Spain: Bilbao & Getxo - International Business and Spanish Studies

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About

USAC welcomes students to come study abroad in Bilbao/Getxo, Spain at the University of the Basque Country! Located to the north of Spain, Bilbao is nothing short of a modern city labeled a cutting edge banking and service center, with attractions including world class museums, galleries, music halls, and not to mention its first rate public transportation. San Sebastian offers a unique view into the diversity of Spain and a truly multicultural experience with over a third of the city speaking both Spanish and Basque.

Coursework at the University of the Basque Country includes Engineering, International Business, Spanish/Culture studies and Spanish/Basque language. The Bilbao/Getxo program is geared towards those looking to pursue a bilingual and/or an international business career.

Highlights
  • Live in a dynamic, cosmopolitan city on Spain’s northern coast, one hour from the border with France and with connections to major European cities
  • Enjoy many opportunities for inexpensive outdoor activities such as surfing, horseback riding, hiking, and cycling
  • Intern in management consulting firms, publishing companies, NGOs, the Guggenheim Museum, and more
  • Join our teaching assistantship program to gain work experience at local schools while earning money
  • Study International Business, which may be taken separately or in conjunction with language studies

Preparing to Study Abroad in 2021

We are planning for 2020-21 programs to proceed abroad. Learn more about how we are preparing for our students to enjoy a safe and meaningful experience overseas. You can also find a variety of helpful COVID-19 resources for students and families.

Scholarships

USAC Scholarships
USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid

USAC awards over $2 million in scholarships and discounts each year to assist students with their study abroad expenses.

Value
$500 - $1,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.86 Rating
based on 29 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 29
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Gabriella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bilbao/Getxo Spring 2019

This semester was easily the best semester of my life! USAC staff made the transition so unbelievably smooth. We had an entire week of orientation going over things that I didn't even think about! Culture shock, home sickness, living arrangements, flow of classes, etc. They even showed us around to some cool spots in both Bilbao and Getxo so we could get a feel for the cities. Anything we needed they were there for us! No questions asked or any hesitations they were there to ensure we had the best time we could. Thank you so much to Ibon, Mane, Arantxa, María, and all of the professors for being so incredible!! Also, the location was beyond beautiful and very convenient to travel to and from. Bilbao has an airport that we could get basically anywhere which made it super nice. The unique Basque culture was something very cool to get to know as well.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I did this all over again, I would plan my summer in advance before going to make sure I could stay the summer as well! I was so caught up in making sure I had work plans for when I returned that I didn't even give myself the opportunity to stay over the summer and teach English!
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Marlo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Immersive Experience in Bilbao!

Before studying abroad, I thought that I wanted to go to a city that spoke English, or somewhere that was touristy so that it would be easy for me to get by without learning the language. Once I arrived in Bilbao, I realized how grateful I was that I did not follow through with that first idea. I knew almost no Spanish before studying in Bilbao, but after my first few weeks of Spanish class there I could easily communicate with locals because of how helpful my professors were. This experience even inspired me to add a Spanish minor once I returned home. Bilbao is a beautiful city with very kind people, and even after traveling to other cities on the weekends I would always be excited to return home to Bilbao. The USAC staff at Universidad del Pais Vasco are extremely helpful and will assist you with anything you might need while you are abroad. I could not be more thankful to have chosen Bilbao as my city to Study Abroad in!

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Anthony
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Time of my Life

Everything about this program, from the initial application to the very last day in Spain, was absolutely phenomenal. The USAC staff, both in the US and on-site in Bilbao, are super nice and very helpful. The program sets you up with the basics and provides plenty of advice and guidance while still allowing you the freedom to venture on your own and study abroad the way you want to study abroad. You can have as much independence from the other students and staff as you want, or you can be fully immersed in the program offerings. With that being said, there is an excellent excursion included in the price that allows you to tour parts of the area and learn about the culture and history. In addition, there are many smaller activities (such as touring the local bullring) that occur on an almost weekly basis. Bilbao and the Basque Country is an absolutely amazing area of Spain and along with the assistance, support, and fun offerings from USAC, makes for the perfect study abroad experience.

