade of D is considered the lowest passing grade. More information on academics and grading is available from the International and EU Office .

Registration
All visiting students register with the International and EU Office, once they arrive in Malta. Students are advised to contact the respective department before arriving in Malta to confirm that the study-units they wish to take are being offered. Students register for study-units online at eSIMS usually within the first two weeks of the semester. It is recommended to attend classes before registering for them, as to make a more informed decision on the choice of study units. The students’ portal eSIMS, gives 24/7 access to registrations, results and online processes. Each study-unit is assigned a level of study indicated by the first digit in the code, e.g. MAL1000 denotes that this is a level one unit. Students are allowed to make changes to their initial registration, but must submit the appropriate forms to the International and EU office by the noted deadlines.

Student Life
University social life in Malta is quite different from campus life in the United States. Most Maltese students live at home and do not have cars. You will not see many planned student activities or university-sponsored parties. Therefore, it is essential to get to know people if you want to mix socially.

Visa and Residency

STUDENT VISA

Students from the United States, European Union and other Commonwealth countries usually do not need a visa to enter Malta, but will instead apply for a uniform residence permit upon arrival. However, all students should check with the nearest Maltese Embassy or Consulate well in advance of their departure whether they require a visa to enter Malta. Additionally, you are also encouraged to check with your airline before booking a ticket to make sure you do not need to show a visa or residence permit before departure. Even though a visa is not required to enter the country as a tourist, some airlines will make you show proof of a visa before boarding. You should keep a copy of their acceptance letters with them in their carry-on luggage should an airline official request it.

If you are required to obtain a visa from the Embassy of Malta, it is initially valid for one year. Visas issued by Austrian, Italian or Spanish representations have a validity of up to 90 days.

ISEP participants who are not U.S. citizens may face different procedures. Contact the embassy or nearest consulate for further information.

UNIFORM RESIDENCE PERMIT

Upon arrival, you will register for a Uniform Residence permit, which will allow you to travel through the Schengen area while attending the University of Malta.. At orientation you will learn how to apply for your uniform residence permit, but you should read information about the process in advance. You should bring your acceptance letters with you to Malta as it is a part of the application process. Please note that you will be required to get a chest x-ray upon arrival in Malta as a part of your uniform residence permit application.

STUDENT HEALTH INFORMATION FORM

You are required to submit a student health information form by fax to the University of Malta International Office. The health information form will be sent to you by the International Office prior to your exchange. Your physician's endorsement ensuring that you are in good health condition and their full details are required. You will be unable to register for credit until this health form is received.

REGISTERING WITH THE IMMIGRATION POLICE

You must register with the immigration police (office outside Valletta) within 90 days of your arrival. This will normally be facilitated by the university. It is also important to register with the U.S. Embassy upon arrival so the embassy knows how many U.S. students are in Malta.

A NOTE REGARDING THE SCHENGEN AREA

Malta is a member of the Schengen area. Students should review the important regulations that dictate travel and visas within the Schengen area.

Culture

CULTURE

Maltese culture has been influenced by a number of groups throughout its thousands of years of history, including Phoenicians, Moors, British, Italians, French and Spanish.

RELIGION

The official religion of Malta is Roman Catholicism, and it is reported that 98% of Maltese are Catholic.The older population of Malta can be quite spiritual; however, the younger generation is moving further away from regularly practicing their religion. Religious holidays and traditions still play a role in society though, and some national holidays are based on the feast days of saints or other religious-based events. Other religious groups are also found in Malta, but their congregations are quite small.

HOLIDAYS

There are many holidays throughout the year, including some familiar ones like an Independence Day and Labor Day, and some more unique ones, such as St. Paul’s Shipwreck Day. Carnival is widely celebrated on the islands of Malta. The festivals usually include masked balls, costume and mask competitions, parades and many parties. Mnarja, another important holiday, celebrates the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul. Having been celebrated since the 16th century, some of the traditions surrounding this holiday have changed over time. Today, it is celebrated with food, music, parties and a torch-lit procession.

