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Bilbao! My Study Abroad Experience


Today’s post is going to be about my time in Bilbao. Bilbao is the city in which I studied abroad. I chose to study abroad here because it is the program most affiliated with my college. It is in the north of Spain, in Basque Country. Now, the students lived in Getxo, a suburb, so I honestly spent most of my time in there, but I went to school in Bilbao. This post is going to be Bilbao, and I will have another post about Getxo.

Overall Impressions: Bilbao is absolutely beautiful. Everything is in walking distance. It is also a very safe city. I never felt worried to have my phone out while walking in the streets. Plaza Moyua is the city’s center and everything is connected from there. The metro system is also amazing. The school I attended was right down one of the streets off the Plaza. The street signs were very annoying to try to read, since they are on the side of buildings, but the people are very friendly and do not mind being bothered about directions. The sidewalks are also astounding because they are made out of millions of individual tiles.

Favorite Places: My favorite part of Bilbao has to be The Puppy outside of the Guggenheim art museum. It was the one thing I definitely wanted to see in Bilbao, and it was so amazing! I actually cried the first time I saw it. My favorite part of Bilbao was Casco Viejo, Old Town. The buildings there were absolutely fabulous. The shops there were really cool. I found an old book shop. A few nights, the friends I made and I went out to dinner in Casco Viejo. We went to a restaurant called Kiosko. They had really yummy veggie lasagna. The Zubizuri bridge was also super cool to walk across.

Other cool Places: Bilbao has a lot of art. The Guggenhiem and the Bellas Artes Museum are amazing. Top notch art work in a top notch city! The Funicular is also a very cool addition to Bilbao. It is a rail car type thing that takes people up the side of a mountain then at the top there is a gorgeous view of the city. Also up there is a statue that is a finger print.

School time: The time spent in school was three hours Monday through Friday. The class size was 4 people in my Spanish composition class. We wrote four really fun compositions in class, but we also analyzed music and did other fun activities. The building was very beautiful.

Favorite foods: I ABSOLUTELY FELL IN LOVE WITH CHOCOLATE A LA TAZA. It is like hot chocolate, but not water down. It is a super thick drink. People ask me if it is like pudding. No, no it is not. Just imagine a bunch of melted chocolate bars made into a silky liquid. I literally got it at least once a day. It was absolutely amazing. I also usually got a croissant or a chocolate croissant with it. Another one of my favorites was Capra Helado. It is the best ice cream in the world. It was topped with chocolate and nuts, an absolute dream. I also eat those quite frequently. Since I am located near Chicago, I really missed pizza after the first few days. So my friend and I went to a place called Telepizza a lot, it had okay pizza, similar to Pizza Hut. We usually studied there and used the free Wifi. Although, I usually just went there cause I loved ordering pizza in Spanish. If there is anything I learned in Spanish, it is how to order a pizza (but I also learned a TON of other Spanish as well). After describing my favorite foods, people are probably wondering how I did not gain a million pounds. Well, I walked A LOT in Spain. It was the best way to get around, after the metro of course. I even lost 15 pounds during my time in Spain.

Final remarks: Out of all the cities I traveled to in Spain, Bilbao had my favorite Spanish. I understood it very well, and it was easy to communicate in. As opposed to Barcelona, were the Spanish was very different, because they speak a very different type.

Overall, studying abroad was amazing!

I also took a lot of video while I was studying abroad! Here is a playlist of videos of different adventures of my time in Spain:

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