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USAC Bilbao Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Bilbao/Getxo, Spain




2.5 GPA and in good academic standing

Application Due:

9/24 for Spring, 2/28 for Fall/Academic Year, 3/4 for Summer

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

This summer, semester or academic year program offers intensive language study - up to two years of university language requirements may be met in one semester. Additional courses are taught in English or Spanish and include offerings in Business and Environmental Sustainability. The programs are administered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), of which the University of Iowa is a member, and enroll approximately 100 students from many U.S. colleges and universities. UI students earn resident credit for this program.

Academic Program

The USAC programs offer courses at every level of Spanish language study. Intensive Spanish language programs for students at the beginning or intermediate level are designed for rapid improvement in Spanish language skills. Students at the advanced level select from a variety of language and literature courses. All courses are taught exclusively for program participants in Spanish by Spanish faculty, with the exception of the Business and Environmental Sustainability courses.

UI Students earn resident credit which may be applied toward General Education requirements, the International Business Certificate, the Sustainability Certificate, Business degree requirements, or requirements for the Spanish major or minor.

In the summer, this program offers intensive two 3 week sessions which offer Spanish language and conversation courses as well as Business and Sustainability courses. Language classes are available to students of all levels of Spanish fluency. As the classes are intensive, one semester of coursework is completed in one month of classes. Students earn UI resident credit for this program. Students take between 3 semester hours in each session.

Program Dates

During the school year the program's calendar follows the typical U.S. academic calendar closely (late August to mid December and mid-January to late May). In the summer there are two sessions and students can attend one or the other or both. Each summer session runs for three weeks. The first session takes place in June and the second in July.

For More Information

Please come to the Study Abroad Resource Room for a USAC program catalog that contains much more detailed information than is available on our webpage.

The University of the Basque Country

The USAC programs in Bilbao and San Sebastian are hosted by the Universidad del País Vasco, although the professors as well as the courses are directly affiliated with the program. Some University facilities are available to program participants. La Universidad del País Vasco (UPV) is a decentralized Spanish university with a student enrollment of approximately 40,000 students distributed over four campuses in Lejona, Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and San Sebastian. Consortium offices, classes and dining facilities are housed on the UPV Bilbao Business School campus. With support from the municipal government and the European Community, the USAC programs have been recognized as centers for the teaching of Spanish language to foreigners. Students from a number of European countries who are preparing to study in Spanish Universities also participate in the program.


Bilbao was founded in 1300 as the capital of Biskaia and the area's primary outlet to the sea. A tangled web of narrow streets remains as the Old Quarter, while wide streets and modern buildings mark the modern city. Bilbao's population numbers 400,000; surrounding communities create a total population of around 1 million, well connected by bus, metro and train services. Students can opt to live in Getxo or Bilbao. Getxo is directly on the coast and is well connected to downtown Bilbao by the subway system. Students enjoy Getxo's watersports, young population, and lack of tourists.

Living Arrangements

Students have the option of living in a homestay with a local family or sharing an apartment with other consortium students. Apartments are fully equipped except for linens. Both options are available in downtown Bilbao or in neighboring Getxo which is right on the coast.


Minimum eligibility requirements include good academic standing and a 2.5 grade point average (4.0 scale).

Program Cost Sheet

Bilbao Spring 2014 Cost Sheet
Bilbao Summer Session I 2013 Cost SheetPDF
Bilbao Summer Session II 2013 Cost SheetPDF
Bilbao Summer I and II 2013 Cost SheetPDF

These documents outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Application Deadline

The online application for the spring session of this program will be available from 8/1 to 9/24. Any supplemental materials are due to the study abroad office one week later.

The application deadline for fall and academic year programs is February 24th. For summer March 4th.

How to Apply

Steps to Completing Your Application

• Before you fill out any applications, please schedule an appointment to meet with the Study Abroad advisor for Bilbao, Spain by calling 319-335-0353. Your application WILL NOT be approved until you've completed this step.

• Fill out the Iowa Online Application for Study Abroad, you will be charged a $50 non-refundable application fee.

• Fill out the USAC Online Application for San Sebastian. Be sure to submit a personal statement as part of your application or email it to

**** Reminder: Do not submit the $300 application fee or transcripts to USAC

• Return your completed UI USAC study abroad cover sheet with your preferred courses and a copy of your passport to the front desk in Study Abroad as soon as possible.

NOTICE: For the Summer Term, this program has Summer I, Summer II, and Summer I & II options. In the UI online application under “Offering” you will be asked to choose between “Codes” A, B, or AB.

Code A=Summer I

Code B=Summer II

Code AB=Summer I & II

Please be careful to choose the correct session that corresponds to the dates you wish to be abroad. If you need help with this, please consult your study abroad advisor.

Withdrawal Policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to your USAC Program Advisor and the University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
After Application Administrative fee: $0
Course Fee: $300
After Cancellation Deposit Deadline (varies by program) Administrative fee: $400
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC
After Program Start Date Administrative fee: 100%
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. The USAC policy regarding withdrawals and refunds can be found here: USAC Money Matters. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

Orientation Information

All participants attend a pre-departure orientation specific to the program as well as a general study abroad orientation.