Spain Bilbao Guggenheim 2698765

We invite you to participate in this unique studio arts program in Bilbao, Spain. Designed for art majors/minors, this program offers you the opportunity enroll in studio art classes where you'll hone your artistic skills alongside Spanish and international students. Home to the world-famous Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao is one of Europe's fastest growing art scenes, and its stunning scenery and vibrant nightlife and active student population make it the ideal place to spend your semester -- all while you earn valuable credit for studio arts classes!

What's Included?


Pre Departure Services


APIConnect Platform

Orientation Materials and Resources

API Alumni Network


On Site Services

Airport Reception

On-Site Orientation


Resident Director


Medical and Life Insurance

Social and Cultural Activities

Welcome and Farewell Group Meals

Volunteer Opportunities


Housing (including meals and laundry with host families)

Language and Culture Tools

Guggenheim Card

Stipend for Local Transportation to Host University

Re-Entry Services

Re-Entry Materials and Support

Post-Program Evaluation


Alumni Network and API Ambassador Program

View all opportunities and amenities

Application Requirements

  • Minimum 2.5 G.P.A.
  • This program is for studio art majors or minors
  • Open to intermediate, advanced, and superior-level Spanish speakers (B1 Spanish level or higher)
  • Completed API application
  • University Approval Form
  • Official transcript
  • Additional supplemental materials
  • Entry Requirements: Valid passport with student visa
Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Extended Application Deadline Payment Deadline
Spring Jan 19, 2024 - May 18, 2024 $14,500 Oct 31, 2023 No Extension Dec 1, 2023

API students participate in excursions designed to help familiarize them with the culture and surrounding areas of their host city and country. The following is a listing of potential excursions for API Bilbao programs. API may need to modify the excursions offered in a given term due to travel restrictions or health and safety concerns.

  • Madrid

    Spain’s capital blends the modern with an important cultural and artistic heritage. Three of the most important art galleries in the world (the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museums) are all located in the center of Madrid. All this, combined with the momentum of a society that is dynamic, liberal and welcoming, has turned this metropolis into one of the western world’s great capitals.

  • Winery Tour

    One of Spain’s truly legendary winemaking regions, the region of La Rioja in central-North of Spain is home to some of the world’s best and most exclusive red wines. Laguardia, capital of the Alava region in the Basque country, is a gateway for experiencing the Rioja wine region and it is a good example of a walled village that has not changed much since the 13th century. During the Middle Ages, residents dug deep into the rock below their homes (and sometimes the home of their neighbor) to create places for food storage and refuge during the siege.When wine production became prominent in the region, the underground passages were found to be ideal for the fermenting of wine. The winery Ysios joins tradition with the modernity of facilities designed by Santiago Calatrava and inaugurated in 2001.

  • San Sebastián

    San Sebastián was founded in 1180 and is one of the Basque country’s most beautiful towns. It has been an important vacation spot since the late 1800s after being adopted as the summer home for Madrid’s royalty.

What You’ll Study

TOTAL CREDITS - 12-18 credits per semester

Designed for art majors/minors who wish to study abroad in Bilbao, this program offers a dynamic opportunity to practice and participate in studio art classes with students from Spain, as well as students from across Europe and the world. Students are required to have taken two semesters of college-level Spanish. Some courses of study may require a higher working knowledge of Spanish.

Due to the hands-on nature of the studio courses, there is minimal time spent in a lecture setting. Most classes are taught in Spanish (Castilian). Some courses are taught in Basque and students are discouraged from taking those classes. API strongly encourages students to take classes with professors who speak some English, and we will provide guidelines post-acceptance. Most courses are equivalent to 3-6 semester credits each, though the amount of credit depends on the course.


Students who want to refresh their Spanish skills before starting their classes in Bilbao can add an intensive two weeks or month of Spanish language study in Salamanca for 3-6 semester credits. Contact the API office for more information about this option.


API students will receive a transcript from the Universidad del País Vasco (Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea) upon completion of their program.

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    Anna Foster

    Anna Foster will be your Program Manager and prepare you to go abroad!


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    Andrea Gorricho

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


Click Here to Find Classes


Students can earn up to 18 U.S. semester credits per term. Most courses are worth 3 U.S. credits. Courses are not lecture-based, but studio art courses in which students learn new techniques and create individual projects. Courses are taught in Spanish and are offered at the 3rd and 4th-year skill levels.

A Spanish language course is offered to fall, spring and year students at three levels (beginning, intermediate, and advanced). Enrollment in this course is recommended but not required. Four credits per semester are earned for successful completion of this course. Courses are taught primarily in Spanish.

Students attend classes at the Facultad de Bellas Artes (Department of Fine Arts) at the Universidad del País Vasco, Campus de Leioa (the University of the Basque Country, Leioa Campus).


Most API partner universities in Spain operate on the contact hour system, wherein the number of credits earned depends on the time spent in class. To determine the conversion of contact hours to U.S. semester credits, divide the contact hours available by 15.

Courses at Universidad del País Vasco

For the most up-to-date course availability on this program, explore our Class Finder. Sort courses by term, area of study, and more!

Find Courses

Courses at Universidad del País Vasco

For the most up-to-date course availability on this program, explore our Class Finder. Sort courses by term, area of study, and more!

Find Courses

Courses at Universidad del País Vasco

For the most up-to-date course availability on this program, explore our Class Finder. Sort courses by term, area of study, and more!

Find Courses

  • Classes taught in Spanish
  • Guggenheim card: Free museum admission and discounts
  • Top art and design school!

API students in Bilbao live with host families or shared student apartments. Student catered dorms are available for an additional fee.

Students who live with families generally have their own room, but may share a double room with a fellow API student, and are provided with three meals per day, laundry service, and wifi. Families provide an amazing opportunity to experience Spanish culture firsthand. Host families serve as a unique introduction into Spanish culture and may be made up of a married couple with children, a divorced or widowed woman with children still at home, or a family with some members living at home and others living outside the home. Students can opt for a single room for an additional fee.

Student apartments require more independence and provide less cultural interaction with Spaniards, although other apartments in the building are often rented or owned by Spanish families. Each apartment can generally accommodate 3-4 people. The majority of the rooms in student apartments are double rooms. However, based on availability, some students may be assigned to a single room on a first-come, first served basis. Students are responsible for buying and preparing all of their own meals, and kitchens are furnished with the necessary cookware to do so. Sheets and blankets are also provided.

***The apartment option can only be offered if requested by a minimum of 3 students of the same gender. When there is insufficient interest in this housing option, students are placed with host families.***

Student dorms are also available for an additional fee. Students who select dorm housing can also opt to add three meals per day. (Please note: further charges will be assessed for meals.)

Note: Housing between the fall and spring semesters is not included.

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