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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Lillie in Malta

Lillie Therieau ’21 is an art history and sociology and anthropology double major who is studying at the University of Malta.

Hi! My name is Lillie Therieau, and I am doing my semester abroad in Malta through the ISEP program. I just arrived a little over a month ago, and feel like I am finally settling in to my classes and the routine of daily life here. At the University of Malta I am taking 7 classes, which is exciting because I have the opportunity to take a variety of different subjects with the extra room in my schedule. As a result I am taking my first college level literature and philosophy classes, which I am enjoying immensely. The style of education here is very different to what I’m used to at Lake Forest College. The class size is generally much bigger, and there is no element of discussion in the classes. There is commonly only one grade given, and that is the final exam. This really changes the way I approach studying and preparing for class. Although initially it was a little terrifying, I am enjoying trying out this new approach. Malta in general does things very differently from the way I am used to. Things are much slower paced here, which I am told is because of its status as an island archipelago. On Sunday, the whole country basically shuts down for a day, which is actually a really great opportunity to spend the whole day outside. I am also slowly adjusting to the amazing outside culture here, where people hike, swim, and generally spend a lot of time in nature. Growing up in Chicago, I have never really had this opportunity, but I am loving it! As I am an art history major, I have been spending a lot of time exploring that fantastic art of Malta, and all of their beautiful churches and cathedrals. Within one block of where I live is one of the prettiest churches I have ever seen. Malta is honestly an art history student’s paradise! It is a very Catholic country, and so there is a lavishly decorated church on what seems like every block. I am taking a medieval art history class and a 19th century art history class, so we are able ! to literally go and see the things we talk about in class in real life. Beyond needing out about churches I am also able to nerd out about megalithic structures, of which Malta boasts many. There are even a few temples here older than the pyramids! It is incredible to get the chance to live in a place with so much history. Compared to America, things seem so impossibly old here. Being able to stand in a structure from 3500 BC is almost not comprehendible. I am already learning so much here, and cannot even begin to guess how much I will learn in the next 4 months. I want to thank my sponsor for helping to make this unique and fantastic experience possible. I am so very grateful. Thank you.