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Sustainability, Technology, and Education in Malta


Kappara, Malta

Program Description

The Malta Experience is one of JMU's longest running short-term international programs. During the four week program, students from the College of Integrated Science and Engineering (CISE) disciplines (Engineering, ISAT, Geography, and Computer Science) and the Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (IdLS) programs explore the unique geographical, environmental, cultural, economic, and political issues that have and continue to shape Malta. In the required ISAT 480: Sustainable Societies course, students will explore the island to investigate the relationships between technology, economy, history, and culture and the implication of these factors for personal and societal sustainability. A cultural and historic learning program includes excursions to awe inspiring geographic features, prehistoric megaliths, medieval dungeons, Renaissance cathedrals, and Baroque palaces. Disciplinary field work project courses provide the opportunity for students to study and suggest solutions to important technological and societal issues under the guidance of Maltese mentors and JMU faculty.

Students will be housed in apartment-style flats in a quiet neighborhood that is conveniently located near the University of Malta campus, public transportation, grocery stores, and restaurants, immersing students in the Maltese environment and lifestyle.

Location Description

Malta is an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea that is archipelago comprised of three main islands - Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Malta is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world and is a member of the European Union (EU). Its central location in the Mediterranean Sea and unique geographical features has historically made Malta a strategic location for naval powers in the region. Following a prehistoric period of megalithic temple construction, the island nation has been occupied by the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, the Knights of St. John, French, and the British. All of these occupations have contributed to the unique, vibrant, and varied cultures and language (Maltese) of the islands. Malta is a popular tourist destination due to its mild climate and numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, scuba diving, boating, fishing, and swimming. It is home to numerous architectural and historic monuments that date from pre-history to modern times, including three UNESCO world heritage sites. The breathtaking cliffs and natural beauty of the islands has made it a frequent movie filming location. The cuisine of the island is as varied as its past and is significantly influenced by its location in the Mediterranean region and the unique village Fiestas are a culinary and social spectacle to behold. No matter your interests, Malta is guaranteed to have something that will interest and excite!


Keith Holland | | Engineering
Joy Ferenbaugh | | ISAT


Students will be accommodated in a furnished apartment at a resort facility that features numerous open spaces, two outdoor swimming pools, and internet access. Students will be placed in shared double rooms with two rooms per apartment (four students per apartment). Each apartment is equipped with a full kitchen. The housing facility is conveniently located within walking distance of the University of Malta campus, public transportation, grocery stores, shopping, and entertainment areas.

Students will be responsible for spending their own money on groceries and at restaurants for most meals. Approximately six meals per week (lunch or dinner) will be provided as part of the program during required excursions and outings. The accommodations include a full kitchen.

Additional Items to Consider

This program is targeted towards ISAT, ENGR, GEOG, CS and IDLS majors who are rising juniors and seniors, although rising sophomores will be considered.

Malta is a member of the European Union (EU). Students must possess valid U.S. passports prior to traveling to Malta. Visas, immunizations, or background checks are not required.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.25.

Students must be declared Engineering, ISAT, Geography, Computer Science, or IdLS majors to participate.

Application Process

For this program, students need to complete the online application (a $25 fee required), which includes:

  • Short essay
  • Faculty Letter of Recommendation
  • Resume
  • May require interview with Program Director
  • Official transcript required for first-semester transfer and non-JMU students.

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now Closed for 2016

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ISAT 480: Selected Topics in ISAT: Sustainable Societies - Malta (required for program) (3 credits)

ENGR 480: Advanced Projects in Engineering: Engineering Projects in Malta (3 credits)

ISAT 416: International Energy Studies: Malta Project (3 credits)

GEOG 491: International Studies: Geography of Malta (3 credits)

IDLS 391: Study Abroad: Malta Field Placements (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.