SPORTS

Football (soccer) and rugby are the two most popular national sports in Malta. In larger international competitions, the country tends to divide almost evenly between England and Italy when choosing a football team to root far, due to the historical and cultural influences of these countries. As for amateur sports, rock climbing is growing steadily in popularity. This is due to the natural terrain of Malta and because of Malta’s small size, the rock climbing is easily accessible to the population.

FAMILY LIFE

Most Maltese students will live at home. It is rare for adult children to leave their parent's home before marriage. Families are tight knit and important in Maltese culture.

Gender Roles

Until recently, traditional gender roles in Malta were very pronounced, with women working primarily in the home, and men as the breadwinners. However, more women now remain in the workplace after marriage.

Some female ISEP participants have reported men hissing at them to attract attention. The best strategy is to ignore this behavior.

Daily Life

CULTURE

Maltese culture has been influenced by a number of groups throughout its thousands of years of history, including Phoenicians, Moors, British, Italians, French and Spanish.

RELIGION

The official religion of Malta is Roman Catholicism, and it is reported that 98% of Maltese are Catholic.The older population of Malta can be quite spiritual; however, the younger generation is moving further away from regularly practicing their religion. Religious holidays and traditions still play a role in society though, and some national holidays are based on the feast days of saints or other religious-based events. Other religious groups are also found in Malta, but their congregations are quite small.

HOLIDAYS

There are many holidays throughout the year, including some familiar ones like an Independence Day and Labor Day, and some more unique ones, such as St. Paul’s Shipwreck Day. Carnival is widely celebrated on the islands of Malta. The festivals usually include masked balls, costume and mask competitions, parades and many parties. Mnarja, another important holiday, celebrates the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul. Having been celebrated since the 16th century, some of the traditions surrounding this holiday have changed over time. Today, it is celebrated with food, music, parties and a torch-lit procession.

SPORTS

Football (soccer) and rugby are the two most popular national sports in Malta. In larger international competitions, the country tends to divide almost evenly between England and Italy when choosing a football team to root far, due to the historical and cultural influences of these countries. As for amateur sports, rock climbing is growing steadily in popularity. This is due to the natural terrain of Malta and because of Malta’s small size, the rock climbing is easily accessible to the population.

FAMILY LIFE

Most Maltese students will live at home. It is rare for adult children to leave their parent's home before marriage. Families are tight knit and important in Maltese culture.

Gender Roles

Until recently, traditional gender roles in Malta were very pronounced, with women working primarily in the home, and men as the breadwinners. However, more women now remain in the workplace after marriage.

Some female ISEP participants have reported men hissing at them to attract attention. The best strategy is to ignore this behavior.

Health and Safety

https://www.isepstudyabroad.org/guides-and-tips/health-safety

Currency

MONEY MATTERS

The official currency of Malta is the Euro (€). It is a good idea to know the general exchange rates between the Euro and your home currency.

Foreign exchange facilities are available at Malta International Airport, 24 hours a day for incoming and outgoing passengers. There are also currency converter machines that are situated in the main tourist areas, including hotels and local tourist offices. However, the best exchange rates will most likely be found at the bank.

If you would like to withdraw money, ATMs, which accept foreign debit cards, including VISA, MasterCard, Switch Maestro and Cirrus, are available throughout the area. Whenever possible, use an ATM that is part of a branch, not a stand alone.

Major credit cards, including VISA, MasterCard and American Express, are widely accepted. However, as in America, they may not be accepted for smaller purchases, so it is best to carry some cash on you.

BANKING

Most banks are open between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Summer and winter hours may vary.

For foreign visitors wishing to open bank accounts on the island, most branches have a "New A ccounts" section open to the general public. A popular option is the HSBC branch in Tower Road, Sliema, which has a very good range of international accounts and knowledgeable staff. You will have to provide details of your home bank. The local bank will contact them asking for a Bankers reference and as soon as it is received your account will be operative.

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