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Christie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A life changing summer

Studying abroad was a dream of mine since high school, and USAC helped achieve that. I had always heard great things about USAC and I looked forward to the day I would get to apply and see what it was really like. Bilbao is located in the Basque Country of Spain and is full of culture! I loved every minute I got to spend in downtown Bilbao and on the beaches of Getxo. The food was amazing and the on-site USAC staff was always there if we needed help. I chose to stay with a host family, and in my opinion, I got the best one. I had a host mom and a dog that we would walk by the beach every night after dinner. My host mom took great care of me and even encouraged me to go out on the weekends and explore more of Spain. She improved my Spanish skills and now I am more confident than ever to speak Spanish to anyone. There were so many great activities to take part in and USAC did a wonderful job of making sure every student was prepared. I never felt alone or lost, because there was always someone there to direct me if I needed it. The town was also extremely safe and clean. I made friends that I will have for a lifetime and I miss them everyday. If studying abroad is on your bucket list, don't hesitate to apply with USAC! It will give you everything you've imagined and more. Thank you USAC for an unforgettable experience!

What would you improve about this program?
More USAC organized activities on site like beach volleyball days or tours of other towns nearby.
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Derek
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer in Bilbao

I had an absolutely incredible time studying abroad in Bilbao and am looking forward to the opportunity to return some day. I was able to take a Spanish class, which lead to the addition of a Spanish minor, an Operations Management class that meant I did not have to take that back at my home university and a surfing class. The professors for my classes were fantastic and the opportunity to leave class and go out on the street to cafes, restaurants and bars and interact directly with locals made my Spanish speaking skills grow immensely. Bilbao and Getxo(nearby suburb where I lived) are both gorgeous and not very touristy so it is easy to truly immerse yourself in the culture. I highly recommend exploring all parts of the city and surrounding areas as around every corner and over every mountain is something new and amazing. This program gives the best of both worlds as classes are located in the middle of a large city while housing is in a nearby beach town suburb. I was able to walk to two different beaches within 15 minutes of my apartment that I shared with two other American students. Studying in Bilbao was easily the greatest choice I made throughout my college career and I recommend everyone do the same.

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Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad in Bilbao!

My semester abroad with USAC in the amazing city of Bilbao, Spain is one that I would recommend to any student. I loved living in the small, quaint town of Algorta with a wonderful host family and commuting to the beautiful and vivacious city of Bilbao. I attended school in UPV which is in the center of the city and the USAC staff made all of us feel so welcome and oriented to their home. The USAC course offering was perfect for continuing my degree while abroad; I was able to take a bunch of Spanish courses towards my minor within one track that chronologically made sense and improved my skills. I got to then immediately put the learned material to test on the streets and in my homestay. I also had a very engaging International Marketing class that contributed to my experience. Beyond the classroom, USAC helped to set up an internship opportunity for me as well as excursions and cultural field trips.
There is plenty to do and see in Bilbao with beaches, mountains, old and new city, and an abundance of nightlife, I never got bored. When I did want to get away for the weekend, the airport in Bilbao was very manageable and offered me great travel opportunities. Northern Spain, particularly the Basque region is extremely unique and now, very close to my heart.

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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC Bilbao, Spain

I lived Bilbao. It’s a great place if you like the city but also beaches and mountains. This coast is one of the most beautiful places i’ve ever been and the staff is really great. My teacher became a mom away from home and answered any questions we had. There are also tons of nearby towns that are beautiful and easily accessible. Bilbao is one of my favorite places and if I could study there again I would!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish we could have paid rent through the program because it was hard to take out all the rent and carry it around as cash.
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Jennifer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Center of Culture

When I started searching for a place to study abroad in Spain, I had no idea what Bilbao was or where it was at. Thank goodness I stumbled across this hidden gem! From the ease of travel to other cities in Europe to the diverse culture in the city, there is no other place I would have rather stayed.

This program is great for anyone that’s on a mission to graduate on time and still get time to study abroad. I took Spanish classes that counted toward my Spanish minor as well as classes that counted toward my business major, all while staying on track to graduate. On top of my core classes I took a surfing class which was more fun than I ever could have imagined and a great way to get out of my comfort zone! I regret not taking the culture class which provides field trips around the Basque Country, so I would recommend that to any student planning to go through this program.

I appreciated the opportunity to live in an apartment with other students from the program instead of living with a host family (also an option) since I was nervous about being in a new country. My first apartment wasn’t ideal, but with the help of the amazing staff I was able to move somewhere more suitable which made my experience much more enjoyable.

I use the skills I learned abroad every day, including the ability to talk to people I don’t know at all and being more understanding of people in America that don’t speak English since the people in Spain were so friendly when I stumbled through their language.

Overall it was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking to go to Spain.