Erasmus+ Cambridge 5 Studytrip to Malta part 3

During the final two days, the students visited the fortified city of Valletta and the fortified three Cities of Malta ( known as Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua) that are situated directly across the Grand Harbour. In Valletta the 3D Malta Experience film gave them a bird’s eye view of Malta’s rich and tumultuous 7000 year history. A guided tour of La Sacra Infirmeria, the Holy Infirmary of the Knights of St. John, gave valuable insights into the medical practices of the day and the position of women in medical history. Students were baffled by the tour guide’s story that women were not allowed near or in the infirmary, so as not to upset the noble knights. However, she argued the women were considered rather fortunate, as they did not have to endure the harsh medical treatments of the knights. For a moment the students were part of more recent history when they were allowed to take a seat in La Valletta Hall.

Here, on the site of the former gardens of the infirmary, Bush and Gorbachev met for the Malta summit of 1989. This brought home to them the pivotal role Malta has played in European and world history, and also made them aware that history belongs to the present and the future, not just to the past.

During a tour along the fortified harbour of Valletta and the picturesque streets of the Three Cities of Malta, our Estonian tour guide explained how Malta’s maritime history was shaped by the many foreign invaders. We visited Fort St. Angelo which is one of the boldest memorials of Malta’s strategic military position with its massive fortified walls and many lookout points as well as a traditional Maltese stately house. Our expert tour guide Joe told us that he was taking a group of Maltese tourists on a tour around our local Zuiderzeemuseum next week. It’s a small world!

Our students thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in the many historical landmarks and lookout points, but after a delicious lunch of ftira, one of Malta’s national lunch snacks, it was time to conduct individual research linked to their study profiles and learning outcomes . They visited museums, cathedrals and monuments in the multi-cultural capital in order to prepare for their final presentations to be given at the Chamber of Commerce the next day.

On Wednesday 5th April the students were welcomed at the Chamber of Commerce in Valletta by representatives of our Erasmus+ partner Stage Malta, where they excelled in presenting the outcomes of research done into the multi-facetted history, culture, economy, flora and fauna of Malta. Additionally, they also voiced how the experiences on the Maltese archipelago had challenged their personal growth and development by travelling and learning together as a group, had improved their English, Maltese and Italian language- and communication skills and had given them valuable insights into future careers and employability options in an international setting. After the presenting of certificates it was time to say our goodbyes and to start packing our suitcases for our early flight home to the Netherlands the following day.