Our Vanue

Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Region and in all Northern Spain, thriving with business and cultural activities all year around. With a booming industrial development in the past, it is not a coincidence that one of the biggest banks in the world, Banco Bilbao Bizkaia A. (BBVA) takes its name after this city. Nowadays, Bilbao enjoys a quality of life that is way above the average in the whole Spain and at the level of the best European cities.

The city of Bilbao has a vast array of idiosyncratic and touristic options for those who want to explore different and exotic cultures from their own. For example, the internationally acclaimed Guggenheim Bilbao Museum is located in the heart of the city. Designed by the prestigious American architect Frank Gehry, this titanium building has become an aesthetically valuable reference, not only in the city but in the whole world. On the other hand, the city offers countless events for both locals and foreigners, such as outdoors and indoors concerts, gastronomic and enological festivals, live music, theater plays, operas and International music festival, such as BBK LIVE, to name just a few. At the same time, the region is known worldwide for its regional cuisine. A local custom is to go “de pintxos”, which consists in tasting amazing different varieties of foods along a top notch glass of wine at a very economic price. Bilbao, especially in the Old Quarter area, offers an endless number of pubs, cafés, restaurants and street festivals where people can enjoy this amazing local tradition.

This cosmopolitan city is found in an unrivalled setting. Built on both banks of the Nervion River and resting on a magnificent valley surrounded by beautiful green mountain ranges, the Metropolitan Greater Bilbao -made up by a population of one million inhabitants- stretches toward the sea to foster its Maritime long standing history. Relevantly, Bilbao also offers a great deal of outdoors activities such as rowing, kayaking, hand-gliding or hiking among others. The area also boasts some of the best beaches in Europe, where sunbathers and surfers can enjoy gorgeous weather and fantastic waves. In fact, the best left-wave in Europe can be found in the beach of Mundaka, only 40 minutes away from downtown by bus. Actually, the city offers an excellent transportation network. Its citizens enjoy one of the best underground systems in the world, designed by Norman Foster, an incredibly reliable bus service that runs not only through the city but also through the city suburbs and nearby towns, trains, highways, and even a funicular and a streetcar. All these different meanings of transportation are economic, fast, reliable and technologically very advanced. In order to travel abroad, Bilbao offers a new international airport which connects the city to the main cities in Europe in just a few hours, such as Paris, Lisbon, Rome, London, Frankfurt… just to name a few.

Links of interest:

Program description


  • Iberian Culture – 4 Credit Units
  • Spanish Language (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced levels) – 4 Credit Units

Field Trips

  • Bilbao
  • Madrid (optional)
  • Pamplona
  • San Sebastian
  • Plentzia (optional)
  • Gernika-Mundaka
  • Biarritz

Calendar SUMMER 2018

June 29th - July 29th

  • June 29th (Friday) Arrival in Bilbao. Airport pick up.
  • June 30th (Saturday) Orientation Session I. Tour of Bilbao. Welcome Party.
  • July 1st (Sunday) Family day.
  • July 2nd (Monday) Orientation Session II. First day of class.
  • July 4th (Wednesday) Biscay Bridge excursion-OPTIONAL. Transportation and meals included. 4th July Celebration.
  • July 6th (Friday) Plentzia excursion-OPTIONAL. Transportation and meals included.
  • July 7th (Saturday) Biarritz-France excursion-OPTIONAL. Transportation and meals included.
  • July 8th (Sunday) Family day.
  • July 9th (Monday) Pamplona-San Fermin excursion orientation session.
  • July 10th (Tuesday) Pamplona-San Fermin excursion.Transportation and meals included.
  • July 12th (Thursday) San Juan de Gaztelugatxe excursion-OPTIONAL. Transportation and meals included.
  • July 14th (Saturday) Gernika excursion. Transportation and meals included.
  • July 17th (Tuesday) “Casa del Olentzero” excursion.
  • July 19th (Thursday) Bakio excursion-OPTIONAL
  • July 21st-22nd (Sat-Sun) Madrid-OPTIONAL. Transportation, hotel and meals NOT included.
  • July 25th (Wednesday) San Sebastian excursion. Transportation and meals included.
  • July 27th (Friday) Final exams* from 9a.m. to 1p.m. and Farewell ceremony from 1p.m. onwards.
  • July 29th (Sunday) Students leave their accommodation.

*Final exam dates are official and cannot be changed. Please bear this in mind when planning your stay and
when making reservations for trips. You should plan your final departure for the morning of July 30th.


Bilbao College faculty has plenty of experience with US college students since all of them have taught several courses at US universities.

Courses will be taught by:

  • Ager Gondra Ph.D (Purchase University)
  • Olatz Mendiola M.A (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Living with a Spanish host family is the best way to fully immerse yourself in the Spanish language and culture. Staying with a host family provides you with many opportunities to develop your command of the Spanish language as you can use the knowledge gained during your Spanish lessons to communicate with the family. It is also a great opportunity to discover more about daily life and culture in Spain. Returning students often report that the home stay experience was one of the best aspects from studying abroad.
Bilbao College is very conscientious when finding host families for international students. We interview all our host families in their own home and check their background, occupations and lifestyle. A lot of our host families in Bilbao (Spain) have hosted international students many times before. They have much experience of hosting and can offer help and support to international students. Host families will become the students’ home abroad. Host families may be different, but all of them provide students with:

  • Accommodation in Bilbao or suburbs (metro access).
  • A private fully-furnished bedroom.
  • Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • Towels, blankets, pillows and bed linen.
  • Internet/Wi-Fi access.

Program Cost

Program fee of $3,056 includes

  • Tuition
  • Airport pick-up by Bilbao College instructors (on arrival date and time established by the program).
  • Medical Insurance with worldwide coverage, except in the student’s home country.
  • Housing. Stay with a host family. Individual bedroom. Three meals per day. Washing of clothes. Linen and towels provided by host family.
  • Orientation upon arrival.
  • Guided visits and excursions to Madrid, Bilbao, Plentzia, Bakio, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Biarritz, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Gernika and Mundaka.
  • Conversation and social meetings with local students.
  • Recreational outings (optional- not included in the price) : Hiking, surfing, pintxo/snack tasting, festivals and gigs to mention some.

Contact & Aplication Process


Application Process

Complete the form