English - A Reason to Choose Living in Malta
Many people choose Malta as a destination because one of the official languages of the country is English. This is excellent both for native English speakers who cannot afford the time and effort to study a new language, and for non-native speakers who wish to study English in an immersive situation, without the high costs and unpleasant climates to be encountered in other English-speaking nations.
In fact, every year, thousands of students from the rest of Europe, and even as far afield as East Asia and Latin America, flock to the Maltese islands for English study. There are approximately 40 English schools throughout the archipelago, mainly concentrated in the prime seaside areas of St. Julian’s and Sliema.
Due to this phenomenon, and because the main traffic of migration occurs during the summer months, the housing situation in these areas has a great deal of fluctuation. Many schools rent out their own apartments to students, while some students choose to find housing independently, especially if they plan to stay for longer periods of time.
St. Julian’s and Sliema contain a ready mix of housing. In former days, they were areas where wealthy Maltese built grandiose mansions along the seafront. Later, during times of economic boom, hotels and apartments were built up in front of these, pushing the more traditional architecture to the background, and the modern to the forefront.
Many of the older building fell into disrepair, but recently, especially with the advent of Maltese membership in the European Union, efforts are being made to restore the island’s architectural treasures to their former glory. New buildings, too, are being built with more care and thought; structures such as St. Julian’s magnificent Portomaso Apartments, with their sleek award-winning marina, stand to replace buildings quickly thrown up during the 1980s.
Maltese buildings are traditionally built of the same limestone that makes up the island itself. It is “white” or yellow in colour, contrasting with the “black” or grey volcanic stone of Sicily and Sicily’s structures. Roofs are generally flat, and are used as gardens and places of leisure and repose. Most buildings have balconies, either with open designs of stone or iron, or closed ones of wood and glass.
If you’re planning to come to study English in Malta, it is best to secure accommodation in advance of the summer. But whether you tend to plan ahead or not, you can always get the help you need from qualified real-estate agents, who will be happy to find the perfect place, from flat to farmhouse, suited to your needs and wishes.