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Semester Abroad at the Universidad de Deusto - Spain, Bilbao

Datum:09 september 2022
Auteur:Eva Wohlhage
Spain, Bilbao
Spain, Bilbao

My master programme “Euroculture: Society, Politics and Culture in a Global Context” is an Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree. Thus, the semester abroad was mandatory, and the host university had to be chosen among the partner universities. My choice was the Universidad de Deusto and I am really happy about this decision! Especially the research seminar Europe in the Wider World which deals with Latin America and India and their international relations and perspective on Europe were super interesting!

As English is the teaching language during the whole Master’s programme, the lectures were not really a problem for me. Unfortunately, there were some really interesting presentations additional to the programme’s ones which were just offered in Spanish. This was a bit of a pity.
In general, the level of English is lower in many sectors in Bilbao, so it was helpful to at least understand easy conversations and express some basic needs.

In general, looking at the finances, the semester in Spain was more relaxed for me. First of all, because I could get some funding from GUF and Erasmus which was amazing. On top of that, the overall living costs are lower in comparison to Germany or the Netherlands. Especially the foods and going out for lunch, dinner or a drink were definitely more affordable.

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Spain, Bilbao

In general, the Univerdidad de Deusto offers a great opportunity to get a housing. They have a Map in which you can see free houses and the prices. If you find something suitable you can apply for it and fill in preferences, also for possible housemates. However, we were kind of unlucky and could not get a spot we wanted. Thus, we searched for our own, especially via Idealista, and found a great flat there! It was more expensive than expected but with the above-mentioned funding it was manageable.
The main city of Bilbao is not too big, so that you can do everything walking or with a short metro trip. was super happy with our spot in Indauxtu having the metro, supermarkets, the centre and the university all close by. Generally, the city felt quite safe for me and I only tried to avoid some neighbourhoods San with rather bad reputations.

Of course, I chose the Universidad de Deusto not only for the thematic focus, but also for my interest in the culture and the life there. And after my semester I can just confirm that the Spanish lifestyle is a really enjoyable one. People like to be outside together, enjoying good weather, food and wine as well as music and arts. And of course, a visit at the Guggenheim was a must-have!
Additionally, I enjoyed the environment of Bilbao very much. The mix of mountains, and hills with the coast is amazing. For example, we went surfing or on great hikes.

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Spain, Bilbao

Especially for international students, the ESN network and Happy Erasmus Bilbao (the last one even more, I believe) organise trips and events for nearly every second or third day. A membership is quite cheap and I joined some funny events even though I was not too included in the Happy Erasmus bubble.
Unfortunately, the offer of university sport was quite limited. Maybe I was too used to the Groningen system, but I was a little bit disappointed.

All in all: The opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Bilbao was amazing – thanks again for the financial support, GUF!