Every year, particularly in summer, Malta witnesses an influx of foreigners seeking to brush up their English language skills. The most recent statistics (published in May 2006) reveal that during 2005, 61,607 foreign students descended on the little island. This was great news for the 39 English language schools in Malta as it signified an increase of 10.8 per cent over the previous year.
Malta has fast developed into an English language learning destination. This niche in fact represents 5 per cent of all tourist arrivals. Although schools are busiest between April and September, the remaining months are far from quiet. Students arriving in July, August and September account for 60.5 per cent of all students while the remainder choose the winter months.
The country's success in creating this niche market is evidently due to the extensive usage of English among the Maltese. Malta is in fact a member of the British Commonwealth, both Maltese and English are official languages and a large percentage of the population speaks English fluently. Language schools offer courses that range from general English to more specialised courses, such as business English or courses where students can learn the terminology related to professional fields like medicine and technology.
The largest numbers (almost 95 per cent) come from Western Europe, including Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and the Scandinavian countries. Since the late 1990s there has also been a strong growth from Russia and Eastern Europe as well as from Asia mainly Japan, Korea and China. Language schools tend to agree that Malta's success as an English language learning destination is based on various factors such jas the beautiful, reliable weather throughout the year; safety (low crime rate and no terrorism); high quality English language instruction; afford ability; the friendly environment; a relatively supportive visa regime; great entertainment and nightlife; good and diverse supply of accommodation.
Accommodation is normally organised by the school and students often stay with host families. If you are looking for student accommodation email us on students[at]heartofmalta.com