The smart guide to a language stay in Malta : all you need to know
Malta is a little piece of paradise on the shores of the Mediterranean. It is the place more than dreamed to make a linguistic stay and to improve his English. When we can combine the useful with the pleasant why deprive ourselves? In this small guide, Holingo gives you tips to help you prepare for your stay.
Malta in a few key points
To get an idea of the Maltese country, there's nothing like knowing your identity card.
Population: approximately 440,000 inhabitants
• Area: The Maltese archipelago consists of several islands. Malta: 246m², Gozo 67 km² and Comino 3 km². Together, it forms the smallest state in the European Union with 316 km². Malta is also one of the 10 smallest countries on the planet.
• Capital: Valletta is located in the east of the country. It was founded by a French Jean Parisot from Valletta
• Currency: Malta adopted the euro in 2008. It joined the European Union four years earlier
• Languages: There are two official languages, Maltese and English. Italian can speak in some places
• Politics: the President of the Republic of Malta is a woman. This is Mayor Louise Coleiro Preca. She was elected in 2014
But Malta is full of little secrets to come discover language stay.
The best time to choose the date of your language stay in Malta is based on the climatic factor. It's always better to enjoy an island when it's good. It should be known that in summer, the Maltese sun rattles hard. From May to October, the temperatures are high (very close to 40 ° C) and it is better to have air conditioning in his home to avoid dying hot.
However, in winter, despite mild temperatures for the season, the rain is at the rendezvous. It is better to avoid coming from October to January because of strong thunderstorms. We reassure everyone, the country has 300 days of sunshine a year.
In addition, the sun rises very early but also goes down very early. To enjoy the day, you have to be early. Even in summer, it is night around 21 hours. Well it still leaves time to enjoy Malta after English classes. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons to go there.
As in other places, in Malta certain customs or traditions can surprise. Here is a little preview. Transportation
For driving, the Maltese drive on the left like the English. They are not famous for being ace of the wheel. The code of the road is very little respected and everyone is a little law. You have to be very careful if you decide to travel by car.
Regarding public transport, it is advisable to learn about schedules. Especially on islands such as Gozo, buses only pass once an hour. Do not miss it! Especially that the drivers are not punctual. The state of the roads leaves much to be desired. Be careful the jolts! Food and drinks
The running water is drinkable but has a very strange taste. In fact it is seawater that is desalinated. It is quite special and many tourists prefer to buy bottled water. A question of habit we will say! The local beer is called the Cisk. We pronounce it "tchisk". It will delight fans. To consume with moderation of course!
Coffee fans will savor the hot natural drink or with a little cinnamon, orange blossom, clove or anise. And the lighthouse of summer is simply ruggata, almond milk diluted in fresh water.
Tipping is a common practice in Malta. If the service is good, customers generally leave between 5 and 10% of the bill. If the addition is already substantial, it is not really necessary to add something for the servers.
Maltese have a typical dish that is fenkata. A rabbit cooked slowly with red wine ... For those who do not adhere too much, there are also pastizzi. They are small puff pastries with ricotta cheese. Or it will be a sandwich with vegetables from the sun. Want to sweet? We are tempted by the local date pastry: the imqaret.
Many shops and restaurants do not take the blue card. It is not really necessary in Malta but in Comino or Gozo, it is better to have liquid on oneself because the distributors do not run the streets.
Many grocery stores populate the alleys. They are generally open very early in the morning, around 6 o'clock. Small traders close around noon and reopen at the end of the day. The heat forces them to adopt this rhythm.
Shopping malls and other shops have schedules similar to France. A classic 9h-19h. Sometimes, especially in high season, some stay open until 22 hours.
Malta was an English colony. It is for this reason that English is the second official language. This membership is felt on the architecture. The buildings are very British. There are even red phone booths.
There are many abandoned buildings, abandoned in full construction. These abandonments are not due to an economic crisis but rather to laws on buildings voted hastily. The real estate market is really suffering from these sudden and unpredictable regulations. The diameter of the dome of St. Mary's Church in Mosta is one of the largest in Europe with an inside diameter of 37.2 meters. An architectural feat that hits the mark.
One of the oldest archaeological sites in the world are on the island of Gozo. It is obviously classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temples of Ggantija are not to be missed during a language study stay in Malta. They are older than the pyramids of Egypt as they date back to 5,000 BC. The Catholic religion is very present here. 90% of the population is believers and many churches, more than 350, can be visited.
The Maltese flag is red and white, it symbolizes the heroism of the inhabitants during the Second World War. There is also a cross on the top left. This is the George Cross awarded by the King of England. The Maltese cross is a very strong symbol. Its eight branches represent: truth, faith, repentance, humility, justice, charity, sincerity and resistance to persecution.
Malta holds the safest island in the world: Gozo. The locals trust each other and it is common to leave his car open, handbag in plain view. There are very few robberies and violence in general. Prohibitions
The archipelago is famous for its fireworks. Maltese are very fond of this kind of pyrotechnic show. The appointments are numerous and seduce young and old. It is not uncommon to hear small detonations even during the day. It's about tests do not panic!
Music and events
Here we love to party and listen to music. There is a popular and traditional folk music called Ghanest. The Carnival of Malta is one of the oldest in the world, celebrated since 1535.
The national holiday is celebrated on September 21st because it is the day when the country took its independence. No English classes planned that day !
The "Hollywood of the Mediterranean" is the small name given to Malta. Why ? Simply because the island is the setting for many film shoots. You can see the Maltese landscapes in James Bond, Gladiator or Game of Thrones.
To bring a little something back to loved ones, nothing like local products. Lace for example is one of the most famous in the world. There are also a lot of objects made from blown glass.
The names of the streets are not necessarily visible in the street. The houses have names. The numbers follow each other, there is no odd or even side as in France.
The roofs are flat to collect rainwater. There are no shutters on the windows, so the heat is always inside.
And electrical outlets ... Better to buy an adapter because the sockets are different from the French ones. These are the same as in England.
The country has not finished surprising us. But in addition to being warm and welcoming, it also gives a great place to learning English. Which makes it a destination of choice for a language course.
Malta and English
Choosing Malta as part of a language course is not trivial. It is a very good place to learn English for a variety of reasons.
First of all, Malta was for 150 years an archipelago under the British Empire. The locals speak English fluently, it is their second official language but it is much more spoken than Maltese. It is only since 1964 that the country is independent.
48 establishments dedicated to learning the English language are located in Malta. They are spread all over the island. At Holingo, the destinations are varied: Swieqi, St. Paul's Bay, St Julians or Tas Sliema. All of these cities have renowned schools to learn English correctly and quickly. More than 75,000 people come each year to learn English in Malta. It is a destination that seduces more and more people wanting to make a language study trip. There is very little to think about Malta for a language course and yet it is one of the ideal places to learn English.