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City and Academic Overview

Study Abroad in Bilbao

API offers students two options for study abroad in Bilbao: a fine arts program at the University of the Basque Country (Universidad del País Vasco) and two programs at the University of Deusto, including the Spanish Language and Culture program and the Business, International Relations and Spanish Language program.

As the city of Bilbao gained increasing recognition for its education opportunities, the University of Bilbao was renamed as the University of the Basque Country in 1980. The newly inaugurated university combined university programs from across the Basque region. API arts students study at the Facultad de Bellas Artes (Department of Fine Arts) of the university. While studying in the heart of one of Europe’s fastest growing art scenes, students have the opportunity to learn and create alongside art students from across Europe. Not only do students challenge their own abilities, but they are also inspired by visiting the spectacular works of art created by some of history’s greatest artists as well as the cutting-edge artists of today.

Established in 1886, the University of Deusto is located in the heart of the city. Students study Spanish at the university’s department for visiting students, the Centro Internacional de Español (CIDE). Located across from the Guggenheim Museum, the University of Deusto has an enrollment of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students offering numerous specialized diplomas, masters and Ph.D. programs. The University of Deusto also offers a variety of extracurricular opportunities for students, including athletic and social clubs. Internships in business and education, and a Spanish language in context practicum (focusing on cuisine and drama) are available for credit as well.

City Information

Population: 400,000

From its quiet beginnings as a seaside fishing and trading port in the 14th century, to its rise as a leader in Spain’s industrial revolution, Bilbao has long demonstrated its ability to renew itself. Today, Bilbao is at the heart of Basque education, business, culture and fine art. Whether students are studying Spanish or creating art, they are immersed in the energy of this artistically rich city. The new symbol of Bilbao is the Guggenheim Museum, which was designed by architect Frank Gehry. Students can visit the Casco Viejo (the old quarter), filled with shops and restaurants, and also explore the newer side of Bilbao, with its modern architecture. Bilbao is also home to the Cathedral of Santiago, the Basilíca de Begoña, the Museu Vasco and the Museo de Bellas Artes. These sites and many more await API students who choose to explore one of Spain’s most fascinating cities.

API Students on Bilbao

Why Bilbao

  • The spectacular Guggenheim Museum
  • One of Europe’s fastest growing art scenes
  • A center of culture, business and education
  • Classes with students from all of Europe
  • Richness of Basque history and culture
  • Excellent Basque cuisine
  • Panoramic views from the Funicular de Artxanda
  • Beautiful nearby beaches