One of the great things that drew me to the tourism course at Derby was the inclusion of a residential trip to Malta in the 2nd year, which was all part of the course fees!
Specifically organised for Tourism Management students, this gave us an opportunity to jet off with two of our lecturers, Peter and Iride, for a 4-night stay in St Julians to really experience what we have been studying.
We stayed in a lovely hotel in the heart of the main shopping, restaurant and nightlife areas of the town, which was a perfect base for our stay. Here we had the use of a great swimming pool and even a Jacuzzi – this was a welcome sight for everyone! To help us explore, we were also given a free bus pass making getting around really easy. In the evenings we were given free time to go out, explore and really got to know everyone on our course.
But this wasn’t just a free holiday!
The university had plenty for us to do to ensure, at least from an academic perspective, that we were really making the most of the trip. This included things like local sight-seeing trips and a more in-depth venture into the capital, Valetta.
This beautiful and historic city impressed us all for a few reasons:
- It was a vibrant and buzzing place, with breathtaking buildings and some fantastic restaurant and shopping areas.
- The shopping experience was great, with plenty of souvenirs and more traditional local gift shops around Valetta.
- Last but by no means least, we got to see where some scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed! As a Game of Thrones fan, it was amazing to be able to see some of the sets form the series. There are a few places in Malta that were used in the series, including Mdina and Gozo, both of which we visited.
Next we visited Gozo, a little island just off the coast of Malta, only accessible by ferry. It had some beautiful beaches and buildings, it was a really picturesque place. We had our own personal tour guide for the day and were transported around by mini van, giving us a great insight into the area. From here we had took a boat trip to see some caves and a place where blue coral grew under water, which made the sea look a vibrant tropical colour. Of course we couldn’t miss the opportunity to stop at the beach for a dip and some time to relax and unwind.
Peter had organised for us to visit the University of Malta, to meet students studying the same course as us, which was a really interesting opportunity. The University was great and we were given an all access tour of the campus by the students there. Later on, we met them back near where we were staying for some drinks so we could ask them questions about Malta and studying there. We got some great inside info from this!
The last day saw us attending the Mediterranean Tourism Forum, a conference hosted by top industry experts and even was even attended by the President of Malta. The event gave us a real insight into the tourism industry in Malta and we got a preview of the latest technology making its way into the tourism sector in the future, we felt like VIP’s!
What was great about the Malta trip was that there was a perfect balance between visiting places, meeting people and getting some free time to explore and hang out with our friends. I would recommend the trip to anyone as you get to know your classmates and lecturers on a more personal level and ultimately have a great time in the sun!
What more could you want from your degree?!