University of Malta

Student Experiences
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Jennifer Deboy


I am a current full-time student at the University of Malta from Germany, studying Theology & Human Studies, which means that apart from my courses in Theology, I also get to attend many lectures in Psychology.


I enjoy very much to be exposed to so many ideas and theories of different theologians and philosophers that lived throughout the centuries.

My course in Christian Thought and Practice was brilliant, it gave me a very good overview of the most important topics and thinkers and we had much freedom for research according to our interests. The teaching was engaging and interesting, I really appreciated it.

Through my lectures and my own readings I developed a deep curiosity to study the different expressions of Christian faith through the centuries - I truly enjoyed studying and writing about the challenges that the Fathers of the Early Church had to face and gain an understanding of the context in which the Scriptures and the first Churches developed.

I can highly recommend to study at UOM and immerse oneself into a new culture, you will learn so much and start seeing things from a different perspective - I would not want to miss this!




Alia Iakovuk 


My Erasmus+ experience in magical Malta

AliaIavovukThere is no doubt that a student’s visit to the Maltese islands remains one of the most memorable events in his or her life. Such is my experience! The time spent in Malta is special and dear to me. This Mediterranean island taught me a lot and enabled me to live new experiences. I have made new friends who helped me to discover my real self. One basic lesson that I have learnt is for instance that in life there are always pleasant surprises.

I decided to do an internship in Malta since once in my youth, I saw a TV documentary about this wonderful island of Malta. I was amazed by what I saw back then. This had triggered in my heart a desire to visit this magical place. This dream became true when I was notified that I was chosen to do my Erasmus+ in late summertime. What a wonderful experience it has been! 

I will be sincere. I liked everything about Malta. Let me start from what impressed me much. I could not miss the mixed Maltese architectural styles ranging from typical Arabic to European ones. This plurality was evident also in the variety of food available particularly the local specialities complemented by Mediterranean gastronomy. It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but certain Maltese landscapes are simply spectacular. I was also struck by the kindly manners of the Maltese as recorded in the Book of Acts chapter 28 in the Bible.

Above all, the Erasmus+ experience served me to be exposed to a new reality. My placement at the Faculty of Theology helped me understand the life in the academia. Through my internship I experienced secretarial work, but in truth I touched the beauty of learning. My task was to transcribe a commentary on the book of Genesis written by Maltese professor just at the start of the Second World War. These notes have never been published, so I could see history coming to life under my very own eyes. Who would have told him that his notes would one day be published thanks to a foreign student on an internship? It is this thing that strikes me in particular.

My internship helped me realise that such experience makes one cross other people’s lives and that makes one reflect and learn. I am truly happy that having a journalistic background with a particular interest in Theology made me the right person to help out in turning the mentioned notes into an interesting book that could be available to the general public.

In this light, Malta will always be in my heart. Besides, I was able to experience and see with my eyes many of its corners. I have also visited all famous tourist spots. Thanks to some Maltese friends, I have also managed to visit places hidden from the eyes of tourists. There, I saw a different Malta and could feel its natural rhythms of life.

In the end, what counts is that while I enjoyed Malta, I equally completed my internship in the framework of Erasmus Mobility in a successful way. A word of thanks also goes to the best promoter ever John Berry, Head of Department and a Lecturer of Dogmatic and Fundamental Theology, who helped me throughout my stay and made sure that my experience would be a one to remember. 

I feel so enamoured by my experience in Malta, that while I will return one day, I would also recommend others to do the same.

Alia Iakovuk, PhD student of University of Wroclaw

Student of Evangelical Higher School of Theology in Wroclaw, Poland 


Emil Anton 

PhD studies under the sun

EmilAntonI came to Malta thanks to the Utrecht Network Young Researcher’s Grant. Both the University of Helsinki and the University of Malta are involved in the Utrecht Network, and once I got to know that, I immediately applied for a small scholarship to be able to return to this lovely island. I first visited Malta in 2014, having discovered many wonderful aspects about this country earlier the same year, thanks to the ordination of a Maltese priest in Finland. As a half Iraqi Finn, I immediately felt at home in this semi-Semitic land, and we were even contemplating moving here with my Polish wife Beata.

