Last March, I had been in Malta for a few months through my Erasmus programme. My new friendships were starting to settle and turn into beautiful relations, I had a nice part-time job and was enjoying my stay in my host country. While going to our favourite coffee place, my friends mentioned the possibility for me to stay in July for the archaeological field school and experience the practical training that the University of Malta is providing every year. After a few emails, it was official, I could enjoy my stay in Malta for a little bit longer and volunteer on an amazing archaeological site. The Go Abroad Fund was a way to cover some of my living costs allowing me to volunteer for this opportunity.
Before fieldwork, I was quite worried about the expectations of my professors and my friends. All students at the university had gone through the same training before, and my previous experiences were quite different from theirs. Was I gonna be skilled and competent enough? Was money still gonna be an issue? Should I rather be working?
It turned out that I had a great experience and time. For copyright reasons, I am not allowed to share information about what was found on-site, however, anyone can find further information on the University webpage from previous years: https://www.um.edu.mt/arts/classics-archaeo/projects/tassilg
During these four weeks, I learnt plenty and more than everything, I consolidated some of my archaeological skills. I did a lot of planning of archaeological areas, learnt new drawing skills, improved my way of recording both artefacts and features on-site. I met specialists, archaeologists and other students with different passions and area of expertise. I certainly gained confidence that I was able to understand what was happening on-site and make decisions. There were days more difficult than others, the weather was extreme during the heatwave and I had sometimes to deal with interpersonal issues in my different teams. This taught me a lot about what you have to deal with when team-working. However, I also got to know some great people in a completely different setting than the university.
I also got to enjoy Malta itself, as I had been really busy during the year, it was nice to get to travel around during my weekends with my friends. We spent dream-like days on rocky promontories, relaxing our muscles from the physical work of the week. My friends and I had a great time working together and hanging out and I’m hoping that these relationships will last.
These four weeks were for me a great experience. I worked hard, learnt plenty and enjoyed my time in Malta. I look forward to going back for further adventures.