• Spain
    • Bilbao
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Business Communications Cultural Studies Finance History International Business Political Science Sociology Women's Studies
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Apartment Host Family
Oct 04, 2023
Sep 13, 2023
17 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

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.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

There are LGBTQIA+ friends, colleagues, and allies throughout the world. However, cultural understanding of gender identity and sexuality does vary from country to country. USAC has compiled a lot of resources to help you through that learning process.

Accessibility Support

USAC is dedicated to working closely with students with disabilities to ensure the best study abroad experience possible. You may request reasonable accommodations after your initial application is complete. We routinely receive requests for scheduling, material, and environmental accommodations for the classroom setting, which may include assistive technology, scribes and readers, printed material, and interpretation.



Environmentally-conscious students choose USAC because many of our programs are held in some of the most sustainable countries in the world. There are options to take coursework in sustainability and the environment, as well as field trips and studies where students can leave a lasting impact on their host country.

Program 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


USAC logo

USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid

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

$500 - $5,000

Program Dates

Application Deadline
Program Dates

Program Reviews

4.90 Rating
based on 41 reviews
  • 5 rating 90.24%
  • 4 rating 9.76%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.6
  • Housing 4.65
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 41 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Basque Country, A Hidden Gem

Studying abroad in Bilbao, Spain was an incredible and transformative experience that I will cherish forever. From the moment I arrived in this vibrant city, I was immersed in a world of culture, learning, and adventure.

The coursework at my host university was both challenging and enriching. I had the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects, from Spanish literature to local history, which deepened my understanding of the country's rich heritage. The teachers were not only knowledgeable but also passionate about their subjects, making every class engaging and enjoyable.

Living with a host family was a highlight of my time in Bilbao. They welcomed me with open arms, introducing me to their customs and traditions. This immersion in daily life allowed me to practice my Spanish and form lasting connections with locals.

Field trips were a regular part of our curriculum, and they were nothing short of amazing. Exploring the Guggenheim Museum, hiking in the Basque countryside, and savoring pintxos in charming old town Bilbao were some of the many unforgettable experiences.

Traveling around Spain and Europe was a breeze from Bilbao, thanks to its excellent transportation connections. I visited beautiful cities like San Sebastian, Barcelona, and Paris, each offering a unique cultural experience.

The food in Bilbao was a culinary delight. From the mouthwatering paella to the fresh seafood and delectable churros, I couldn't get enough of the local cuisine. The people of Bilbao were warm and welcoming, always eager to share their culture and traditions with me.

The Basque culture is incredibly unique, with its own language, music, and festivals. I had the privilege of participating in local celebrations, such as the Aste Nagusia, which gave me a deeper appreciation for the region's identity.

In summary, my study abroad experience in Bilbao was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure filled with academic growth, cultural immersion, and unforgettable memories. I would highly recommend this destination to anyone seeking a transformative and enriching experience abroad.

  • Food
  • People
  • Location
13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 4 Months of My Life

My four months in Bilbao/Getxo were the best four months of my life. The people in my program became my family there and honestly some of them are now my best friends for life. My host family situation was also a dream. I will be going back to Bilbao just to visit them. Every time I came back to Bilbao after traveling, I was so happy to be there. It is the perfect blend of the city with true Spanish and Basque life. The best part of the program is the surfing class. It was such a memorable experience being able to learn how to surf with everyone else. We could not get enough of it. Every chance we had to surf or be at the beach, we were there. The other students in the area are also super welcoming and the people within the community are the same as well. Because I loved my time in Bilbao so much, I am studying abroad with USAC again in Spring 2024. Truly, the only bad part about studying abroad is leaving. It was the saddest moment ever but it also showed how grateful we all were for everything that happened.

  • Close to beaches
  • Clean, fun and alive city
  • Little English in some places
  • Little English in some places
  • Some rain
31 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Bilbao Experience

My experience was very unique because it was my first real semester of college. I had graduated high school and the next year, I was gone to Spain. It was a great choice. I learned more about myself and the Spanish language in those for 4 months than I ever did in high school or community college. If anyone is considering it, they should 100% do it! The USAC staff in Bilbao were absolutely fantastic and so kind. I learned so much and would love to chat with anyone who wants to go! I liked Spain.

  • You learn so much language!
  • The food is amazing.
  • You gain a lot of confidence by being away and talking to people.
  • The staff in the US from USAC were a little hard to deal with.
  • The housing I lived in was not very good.
  • You spend a lot of time alone.
30 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Smaller Cities Can Be Fun Too!

Before coming to Bilbao, I knew basically nothing about it or the Basque region that it is in. It definitely has a different feel than most Spanish cities people know like Madrid or Barcelona. Bilbao has things for everyone with great mountain hikes and tons of beaches to surf on and just lay out when it gets warmer. Most of the social scene is going out to a bar/cafe and getting a drink and a bite to eat most pintxos (which is the Basque version of tapas). I went somewhere almost every weekend and even though Bilbao is a smaller airport I was still able to fly to most major cities direct besides Milan!

  • Most Things are Pretty Cheap
  • Great Transportation System
  • Lots of Outdoor Things to Do
  • Spanish Classes are Very Fast-Paced
  • Hard to Immerse Yourself Since All The Other Students Speak English
  • Hard to Find a Variety of Food that is Not Pintxos
31 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Legit everything i needed and more!! The staff and program was perfect!! I loved where I lived and made so many new friends!! We had so many activities that were pre planned… including a cooking class which was AMAZING!! Spending my afternoons surfing the beaches of Sopela was another one of my favs!! Our program director Iban was great! He made me feel like Bilbao was home!! Would 100% go back if I could!! I had the time of my life!! If you need a sign… DO IT!! Seriously so much fun!! You must go!!

  • Staff
  • Education
  • Friendships
  • Nothing:)
31 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Spain is amazing

Bilbao was cool! I wish I knew before hand how hard it would be to travel to other countries/destinations from Bilbao as there were no trains and flights were pricy but I still went somewhere every weekend! It was a great time. The spanish courses were much more intense though than the USAC language courses in Italy when I went in 2019 and other USAC Spain programs as we had friends studying in Valencia and they hardly had to study so that was rough as a ton of time was dedicated to that class. But I do miss Spain so much now.

  • Good food
  • wonderful staff
  • easy to get around the city
  • didn't feel like I was very culturally emmersed as when I visited other paces
  • no trains, expensive flights
  • sourses were way too intense for study abroad
33 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Semester Ever!

I wasn't sure if I would study abroad for a semester or graduate early. I assumed I wouldn't regret going abroad and I was right! I had the most fun semester in Bilbao; it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Everything about the city and the program is perfect. I learned so much about Basque culture while having the opportunity to travel to six different countries. If you are on the fence about studying abroad - do it! You will not regret it. Bilbao is a unique destination and you will fall in love with the city before you know it. There are so many types of food to try, places to visit, and more.

  • Big city (but not too big)
  • Clean
  • Amazing Food
36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Amazing, Ibon was a great professor! Would recommend to everyone, I went for business and didn’t know any Spanish and it went well!! If your hesitant about going, take a leap of faith and trust that everything is going to be ok! I didn’t know anyone going and I met so many people that I am thankful to call lifelong friends. Going over seas changes your perspective for the better, I realized how much I truly enjoy traveling and that it is a passion of mine! If you have any questions reach out to my instagram @ jackson_andersson

47 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers