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IAGE Illinois in Spain: Spanish and Business in Bilbao
Bilbao, Spain (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Fall Semester,
Spring Semester,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Budget Sheets Academic Year,
Fall Semester,
Spring Semester,
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
English, Spanish
Language Requirement:
100-level, 200-level, None
Apartment, Dormitory, Host Family
Illinois Sponsor:
Study Abroad Office (campus-wide)
Credit or Not for Credit:
For credit
Foreign Institution:
Cursos Internacionales Deusto de Espanol (CIDE) at the Universidad de Deusto
Program Description:


The deadline for Summer 2017 has been extended to March 15 and the deadline for Fall 2017 has been extended to April 15.

Program Overview

Home to the famous Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao is a bustling city in the north of Spain with a strong Basque history and cultural identity. While in Bilbao, students explore the fascinating cultural dynamic of Basque Country while interacting with Spanish and international students. Students will discover all of the attractions of the most populous city in the Basque County. Its beautiful landscape, nature and excellent cuisine will make a lasting impression on your experience in Bilbao. This program provides students with the opportunity to take intensive Spanish language courses, Business and/or Engineering courses in English. All of the courses offered on this program are pre-approved by the Spanish & Portuguese Department, the Economics Department, and the College of Business, making this program an excellent fit for Spanish, Economics, and Business students.  Available fall, spring, summer, and academic year terms.

Admire Bilbao for yourself here!

Quick Links

Program Specific Information

Academic Environment
On-Site Support
Application Process
Resources & Contact Information

Program Dates

General Study Abroad Information

Program Costs, Financial Aid & Scholarships *Please note that program-specific costs are available through the "Budget Sheet" link at the top of this page.
Health & Safety Information
Passport/Visa Information

Academic Environment

Where You Will Study

Students will take courses through CIDE - Centro Internacional de Español - at the Universidad de Deusto.  The University of Deusto is located in the heart of the city, across from the Guggenheim Museum. The two buildings face each other, making the bond between tradition and progress a reality. The University of Deusto has been an academic pioneer in Spain, always trying to give an answer to the professional and human demands of its students. The Business School, founded in 1916, is still one of the most prestigious academic institutions for business in Spain. CIDE is responsible for providing international students with the development of business skills and communication skills in Spanish. 
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CIDE offers three distinct tracks: Spanish Language and CultureBusiness, International Relations, and Spanish; Engineering, Business, and Spanish. Some courses are shared by the three tracks and can be taken regardless of which track you choose. Summer students choose between the Spanish Language and Culture program and the Business, International Relations and Spanish program. Students take between 12 and 18 credits a semester and 6-7 during the summer. 
Semester Program:

Students in the Spanish Language and Culture track take courses at CIDE that focus on Spanish language skills and culture. In addition to Spanish language, semester courses at CIDE include courses in European studies, Basque and Spanish culture, Hispanic literature and linguistics. Students participating in the program during the semesters also have the option of directly enrolling in the Departments at the Universidad de Deusto and taking classes taught in Spanish or English with Spanish students in Business and Economics, Sociology, Education, European Studies, or Engineering. Students with an advanced level of Spanish can also participate in an internship in education, an internship in business, or a service learning course.

Students in the Business, International Relations, and Spanish track will take courses focused on international business and international relations with a Spanish perspective as well as courses focused on Spanish language skills. Courses taught in English include International Business, Economy in the European Union, Transatlantic Relations, International Marketing or International Financial Systems. Courses taught in Spanish include Business Spanish, Spanish or Basque culture or European studies.  Students participating in the program during the semesters also have the option of directly enrolling in the Departments at the Universidad de Deusto and taking classes taught in Spanish or English with Spanish students in Business and Economics, Sociology, Education, European Studies, or Engineering. Students with an advanced level of Spanish can also participate in an internship in business or a service learning course. 

Students in the Engineering, Business, and Spanish track will take any of the courses listed on the following page:
NEW Engineering Program

Summer Program: 

In the summer, Spanish Language and Culture students can take courses taught in Spanish in Spanish language, Spanish Culture, European Union or Literature. Business, International Relations and Spanish summer students can take Spanish language courses, Spanish for Business and International Relations, and also select one of the two course options taught in English: International Business, and Spain’s Society and Economy in the EU. The Business track in the summer also includes the opportunity to visit companies (in previous programs, students have visited companies such as Mondragom Cooperative Society, Biskay Technology Park, Idom Engineering Services, or Marqués del Riscal Wineries). 

For a full listing of pre-approved courses, please see the Bilbao Course List.
Class Size
Class sizes may vary, but can range between 10 and 20 students per class.
The courses offered through this program are taught in either Spanish or English.
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Excursions / Activities
Bilbao is a city with a bustling cultural life. During the year, the city hosts art exhibitions, music festivals and theater shows, traditional festivities, and sports events. The city is surrounded by green mountains and surfbeaches are only 30 minutes away by subway or bus.

