I spent three months on the island, situated in the middle of Mediterranean Sea. This small rock is called Malta. I have to say that it surprised me how small it really was. The length of the island is 27 kilometers and the width is 14.5 kilometers. During three months you are able to really see the whole country and even more.
It was perfect timing to leave Finland in September, in the beginning of autumn and enjoy the Maltese summer. When I arrived in 18th of September it was 30 degrees outside and still on my last day in 21st of December it was 17 degrees. So I can’t complain!
The Malta University organized practical training for me. The first seven weeks I worked in Mater Dei, Malta’s biggest public hospital. My workplace was at the neuro-surgical ward. The patient cases were very interesting (like brain tumors, severe accidents etc.) and it made appreciate life even more. My other workplace was in a health center. It was very different from the hospital and I learned many important nursing skills.
Working as a nurse in Malta means that you have to do lots of working hours. Workdays in Mater Dei were 12 hours long and in the health center up to 13 hours. So you basically work the whole day. And we also kept the siesta in the middle of working days. There was a room in the neuro-surgical ward with beds and sofas and after the lunch we took a nap. Way of working is also quite different from Finland. Maltese culture is not too busy and things take time. In my opinion working was not as efficient as in Finland. You could arrive to work half an hour late and it was totally okay. Gradually I started to like that kind of relaxing life style.
In my free time I visited so many great places with my new friends. At the beginning we discovered lots of beaches around the island. And of course we swam in the crystal clear sea. The beaches in Malta are also ideal for snorkeling and diving. On one Sunday we took a bus to the place called “St. Peters Pool” where you can do cliff jumping to a natural swimming pool. Those kind of days I will always remember!
Malta consists of three islands: Malta, Comino and Gozo. Malta is the main island where I lived and where almost everything happens. Comino is only 3.5 square meters and its main attraction is Blue Lagoon. We took a boat there and spent the whole day enjoying the sun and the clear water. The third island is called Gozo. Gozo is much quieter than Malta and people go there to enjoy the silence. And there is not as much traffic as in Malta. I joined exchange students’ “party weekend to Gozo”. We stayed in farmhouses and they took us all around the island. And yes, we partied as well.
During my last weeks we took a plane (only 30 minutes flight time!) and travelled to Sicily, Catania. The weekend in Sicily was amazing! We rented a house and explored Taormina and Etna, one of the world’s most active volcano.
All in all my time in Malta was really good and I felt lucky to be able to see so many places and meet so many great people from all around world. It was totally well spent time.