This small southern European country is best known as a popular tourist destination – but if you’d like to stay longer than a two-week holiday, why not choose to study in Malta?\r\n\r\nOne of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries, Malta is a group of islands in the Mediterranean Sea to the south of Italy. The three largest of these – Malta Island, Gozo and Comino – are inhabited, with a total resident population of roughly 420,000.\r\n\r\nFar more people than this visit each year, attracted by the beautiful beaches and lagoons, diverse watersports, vibrant nightlife, archaeological sites and picturesque harbour towns. Malta boasts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the historic capital city Valletta, the seven megalithic temples and the hypogeum (a prehistoric underground structure). Valletta is also preparing to take on the mantle of European Capital of Culture in 2018.\r\nUniversities in Malta\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMost of the colleges and universities in Malta are clustered around capital Valletta, on the north-east coast of Malta Island.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThe largest of these is the University of Malta, a publicly funded university which has around 11,000 students, including about 700 international students. The university’s main campus is in the harbour area of Msida, just to the west of Valletta. There’s also a smaller campus in Valletta and another on Gozo, the second largest of the Maltese islands.\r\n\r\nThe public university system in Malta also includes the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology in Paola (just south of Valletta) and the Institute of Tourism Studies in St Julian’s (to the north-west). Along with the University of Malta, all of these participate in the EU’s Erasmus exchange program and the Bologna Process for compatibility of higher education across Europe. The official teaching language is English, though international students are also encouraged to learn Maltese.\r\n\r\nThere are also a number of private colleges and universities in Malta, of which the latest addition is an international branch campus opened by the UK’s Middlesex University, in the Pembroke area (again, just to the north-west of Valletta). Welcoming its first students in September 2013, the campus is offering an initial selection of courses focusing on business, finance and ICT.\r\n\r\nFor students who want to develop their English language level, Malta is also home to a large number of English language schools.\r\n\r\nSee the latest QS World University Rankings \u003E\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLiving in Malta\r\n\r\nMalta may be small, but it’s also packed with things to see and do. The country’s thriving tourism industry has spurred on the development of its lively nightlife and cultural scenes, as well as a wide range of outdoor pursuits, from tennis and golf to paragliding and snorkelling. So, living in Malta promises to be anything but dull!\r\n\r\nWeather in Malta\r\n\r\nWith a Mediterranean climate similar to that of southern Italy or Greece, the weather in Malta is one reason for the country’s popularity with tourists. During summer, daytime temperatures are typically above 30°C (86°F) and in winter not usually lower than 15°C (59°F). The hottest months are June to September, and the coldest time of year is from December to March.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMaltese food\r\n\r\nAgain Mediterranean in character, Maltese food is similar to that of neighbouring island Sicily. Fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta and seafood are all key elements. Traditional dishes include rabbit stew, fish pie, bragioli (stuffed beef), and bigilla (a thick bean dip). Popular for snacking are pastizzi (savoury pastries) and ħobż biż-żejt (traditional sourdough bread with olive oil, tomatoes and a mix of other toppings). There are also lots of restaurants specializing in cuisines from around the world.\r\n\r\nAccommodation in Malta\r\n\r\nStudents enrolled at one of Malta’s public universities can choose to stay at the Malta University Residence, located in the small town of Lija. It’s about 4km from the main University of Malta campus, with direct transport provided (plus a private swimming pool). Other options for accommodation in Malta include private apartment rental or staying with a local host family. Each university’s international office and student support teams should be able to help.\r\n\r\nSee the latest QS World University Rankings \u003E\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nVisa requirements for Malta\r\n\r\nStudents from within the EU, the US and a number of other countries do not require a visa to study in Malta for less than three months. If you plan to stay for longer, check with your nearest Maltese embassy or consulate to find out whether you need a visa. If you do, the visa requirements for Malta ask you to provide:\r\n\r\n\r\n\tCompleted visa application form\r\n\tValid travel document (passport)\r\n\tTwo passport-size photographs\r\n\tA valid return ticket or certificate of prepaid return journey\r\n\tProof of access to sufficient funds to cover tuition fees and living expenses\r\n\tLetter of acceptance from a Maltese educational institute\r\n\tProof of accommodation arrangements on arrival\r\n\tProof of medical insurance for duration of your stay\r\n\r\n\r\nAll international students planning to study in Malta for more than three months must apply for an e-residence document, which is replacing the old identity card system. This requires many of the same documents and supporting materials listed above, and can be applied for after arrival in the country.\r\n\r\nSee the latest QS World University Rankings \u003E\r\n\r\n\tCapital: Valletta\r\n\tPopulation: 423,282 (2013)\r\n\tArea: 316 sq km\r\n\tCurrency: Euro\r\n\tOfficial languages: Maltese and English\r\n\tOne of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries\r\n\tA group of nine islands to the south of Europe and north of Africa\r\n\tJoined the European Union in 2004 and the eurozone in 2008\r\n\tMain source of national income is tourism\r\n\tMalta’s Kunsill ta’ l-iStudenti Universitarji (University Students’ Council) is the oldest national student union in Europe, founded in 1901.