Maltese must haves: Yousef Salem’s tips for success at Queen Mary, Malta

A selection of tips, tricks, products and insider info to help kick off your academic journey

Yousef Salem is a fifth-year student at Queen Mary, Malta. Born and raised in the UK, his family are originally from Egypt. Growing up in the east side of London meant adapting to the quiet life in Gozo was a massive change. When he’s not studying medicine, Yousef plays football and goes to the gym. Here are his top tips for settling into Queen Mary, Malta.

What’s the best way to settle into university life in Malta? 

The first thing to do is make sure you know how to cook staple meals that do not take too long to prepare but provide you with enough nutritional value. The shock going from being cooked regular meals at home to having to gather the groceries and prepare everything yourself usually sends students into the spiral of eating out and ordering fast food every day. In the long run you’ll just become unhealthy and poor. Also, get yourself used to cleaning and doing your own laundry. Having a clean and comfortable home environment helps the transition a lot more than students think.

“My friend’s daily routine is to start each day with a coffee, whether that is at home or at a café, then start placement or lectures or whatever work needs to be done. Next, it’s time to exercise, then cooking, cleaning and organising the apartment, or catching up on any assignments, and finally it’s time to relax in the evening with friends. ”

Tips for a successful academic year at Queen Mary, Malta? 

Plan out your year. Some students fall behind on assignments such as reflections, presentations and essays, which in turn causes them to fall behind on their revision of lectures and exam content. Checking deadlines and examination dates as early as you can and putting them into your calendar can help you organise and compartmentalise what needs to be done by when.

I would also recommend trying to figure out how you revise for exams from the start. A lot of students think they can cram all their revision at the end or just read over lectures and that’s all you need to pass. Reality strikes and they’re hit with the realisation that they are not as prepared as they should be. Some simple planning can make the experience much easier and more enjoyable. The last thing you want to do is fail and be forced to retake.

You should also remember to speak to the older students, too. They have experienced a lot of what you’re going through and have a lot of beneficial advice that can be so vital for an early university student to hear—hence why we have student ambassadors in the first place!

How do you manage mindset and wellbeing?

Personally, the most effective way I have been able to manage my mindset at university is by having a supportive friendship group—two people is enough. You don’t need to be friends with everyone in the university. Exercising regularly is key and popular among students. Then, occupying your time with hobbies and skill learning as much as possible. Basically, keep busy and you’ll do well.

Yousef on campus
Yousef reading a book

Do you have a tip for students looking to make daily life more convenient?

Set up time slots to carry out the activities you want and need to do. For example, my friend’s daily routine involves starting each day with a coffee, whether that is at home or at a café, then start placement or lectures or whatever work needs to be done. Next, it’s time to exercise, then cooking, cleaning and organising the apartment, or catching up on any assignments, and finally it’s time to relax in the evening with friends. 

Where do you recommend students shop for everyday items and necessities? 

For grocery shopping the best places I would recommend would be Lidl, Greens and Miracle Foods. Miracle Foods also sells a lot of halal frozen foods. There are a few halal butchers in Malta too that sell nice cuts of fresh meat.

shopping

Is there anything else you’d like to suggest to make student life the best it can be?

Living in Malta (and especially Gozo) poses some challenges. The small community feels a little restrictive, especially if you come from a large city or a busy country where there is a lot to do. My main tip is to try to adapt to it as much as you can and don’t ever let it get into your head too much. Fly home whenever you feel like you must and always keep yourself active. It is easier said than done but there is a lot to do in Malta, especially if you’re willing to put yourself out there. And the staff are always available with social events and ideas to keep students active.

And just finally, we might get 300 days of sunshine per year in Malta but it’s important to be ready for all types of weather. In summer it gets extremely hot and in winter it gets very windy and wet. Have the clothing to be ready for both, and always have a swimming costume at hand because you never know when someone’s going to call you to get ready within the next hour to go and jump on their boat.

Still not convinced?

Queen Mary, Malta Campus is a global leading university with highly qualified lecturers. Do not leave it too long, our course is regularly oversubscribed. Register your interest at the earliest opportunity.