HE George Vella visits Freshers Week at Junior College (16 to 18 years old), 4 October 2019

  • What was your experience as a student and what advice do you share with us?

Life in Malta and as a youngster was very different from what it is today. First, Malta had less cars, less roads, but also less means of transportation. Secondly, the resources and equipment was very different from that of today. None of you would imagine writing an assignment without a laptop or the help of Google, others would not believe it possible to study without technology and the internet. Yet this was my, and many other student’s reality for a long time (in some parts of the world this is still the case).

Books, pens and paper were our sole tools and although maybe less colourful and interactive than what you are accustomed to today, they provided us with an equally efficient way to study and progress in our careers. It is easy to perceive past and present student lives as distinct realities, yet all students share two common traits: Patience and Perseverance. Irrespective of time and space, these two qualities are imperative for any student that wishes to succeed in his/her studies. I strongly recommend you employ patience and perseverance throughout your studying term. These traits will continue to accompany you in your adult lives and promote strong work ethics.

  • What is a typical day for the President of Malta?

The typical day of the President is somewhat dictated by the various meetings I have with local and foreign guests. I am also very frequently invited to attend events, both locally and internationally and speak about a multitude of topics, ranging from international relations, health and social issues, the environment and sustainability. These meetings are very important and Malta’s participation is indicative of our country’s commitment to build bridges and promote dialogue and peace.

  • Where you ever involved in student organisations?

Yes, the Medical Students organization and Zejtun Centre(HE might wish to expand on extra curricular activities)

Travel to Berlin, Auschwitz, Firenze and Naples

The importance of travelling and expanding personal knowledge, not just pertaining to area of study.

  • Do you believe that student organizations can lead us into something bigger as we grow older?

The University is the most important breeding ground for innovation and activism. Participation in similar organizations equip you with important intra and inter-personal tools for present and future opportunities. Furthermore, they provide you with the opportunity to meet different people and exchange different ideas on various topics. It is important that you always follow the highest standards of respect and inclusivity when participating in these organizations. It is counter-productive to get embroiled in partisan politics at this tender age and might also negatively impinge on your future careers and aspirations. Employ critical thinking and challenge existing structures. Always be respectful of the other and whilst holding strongly to your beliefs, be good listeners and learn from other student’s realities and beliefs.