USAC Spain: Bilbao/Getxo

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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.

  • 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

Questions & Answers


based on 20 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 10
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 16 - 20 of 20
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Every expectation that I had for a study abroad experience was completely surpassed. I expected to have fun in a new country while going to school, but I had no idea what kind of emotional connection I would have from going abroad with USAC. The staff abroad were not only teachers and advisors but also caring friends. One time, I accidently ate shrimp (which I am highly allergic to) and one of the women who worked in the administrative USAC office personally came in a cab with me to the hospital, translated for me, and held my hand until I felt better. I met new friends abroad that showed me all the in's and out's of the Basque Country, traveled with me, and shared his home and family with me. Now, one friend even came to visit me in San Francisco and I know that I've made a friend that I'll have for a lifetime. The experience that you'll receive from USAC is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you cannot pass up!

How can this program be improved?
I honestly cannot think of a single thing, thank you for the best experience I could ever have!
Yes, I recommend
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My Time in San Sebastian

I had a great time in San Sebastian. The teachers and staff were some of the best people I had ever met and I felt the courses were fun and interesting. I took primarily Spanish courses with some electives like Basque folk dance and cooking thrown in. Some friends took the surfing class and enjoyed learning how to surf on the beautiful beaches that line the city's coast. Parte Vieja (the old part) was a blast to walk around and sports some of the best food in the world. If you love food, this is definitely a place to check out. Overall my time in San Sebastian was too short, I would definitely recommend a year, but even that might not be enough.

How can this program be improved?
I had tried to get a conversation partner to practice my Spanish, but it was kind of difficult to find someone who could meet regularly. This isn't universal, I knew some people who got great conversation partners, I just happened to be unlucky.
Yes, I recommend
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It was an amazing experience for my first travel outside the United States. The overall experience was amazing, and the lifestyle was unique. I studied for a semester in Bilbao Spring 2013.
-Stayed in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom (small) apartment with 2 other USAC students.
-Metro system is main form of transportation. VERY safe
-TABC, it is a teaching program to make extra money easily. 15$ an hour job. I had 5 hours a week. Some people worked more! Nice income.
-VERY helpful staff. Very friendly and easy to talk to.
-Cultural excursions are relevant and interesting. I learned about the history and understanding the differences.
-3 week spring break and cheap flights! I spent 5 days in Rome, 5 days in Athens, and 3 days in London. Flights between European cities as low as 30$ round trip.
-the professors were excellent and my Spanish improved twice as fast as if I were home.
-The beaches are great, 3 of them and one is perfect for surfing!

How can this program be improved?
My only faults were the excessive rain during this spring time. But reports say it is record setting. I wish I had traveled around Europe more.
Yes, I recommend
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Days in the Basque Country

Sitting upon Zurriola Beach the evening before I departed back home in the deserts of Nevada for the summer, a new sense of sadness seeped into my heart, and made me feel sick. In five months, I had made this new place, of foreign people and strange culture, my home.

I'd become a person, an adult, I never thought I'd discover. The first few weeks, struggling to speak the language, I began to feel frustrated and disliked the world I'd--for what I thought was some dumb reason--engaged myself in. But, as I continued to engage, the culture immersed itself around me. Strangers became companions. San Sebastián became as comfortable as the hard soil, bitter sage, and my mother's voice was several thousands of miles away.

Growing up in the desert, I never quite understood what it meant to relax at the beach. By that spring, the beach was as close to my favorite past time as was years of playing baseball back in the US. Days after classes were spent on the playa, challenging locals in volleyball, conversing in a newly discovered tongue. We surfed the soothing waters of the Atlantic's Bay of Biscay. Sips of Sangria were as silk and sweet as pollen on a rose's pedal.

The days I lived were days of eternal love. And not another passes that I still don't feel the lust for the land of experience that forever changed my life.

Yes, I recommend
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San Sebastian, Spain

Great program! I studied abroad in San Sebastian over the summer and it was absolutely incredible. The city is beautiful and the people are really friendly. The USAC staff is really helpful and available when ever you need them. Not an experience you want to miss out on!

Yes, I recommend


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USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing...