March 20, 2016
Living Bilbao: “my student life in Bilbao”
How Bilbao ruined my student life
There is an ethereal mist over the Bilbao’s estuary that disappears before the morning light envelopes the city. Four months studying in the Basque Country happened in blink of an eye. I never thought that is was going to be so fast. People say that life is like a box of chocolates, but for me is like a bar full of pintxos.
Bilbao holds a secret that it can only be discovered beyond the eyes of a tourist. This secret was the one who ruined my student life forever, let me tell you about it…as I shared with you in my latest articles. I’m currently studying the European and International Business Master, which is a joint program held in three different countries, Bilbao was the first stop.
What did I learn?
- You are welcome by locals: one thing is being a tourist and other thing is being a foreign student that it happens to be a tourist sometimes. I have very special skill of getting lost very in small cities. Bilbao is not so big city and you can visit in a whole day or two. However, it takes more time to feel its secret. In case of getting lost, the locals will tell you how to reach the directions, or in the best case scenario they can walk you towards your destination. Hence getting lost a few times helped me to find new shortcuts.
- Bilbao’s city style and architecture is made out of contrast. Sometimes you can define a city with a special architecture, this is not-al least for me- this case. Bilbao has modern buildings like Iberdrola Tower and others with a story to tell from the XIX Century like Deusto University. Then, you have “Narnia’s doors” like Jardínes de Albia and Parque Casilda Iturrizar. These two places are hidden and enclosed in nature in case you need a quick break “from a busy day”. Moreover, you can see mountains from the city, which is one of the views I miss the most from Costa Rica, my homeland.
- How to get around Bilbao? Public transportation is clean and efficient. You can’t get a student’s discount , but the prices are quite fair. The easiest and cheapest way to have access to public transportation is getting a card that cost 3€ that it can be recharged as much as you need with a minimum of 5€. This card can be used for the metro, tram and buses. Another option is walking, in Bilbao you can walk almost everywhere.
- Studying… I had a very overload time at Deusto, and yes, many times in classes I wished being outside enjoying the rare “summerish” time we had from October to December. Some weeks my journey was from home to class, from class to home, nothing more or less. Despite all of this, the simply night promenade throughout the Deusto’s bridge with the view of the twinkling estuary is unique, simply little moments to appreciate that you can’t be to busy for living.
- Bilbao didn’t make me feel like a stranger, I found joy by doing simple things.
- Traveling alone, without people rushing time, is one of my favorite moments to learn about myself. However, as a woman I know that traveling alone can be dangerous, overall at night, but in Bilbao I felt very safe. I had the impression that people always made time to have a chat with their friends and colleagues. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday or Friday night, the city seems always ready to welcome you.
What I miss the most from Bilbao…now that I’m studying in France:
- The smell that comes out from the bars when you pass walking by…a unique smell of “tortilla de patata, wine and coffee”.
- How the Iberdrola uses the estuary as a mirror…
- The beach, and getting there in less than 35 minutes by metro…
- When picking a Pintxo seems to be the hardest decision in your day
- When San Mamés shows off its colors…
- Feeling proud after the word “agur” comes naturally after a while
- Buying Costa Rican bananas at Simply Market
- Having bollo de mantequilla on Saturday mornings
- My international basque family
Tonight I was talking with my dear friend Joshua about the Basque Country, he is from the United Kingdom but he has lived in the Basque Country for a while. When I first meet him, he was very “in love” of the Basque Country, since that day I wondered why until I asked him: what do you like the most from the Basque Country? He answered: “the feeling of togetherness and camaraderie, the family oriented style, the mix of mountains and coast and ooh, the historic language”. He was right!
Bilbao took me to an endless Maverick-journey! Bilbao and Spain taught me that the sun always comes out by the side of people’s heart.
The secret that ruined my student’s life is the abundance of life inspired by the Basques, the feeling that everything will be ok, the hope that I will come back, and overall the feeling of motivating more and more people to visit this fascinating city. It ruined my student’s life because if you ask me now where would like to go back again, I’d answer: Bilbao, oh my Bilbao you are a charming adventure.