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Sliema, Malta

Program Description

Join us in "The Malta Experience: Exploring Sustainability and Resilience through Collaboration," one of JMU’s longest-running short-term study abroad programs. Over four enriching weeks, you'll become part of an interdisciplinary group of students set to explore Malta, delving into its environment, geography, culture, history, and politics with a lens of sustainability.

Situated at the heart of the beautiful Mediterranean, Malta's rich and diverse history spans from prehistoric times to the modern era. It has been a pivotal location for many civilizations, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French, and British. Each has left a significant mark, shaping the vibrant and diverse cultures and languages you'll have the opportunity to explore and engage with firsthand.

The Malta Experience goes beyond merely understanding Malta's past. It presents a comprehensive exploration of its present and future, focusing on key societal and technological challenges that this small, densely populated, and strategically located EU member nation currently grapples with.

The heart of the program lies in its unique emphasis on collaborative, interdisciplinary project work. As a participant, you'll have the exceptional opportunity to partner with local entities, including NGOs and research centers at the University of Malta. Working together on practical projects, you'll apply your academic knowledge to real-world situations, leading to the development of innovative solutions and fresh insights. This experience serves as an invaluable global context, empowering you to become a dynamic problem solver and collaborator.

Beyond academic and project-based activities, the program encourages students to immerse themselves in Malta's vibrant life. Excursions will expose you to a range of historical and cultural monuments spanning from prehistory to modern times, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The natural beauty of the islands, the varied local cuisine, and the unique village fiestas offer immersive experiences that ensure a comprehensive appreciation of the Maltese way of life.

The "Malta Experience" is an opportunity for a transformative journey that intertwines academia, hands-on projects, cultural immersion, and personal development. It fosters international collaboration and cultivates hands-on problem-solving skills integral to addressing the sustainability issues of the future. Embark on this enriching adventure and contribute to sustainable societal progress through the "Malta Experience!"

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Location Description

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, the island nation of Malta has a blend of rich history, diverse culture, and remarkable natural beauty. Comprising three main islands - Malta, Gozo, and Comino, this archipelago is one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries, and a proud member of the European Union (EU).

The strategic position of Malta has endowed it with a fascinatingly varied history. Its timeline extends from a prehistoric epoch marked by the construction of megalithic temples, through occupations by civilizations as diverse as the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, the Knights of St. John, French, and the British. This complex tapestry of influences has created a vibrant and varied culture, as well as a unique language, Maltese.

Students joining the Malta Experience program will enjoy the mild climate that makes the island a popular tourist destination. Opportunities for outdoor recreational activities are abundant, ranging from hiking, scuba diving, and boating, to fishing and swimming.

As a backdrop to these activities, Malta's architectural and historical treasures are ever-present. The island is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites and countless other monuments that span the ages, from pre-history to modern times. These features, combined with the islands' breathtaking cliffs and landscapes, have made Malta a favorite location for movie filming.

Equally enticing is the island's cuisine, a delectable tapestry woven from its Mediterranean location and diverse cultural history. The village Fiestas, with their unique culinary delights and social vibrancy, are a spectacle not to be missed.

In short, no matter what piques your interest, Malta promises an immersive experience that is both educational and exhilarating! Join us for an unforgettable journey through history, culture, and natural beauty in Malta!


Matthew Chamberlin |

Justin Henriques |

Bob Kolvoord |


The program offers accommodation at a student residence strategically situated adjacent to the University of Malta. This popular residence caters not only to students enrolled in local educational institutions but also hosts educational groups visiting the island.

Accommodations are designed in a dormitory-style, with most rooms intended for double occupancy. Every room is adequately furnished and equipped with essential amenities to ensure a comfortable stay throughout the duration of the program.

An added advantage of this location is its close proximity to a variety of dining options, catering to diverse tastes and dietary preferences. Just a short walk away, students can explore a wide range of food outlets. From local cafes and traditional restaurants serving a mix of local and international dishes, to familiar fast-food chains, health-conscious eateries, and charming bakeries, there's a multitude of choices to suit everyone's preferences.

During the course of the program, students will be responsible for managing their own meal expenses, including groceries and dining at restaurants. However, the program does include certain meals as part of required excursions and outings.

Additional Items to Consider

Malta is a member of the European Union (EU). Students must possess a valid passport prior to traveling to Malta. Visas or background checks are not required for US passport holders, however immunizations may be required.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director may be required

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

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ISAT 480: Sustainable Societies (3 credits)

ISAT 480: International Studies (in Malta) (3 credits)

ENGR 498: Engineering for Sustainable Development (Malta) (3 credits)

GEOG 491: International Studies in Geography (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.


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