Programs at the University of Deusto include a few days of orientation activities (airport-pick up, welcome reception, information session about the city, the university and the academic components, and a practical visit to Bilbao downtown and historical area).

Each term includes an itinerary of the following excursions and a farewell ceremony and reception:
  • Madrid, and Toledo/Segovia 
  • Guided visit to Bilbao (downtown and old town)
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Fishermen wharf and beaches (summer and fall) 
  • Daytrip to Gernika and Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve
  • Daytrip to South of France (semesters) / Pamplona and San Sebastian (summer) 
Excursions are included as part of the program fees and include travel expenses, admission tickets and lunch. Hotel is included in the visit to Madrid.
Student Life and Cultural Engagement
Staff at CIDE will help you find activities and groups that suit your personal interest (for example, teaching English to kids, joining a local volleyball team, attending to soccer games, or volunteering). They will also provide students with information regarding extra-curricular activities organized at the University of Deusto (hiking group, choir, photography workshop, Basque dances, intramural sports, or faith activities).
Experiential Learning/Volunteer Opportunities
Business internships in areas such as consulting, marketing, IT, non-profit, tourism, fashion, and art are available during the semester program. Service learning opportunities related to educational activities provided for children or teenagers from underprivileged social backgrounds are also available during the semester program.

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On-Site Support

Jon Franco, U.S. Liaison

He received his B.A. in English Studies from University of Deusto, his M.A. in Linguistics from Indiana University, and his Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics from University of Southern California.
At age seventeen, Jon Franco was the first student from his high school to study abroad in the U.S., and that was where his fascination with International Education began. He teaches linguistics, and his duties in the international arena are twofold: 1) to take care of institutional relations between Deusto and U.S. universities; and 2) to make American students feel welcome by creating contexts for them to develop local friendships and have a good time.
International Spanish Center, CIDE Office
CIDE staff organizes the different aspects of the program (academic advising, housing, guided visits, orientation sessions, on-site support team), and assist you from the pre-departure until the last day of your program in Bilbao. 

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Students participating in the Bilbao semester program have three housing options: host family, residence hall, and room in a shared apartment. The host family is generally the best opportunity for improving Spanish language skills and gaining insight into Spanish family life; it is therefore the preferred option of the Illinois Abroad Office. The host family option includes three meals a day.

Students participating in the Bilbao summer programs have two housing options: host family or residence hall. The host family is generally the best opportunity for improving Spanish language skills and gaining insight into Spanish family life; it is therefore the preferred option of the Illinois Abroad Office. Please note that there are no Spanish students living in residence halls during summer, so you would be living with all international students.

For more information about accomodations in Bilbao, click here

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Application Process


To be eligible to participate in this program:
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA 
  • There is no SPAN language requirement for the Business and Spanish track
  • Recommended to have completed SPAN 141 (or the equivalent) prior to the start of the program in order to take 200-level+ Spanish courses
Dates and Deadlines

All requirements must be completed by the Illinois Abroad deadlines: online materials are due by 11:59 PM on the deadline date; paper materials are due by 4:45 PM the following business day. 

Spring Semester Programs
Final Deadline: September 15

Summer/Fall/Academic Year Programs
Final Deadline: February 15

How to Apply
Please click the Apply Now button (found at the top-right of this page) to apply. Note that you will be charged a non-refundable $100 Study Abroad Systems Fee by clicking Apply Now and logging in.

This program has a two-step application process:
Step 1 .) The Study Abroad Office Application, which includes:
  • Letter of recommendation - done electronically (must be an academic advisor, TA or professor)
  • Personal essay questions
  • Passport photocopy 
  • Host language essay (in Spanish)
  • Official transcript (eSCRIP)
  • Online questionnaires 
Only application materials for Step 1 must be turned in by the corresponding term’s deadlines as listed above.

Step 2.) The Host University application, due  (TO BE COMPLETED AFTER YOU ARE NOMINATED BY AN ADVISOR IN STEP 1):
  • If you are nominated by the Study Abroad Office based on your application in Step 1, you will then submit a second application to CIDE, Universidad de Deusto. Your study abroad advisor will provide you with additional information, and supplemental application instructions will follow.
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Resources & Contact Information

Walk-In Advising Hours
Monday - Friday
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
IAGE Advising and Resource Center (112 International Studies Building)

First Steps Info Sessions:
Click here for the dates and times of the First Steps Info Sessions.
Spain Program Advisor
Clair Bryan

Location and Mailing Address
Illinois Abroad & Global Exchange
910 South Fifth Street
124 International Studies Building
Champaign, IL 61820

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Program Dates

Please review the program dates table below:

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2017 09/15/2016
09/16/2016 01/10/2017 05/17/2017
Academic Year 2017-2018 02/15/2017
02/16/2017 09/03/2017 05/17/2018
Fall Semester 2017 04/15/2017
Rolling Admission 09/03/2017 12/20/2017
Summer 2017 04/15/2017
Rolling Admission 06/21/2017 07/28/2017
Spring Semester 2018 09/15/2017 09/15/2017 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed