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 Museo 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 offers students the following options for study abroad in Bilbao:

Established in 1886, the Universidad de 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, Deusto has an enrollment of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students offering numerous specialized diplomas, masters and Ph.D. programs. Universidad de Deusto also offers a variety of extracurricular opportunities for students, including athletic and social clubs. Internships in business, education, a Spanish language through gastronomy practicum, as well as the Spanish language through drama practicum, are available for credit as well.

API offers students the opportunity to pursue their art studies at the Universidad del País Vasco (UPV). Designed for art majors/minors, this unique program offers participants the chance to enroll in a wide array of studio arts courses with Spanish students, alongside other international students from around the world. Students attend classes at the Facultad de Bellas Artes (Department of Fine Arts) at UPV, a public university set amid the rolling hills that surround the city.

“Bilbao is an amazing mixture of Basque, Spanish, and international culture. In the words of one of my local friends, 'it has all of the services and opportunities of a major world city, but the security and cleanliness of a small town.' Nothing could be truer! After five months in Bilbao, the city still surprises me every day - in a good way! I'm incredibly glad that I decided to study abroad through API."

Matthew K. New College of Florida
  • Discover More Small Spain Bilbao Reviews

    Cultural Activities

    • Bilbao walking and bike tour
    • Cooking workshops
    • Spanish movie night
    • Pintxos crawl
    • Guggenheim Museum membership
  • Discover More Small Spain Bilbao Staff

    API Gives Back

    API students in Bilbao have the opportunity to give back to their local community through various volunteer projects, including working with kids that have hearing disabilities, language exchanges with young students, and service-learning options through the Universidad de Deusto.

  • Discover More Small Spain Bilbao To Do

    Things to Do

    Surf the Basque coast

    Take the funicular to Artxanda Mountain

    Ride the world's oldest transporter bridge

  • Discover More Small Spain Bilbao Food


    Pintxos (Basque version of tapas)

    Codfish in PilPil Sauce

    Albondigas (meatballs)

  • Discover More Small Spain Bilbao Festival

    Festivals & Holidays

    Semana Santa (March - April)

    Zinebi International Documentary Film Festival (November)

    Bilbao BBK Live (July)

  • Discover More Small Spain Bilbao University

    University Highlights

    The Universidad de Deusto was established in 1886 and is the oldest private university in Spain. It is located directly across the river from the world-famous Guggenheim Museum.

U.S. Staff

On-Site Staff


Andrea Gorricho

Andrea Gorricho will be your Resident Director and a resource for you on-site.