Spain: Advanced Spanish Language Immersion Semester with University Deusto
The University of Deusto is a Spanish university that first opened its doors in 1886, with campuses in Bilbao and San Sebastián. GVSU students will study on the Bilbao campus through the exchange program. Bilbao is in northern Spain, and is the largest city in the Basque Country. The city has a rich history that dates back over 700 years and has transformed into a major cultural hub. Bilbao offers many attractions, traditions, and cuisines that students can spend their free time exploring. Bilbao also has a well-connected public transportation system, making it easy to travel around Spain and throughout Europe as well.
This program is available to students with a high proficiency in Spanish (a minimum of 5 semesters of college-level Spanish) interested in taking courses with local Spanish students. The semester exchange is only available for fall and/or winter semester. Students will have access to homestays, residence halls, or shared apartments while abroad. Each option offers a unique experience that can benefit students’ language learning and cultural immersion.
Welcome Guide (Spanish Version)
The University of Deusto Fact Sheet will answer many of your questions.
GVUS's partner universities are largely independent programs; prospective participants should carefully consider if this form of study abroad suits their needs before registering. These partnerships allow students to experience a more independent international study abroad, but also require students to have a high level of flexibility and the ability to navigate much of the program independently. Those who prefer additional support may wish to consider other study abroad options such as external study abroad providers and our faculty-led options.
Program Dates and Application Deadline
Academic Year 2022 (Fall 2022-Winter 2023)
Estimated Program Dates: September 2022 - June 2023
Application Deadline: February 1, 2022 (Closed)
Estimated Program Dates: February 2023 - June 2023
Application Deadline: September 1, 2022 (Closed)
Academic Year 2023 (Fall 2023-Winter 2024)
Estimated Program Dates: September 2023 - May 2024
Application Deadline: February 1, 2023 (Closed)
Estimated Program Dates: September 2023 - January 2024
Application Deadline: February 1, 2023 (Closed)
Estimated Program Dates: February 2024 - June 2024
Application Deadline: September 1, 2023
Fall semester participants who need to depart in December to return to GVSU for Winter semester classes must secure approval from their professors at UD once they arrive. In the past, this has not been a problem for most students; however, approval is at the discretion of each professor.
Spring semester participants will be finished with exams in early June, however, there is an opportunity to re-sit exams later in the month. Students will want to plan departure accordingly.
Students will be required to register for 30 ECTS credits which equate to about 15 US credits. Students will be required to take 4 of 5 courses from the same academic department which should align with a student's major or minor. Exchange students will not be allowed to take courses from many different departments. Students are required to be at a minimum of B1 level in Spanish to participate in the exchange. There are some regular UD courses available in English, but the selection is limited.
UD does offer an intensive Spanish language course for exchange students prior to the start of each semester. This course is free of charge, but students will be required to purchase the learning materials (approx. 40 Euro). This course is not required but is recommended for students completing all of their courses in Spanish.
Course Options Use this button to search all available course options and descriptions.
Pre-Approved Courses Note: This course list indicates courses that have been previously approved. It is not a list of available courses on this program.
Course Approval Process Students registering for courses that have not been pre-approved will need to follow the course approval instructions.
Students interested in satisfying general education courses abroad can find more information on our General Education page.
Students will have access to homestays, residence halls, or shared apartments. Information is available on the UD website. The Accommodations Office at UD assists students in securing housing.
Housing costs will range based on the type of housing selected. Students can expect to pay between 500-1150 Euro per month for accommodation.
Estimated housing costs can be found in the Costs and Scholarships section.
Cost and Scholarships
NOTE: "Other Expenses" listed in the Cost Breakdown are general cost estimates. Due to COVID-19, costs may increase for basic goods and housing. These estimates are provided as a guide to help students in their planning, but they are subject to change.
SEIDMAN COLLEGE OF BUSINESS SCHOLARSHIP: offers a study abroad scholarship for SCB majors who wish to participate in a qualified study abroad or international internship program. Awards are based on program costs and financial need. Apply online using GVSU MyScholarships: https://gvsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/3103
Questions? Contact [email protected] or 616-331-3898
Students must be degree-seeking, have attended at least one semester at GVSU, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 at the time of application. Students must also have completed 5 semesters of college-level Spanish to participate.
No Covid Restrictions for entry
Host University Website
Campus Info / Campus Life
The University of Deusto has about 8,000 students with a small campus located in the heart of the city. Students are a short walking distance to local restaurants, museums, parks, and shopping. There are a variety of student activities on-campus, including recreation facilities. Past participants have reported that it is very easy to meet other international students.
Students should prepare for the visa application process well in advance. We recommend students review the visa requirements a minimum of 3-4 months prior to departure. Students will be required to make an appointment to submit visa application materials to the Spanish Consulate in Chicago or the Consulate that has jurisdiction over their permanent residence. The student visa guide provides information regarding the application process and required documents. Please note that the appropriate consulate or embassy must be consulted for the most up-to-date visa information.
US State Department Information
US State Department Country Information (Spain)
US State Department - Students Abroad
Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Report - Crime and Safety Report (Spain)
Student Guide - English Version
Sample Welcome Letter This is an example of a welcome letter that a student would receive upon acceptance to the program
Resources for Emergency Situations
Reporting an Incident
"...the people were so kind and understanding of my limited Spanish language, especially my wonderful host family and the staff at UD. I loved my Spanish professors since they helped me learn so much about the language and culture, as well as the actual class subject. If someone were to do this program, I highly recommend the Basque language and culture class since it helped me understand the place I was living so much better. The only thing I regret from the whole four months was that I didn't try harder to break out of my comfort zone and practice my Spanish more, so my advice would be to speak Spanish with everyone, even if they try to switch the conversation to English (which most will do since most of the people in Bilbao are trilingual!). The thing that sticks out to me the most about Bilbao probably is the beauty of the city itself, however. Everything is so clean and the architecture and art throughout the city is breathtaking! " -Sarah Goupil
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