Malta, the Mediterranean jewel

In January 2017 I decided to change my life completely and move to Malta. I didn’t know anything about this country and my initial plan was to stay just for 2 months. However, I fell in love with it and I’m still here, after 1 year. It’s a small island but very multicultural!

 

Facts about the country:

There are two official languages in Malta: Maltese and English. English is a legacy of the times when the country was part of the British Empire. The country became a republic in 1974.

It lies 80 km south of Italy, 284 km east of Tunisia and 333 km north of Libya. The country covers 316 km2, with a population of 450,000, making it one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries in the world. The capital Valletta, which at 0.8 km2, is the smallest national capital in the EU by area.

Car ownership in Malta is exceedingly high, considering the very small size of the islands; it is the fourth-highest in the European Union and the average is 3 cars per house.

King George VI of the UK awarded the George Cross to Malta in 1942 for the then British colony’s bravery in the Second World War. This Cross continues to appear on Malta’s national flag.

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This small country has 3 islands (Malta, Gozo and Comino). It’s in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, very close to Sicily (south of Italy). This geographic position, associated with decisive historical events, gave the Maltese islands a very own identity when it comes to the landscape, architecture, culture and religion.

I would say that Malta is like the Caribbean in the Mediterranean sea, with Middle Eastern architecture. Or something like that. The islands are quite small but there is so much to see and do in Malta.


 

AM LANGUAGE STUDIO

I came to Malta on the 8th of January and I came as a student. I started my journey in an English school called AM Language Studio. My plan was to study advanced English there for 2 months and then come back to Portugal in March and go back to my old job as a tour guide at Sandeman’s Port Wine cellars (because it’s a seasonal job). My time as a student was great! I felt like I was in this bubble, living a totally different life than the one I used to live.

I met people from all over the world and we became tight friends. My best friend in Malta is Sara, an Italian girl I met back then when we were students. The rest left Malta already, but she stayed, like me. Annalisa, another Italian, stayed too.

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It was very cool to be independent for the first time and share the school’s apartment with other people. I spent some amazing moments with Ida from Norway and Evelyn from Hungary, we became like sisters. I had to learn how to cook, wash my clothes, clean, etc. We were always going out in Paceville and going to the school’s activities and I finally felt free to do whatever I wanted and learned how to enjoy myself and have fun 🙂

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During this time as a student I also made some friends outside the school. Patric was the most special one. He’s half German half Portuguese and I met him in Portugal, before coming to Malta. We started a casual relationship and we spent some good moments together. He was the one who showed me the cool places in Malta and helped me to settle here. I also met Pedro, a Portuguese guy and Cuneyt, a turkish guy, among others. I received two visits – one from my friend Carla from Portugal and one from my friend Oussama, from Morocco.


 

SLIEMA MARINA HOTEL

While I was studying English at AM Language Studio, I started an internship arranged by them at the same time. I worked for two months as a receptionist in a nice hotel called Sliema Marina Hotel. It was a very nice experience! I love to work in Tourism and have a direct contact with tourists. My manager, Pierre, was a very nice guy. I used to help the staff upstairs in the breakfast room and I used to love being busy. The view from the hotel was very nice.

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ROBERT ARRIGO & SONS

At the hotel they offered me a job at the end, but the salary was very low for Malta’s standards. Over time I made up my mind and decided to stay in Malta for the summer so I had to find another job. I met this guy called Vincent and he was working for a Tourism company, so he got me a job there, at Robert Arrigo and Sons. I used to handle bookings from old tourists that wanted to visit Malta and arrange everything for them – transfers, tours, hotel, etc. It was good for my CV and I met some nice people like Abraham, Giusy, Melanie, Sara and Loriana.

The job was boring but our group was great and we used to have lunch together everyday and have a nice time together. However, they started to quit the company one by one, until there was almost no one left (no one foreign or young) and it is a challenge to work just with Maltese people sometimes. I started to feel bad at the job and wanted to leave.

Also, when I finished school I had to find another apartment and I was not happy there either. It was in Balutta Bay, close to this job, but I was sharing it with a Russian girl and a couple from Poland and the guy was a horrible person, I didn’t feel comfortable sharing that space with them.

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EC MALTA

Finally I had another job opportunity at EC English Centres, an English school. It was a very good decision to move there. The salary was better an I met some amazing people along the way! I’ve been working at EC ever since. I met a lot of interns that I loved that already went back home, like Samy from France, Vojtech from Czech Republic or Marketa. They were like brothers and sisters to me. I still have good friends here like Sherif, Florian, Noran, Luis, Dulce, Claire, Marie (who just left), Mo, Rina, Hee, Keiko, Manuela, etc.

I was working for the Admissions department – Europe pod, handling the bookings from agents from Spain, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. However, I had a low point when they moved me to E-admissions (now I work with students directly, not with agents anymore). Now I actually prefer this position, because it’s more relaxed, but when that happened I was pissed and not feeling motivated. But little by little, I think I’ve conquered my place in this company and now I get along well with everyone and I feel comfortable here. We traveled together to Rome (Italy) not long ago, it was amazing to be given this type of opportunities 🙂

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APARTMENTS, FRIENDS AND LOVE LIFE

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PLACES TO VISIT

  • 3 Cities

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  • Gozo

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  • Mdina

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  • Marsaxlokk

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  • St. Peters pool

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  • Popeye Village

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  • Mosta

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  • Comino

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  • Valletta

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  • Sliema and St. Julians

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  • Marsaskala

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  • Ta’Xbiex

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  • Blue Grotto

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  • Catacombs Rabat

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  • Buggiba

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  • St. Anton Gardens

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  • Mellieha (scuba diving)

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  • National Park

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  • Ghar Dalam Caves

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  • etc

4 thoughts on “Malta, the Mediterranean jewel

  1. Olá Sandra! Gostei muito do seu blogue 🙂 Vou visitar Malta em julho e estou a preparar a viagem. Já anotei os sítos para visitar mas será que podia falar um bocadinho da gastronomia de Malta? Obrigada.

    Like

    1. Ola 🙂 Fico feliz por saber que gostaste do meu blog. Sim, claro. Esse post ainda nao esta terminado 🙂 Posso desde ja dizer-te que o meu restaurante maltes favorito se chama Ta’Kris, em Sliema, e que o prato tipico maltes e coelho. Se quiseres faz like na pagina do facebook e entra em contacto comigo por la quando chegares a Malta 🙂

      Like

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