Study in Bilbao, Spain
City overviewThe capital of Biscay and biggest city of the autonomous Basque region, Bilbao is a place with character, heart and ambition. Once a rundown industrial city, it has recently become a major European centre of art, with the titanium Museo Guggenheim its crown jewel.
Choosing to study a graduate program in Bilbao will place you in a cultural, exciting and arty city which is proud of its roots and tradition.
Education profileBilbao is home to two universities where you can study a graduate program. These are:
- University of Deusto
- University of the Basque Country
The main campuses of the Technical and Business faculties at the University of Deusto are based in Bilbao.
Graduate programs in Bilbao are taught in a variety of languages, including Spanish, Basque, English, French and even Arabic.
Immigration and visasIt’s important to have the correct student visa documentation before coming to study a graduate program in Bilbao. EU students are able to study in Bilbao without a visa providing they choose an approved institution and have sufficient income to support themselves.
Non-EU students will normally need to apply for a student visa prior to arrival, depending on nationality. Most international students will need to show the following:
- You have a confirmed place on a course at a recognised education institution
- You are not already in the country on a tourist or business visa
- You have paid all relevant visa fees
- You have sufficient funds to support yourself
- You have comprehensive health insurance cover
Life in BilbaoAs the centre of the Basque community, Bilbao is a city that is extremely proud of its roots and history. Bilbao is a pretty relaxed city, with inhabitants who work to live rather than live to work. Expect office closedowns for lunchtime siestas, shops that stay open until 10pm and to eat late rather than early.
One thing you will have to get used to is the constant rain – just under half of all days in Bilbao will experience rain.
Working in BilbaoBilbao is the economic centre of the Basque country and has always been an industrial city. The port of Bilbao is amongst Spain’s top five, generating more than 10,000 jobs for the city.
Mining and ironworks are also key industries, but tourism is playing an increasing part in Bilbao’s economy, particularly since the inauguration of the Guggenheim museum in 1997.
While EU students are free to work in Bilbao during their studies, many international students will not be able to do so under the terms of their student visa.
AccommodationMost international students coming to study a graduate program in Bilbao will opt to live in dedicated halls of residence provided by their chosen university. The benefits of this include having a ready made flat to move into on arrival, support from your university and the opportunity to meet fellow students.
However, as a student hub and tourist destination, Bilbao offers plenty of options if you want to live privately. It’s often easier to find a private flat once you’re in the city.
Weather and climateBilbao is generally known as a rainy city so pack an umbrella. In fact, rainy days make up 45% of the annual total and cloudy days a further 40%. November is the wettest month.
Summers are warm, with temperatures around 25C between June and August. Winter is at its coldest between January and March, but it is rare for temperatures to fall below freezing.
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