Program Details: University of Deusto

Is this program for me?

The University of Deusto is the oldest private university in Spain with its main campus located in Bilbao. GVSU students will study on the Bilbao campus either through the International Spanish Center (CIDE) or through the exchange program. Until 2015, GVSU students only had the option of studying at University of Deusto through CIDE. In 2015, GVSU and the University of Deusto expanded the opportunities to allow 1-2 students per year to participate in regular university classes through an exchange. Students interested in improving their Spanish proficiency should first look at the options through CIDE. CIDE offers both a Spanish language and culture program and a Business and Spanish program. CIDE options are available for the fall, winter, academic year or the summer. Students with a high proficiency in Spanish (a minimum of 5 semester of college-level Spanish), may consider applying to the semester exchange where they would take courses with local Spanish students in regular courses offered at the University of Deusto. The semester exchange is only available for fall and/or winter semesters. Students who choose to participate in the exchange will have a full immersion into a Spanish university which requires students to accept a higher level of independence and self-reliance to manage the wide range of administrative necessities. While there is a bit more involved with the semester exchange, the rewards are many!

Host University Homepage

University of Deusto Exchange Student Website (Not for CIDE language institute)

CIDE website



Bilbao is located in the heart of the Basque Country in northern Spain. Bilbao is an amazing city with the famous Guggenheim Museum, restaurants, shopping, and incredible parks. Similar to Grand Rapids, Bilbao has a river that winds through the city with incredible walkways for those who like to venture out for a morning or afternoon stroll. Bilbao is just 12 km away from the Bay of Biscay which is a gulf in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a very easy city to navigate with easy access to public transportation.

Map of Campus



2017-2018 Exchange Student Estimated Budget

Students can find information on CIDE program costs on the CIDE website

How will I pay for this?

Financial Aid FAQ's

A PIC Partnership Grant is available ($500 each) 1 available per year for this program.

Any student studying abroad for a semester is automatically considered for the Study Abroad Semester Grand, click here for grant guidelines

The cost of any study abroad program depends to a large extent on the participant's personal spending habits and lifestyle.



Visa Information

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.

Housing and Meals

Students studying through CIDE will have the option of a homestay, residence halls or a shared apartment. Attached is a list of the CIDE housing fees  and additional CIDE Housing Information.

Exchange students will have access to homestay, 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.



Program Dates

Program Options:

University of Deusto Semester Exchange - Key Dates 2017-2018

OPTION 1:  CIDE- INTERNATIONAL SPANISH CENTER (Spanish language & culture and business & international relations)

Fall: September - December     Winter (CIDE's spring): January - May    Spring/Summer: end of June to end of July

OPTION 2:  SEMESTER EXCHANGE (students applying to take regular UD courses with Spanish students)

Fall:    September - January*    Winter (UD's Spring): February - mid-June

*Students who need to depart in December to return to the US 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.





Students interested in taking courses through the International Spanish Center - CIDE should visit the CIDE website for course information and other program details.


Academic offerings for exchange students

Students will be required to register for 30 ECTS credits which equates 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 a intensive Spanish language courses 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.

How will the courses I take at University of Deusto transfer back to my GVSU transcript?

If the course you wish to take at UD appears on the "Existing Course Equivalencies" list, you do not need to secure approval for that course. The courses on this list have already been approved by the academic department here at GVSU.

CIDE course equivalency list

UD exchange student course equivalency list - coming soon

Note: This is not a full list of courses offer at this partner Institution.

Host University Guides

2017-2018 Fact Sheet (exchange only)

2017 Student Guide (exchange only)

2017-2018 Academic Calendar

Insurance Requirement (exchange only)

Sample Welcome Letter This is an example of a welcome letter that a student would receive upon acceptance to the program (exchange only)

Campus Map




University of Deusto Application Process

Step 1 - Students must apply and be accepted into the GVSU OASIS application system.

Step 2 - The Padnos International Center will provide all applicants with application instructions after the OASIS priority deadline. Students applying for the CIDE Language & Culture Program can apply directly to CIDE at:

Step 3 - Students must complete all application requirements for the University of Deusto. Students applying for the "exchange" must turn all application materials into the Padnos International Center.

Step 4 - Students receive admission into the program and are provided with additional pre-arrival instructions.

Campus Information

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.


Page last modified August 13, 2018