Back in 2014, I failed to get funding for my doctoral dissertation, but I did establish contacts with Dr. John Berry at the University of Malta. On November 1st in 2016, Fr. John was there to pick me up from the Luqa airport and drive me to the Archbishop's Seminary, where I would stay for the month, working on my PhD on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger. In advance, I didn't realize I'd be living right next to the country's largest theology library! I spent many days reading and writing in the library, and I was able to complete the first draft of the second article for my compilation dissertation. 

I was also happy and privileged to be invited to give a lecture at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Malta. My Finnish Catholic context, living as a Catholic in a majority Lutheran country, with only 0,25 % Catholics, is very different from the Maltese Catholic context, and so I think it was an interesting encounter for both sides. Dr. John Berry began the lecture with a biblical overview of the topic of Faith as a response to Revelation, and I concluded it with ecumenical, Catholic-Lutheran perspectives on Faith in relation to Salvation.

During my stay in Malta, I also made a short weekend visit to Poland, where I was able to lecture to Finnish language students of the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan about Catholicism and Lutheranism in Finland. The Maltese are lucky to have excellent Ryanair and Wizzair connections to several locations in Europe, something that we don't have in Helsinki. And all the inhabitants of those other locations are blessed to have Malta within such an easy reach – I just wish they make use of the occasion! On my other quick trip abroad, a Sunday daytrip to Sicily, I met a taxi driver living in Pozzallo who had never visited Malta ("it doesn't attract me") – what a shame!

My wife joined me half way through my stay here, and on our free time we were able to get to know more of Malta, although we had already done quite a lot of tourism in 2014. This year, I was able to participate in the Free Walking Tour in Valletta as well as the Ghost Tour in Mdina, organized by Colour My Travel. This was of interest to me, since in Finland I also work as a guide and do Happy Guide Helsinki's Free Walking Tour as well as the Helsinki Horror Walk. I found out that the Tal-Virtu area where I've been staying actually has a horrifying history! 

All in all, I am very grateful to the Utrecht Network, the Archbishop's Seminary, the University of Malta, and especially Dr. John Berry, for having made it possible for me to work on my dissertation for an entire month under the Maltese sun. November is definitely the month to be out of Finland – but maybe see you there next summer?

Emil Anton is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki. You can follow him on the Facebook page Christianity Finnished.  


Liv Hitzegrad

One of my best experiences!

LivHitzegradI am a German student studying English and Religion. For my Erasmus Semester, I came to Malta, which I enjoyed a lot due to different reasons. Firstly, this Mediterranean country is very beautiful, interesting and offers many different things to do. Everywhere you go you can notice the various influences on Malta from different times, religions, and people. Even though I tried to travel and explore a lot during my time in Malta, I think that there is still a lot more to visit, and to learn about Malta. On top of that, it was a good escape from fall and winter back home. We had summerly weather until mid of November. Even though the weather could be very wet and harsh in December and January, it was still nice most of the time. Furthermore, it was great to see how green Malta can become, after the rain had started. 
Secondly, studying at the University of Malta and especially at the Faculty of Theology was a good experience for me. The university and faculty are a little smaller than my home university, which led to the fact that everything was a little more personal. Some of the seminars were very small and therefore, the study atmosphere was very nice and the lecturers were able to focus on each student more intensively. 
On top of that, the lecturers, students and staff members were always willing to help me and to explain how things are working. It also was interesting for me to study Catholic Christianity in a Catholic country, since I come from a Protestant background. It helped me to see and understand the different developments, but also the similarities. Furthermore, the University of Malta is very international, since students from all around the world come to study there.

Therefore, I can say that my stay in Malta and at the University of Malta was one of the best experiences I have made so far and I can just recommend everybody to go to Malta and live and study there for a while. 


Closing Date Dissertation Proposals
Deadline to present dissertation proposals for next Faculty Board is Monday 17th December 2018 at 10.00hrs

Dissertation Logbook
The Dissertation Logbook can be found here.

Last Updated: 30 January 2018

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