Living Bilbao: “A foreign student’s life in Bilbao”

All Images Copyright © 2014 - 2015 The Wanderlure, All Rights Reserved.
All Images Copyright © 2014 - 2015 The Wanderlure, All Rights Reserved.
All Images Copyright © 2014 – 2015 The Wanderlure, All Rights Reserved.

Part 1 

Of course I did it! I have been stalking Bilbao from everywhere (Facebook Fan Pages, news, university profile, videos on YouTube and so on). The fact of living in another continent, America, trigged me to do it so.

Since I was 16 years old, I promise to myself: Girl you are going to study your masters abroad! Why? Because studying involves a special commitment with being a better person and professional, engages you with an attitude to make things happen based on your dreams and goals. In fact, you can dream and dream and dream, but then you realize that dreaming took more time than actually working on it! So bring it on! Anyway, I will tell you a bit about my story in the following adventures.

Consequently, I decided to create a project, I though with the classes I wouldn’t be able to write about it, however I decided I will do it anyway as a part of the integral learning I’m willing to have.

This Project named Living Bilbao is about a very honest review of how is like to live in this city as a foreign student. I won’t tell you how to be a tourist but a traveler, and how not to visit Bilbao but how to living it and loving it! A 23 years old Costa Rican girl will be delivering you the latest about Living Bilbao, while studying her masters at Deusto.


View from Puente de Deusto
View from Puente de Deusto

Bilbao-first days

To be honest, Bilbao didn’t have the best impression of me, legit, after 16 hours flying, and two days traveling, plus 8 hours jet lag: I had very bad dark circles under my eyes! Bilbao give me second chance, I know you will!

I arrived to Bilbao On September 4th the temperature was template between 23C -25C, pretty warm. Then, after picking my luggage safe and sound, I walked out and saw them: my host Spanish family, what a bliss!

My first impressions so far:

  • Bilbao is better looking than all those touristic photos on the web.
  • Everyday can be a pintxos day
  • Yes you will het lost and found by this fascinating city with walkable distances.
  • I credit the fact that Bilbao is surrounded by mountains, it makes me feel like home.
  • My main city points to not get lost are:
    • Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
    • Deusto University
    • Sagrado Corazón statue
  • I love jamón Serrano and tortilla de patata.
  • There is a place named Alaska for having the best ice cream so far, and the medium size is huge!
  • Grocery shopping, well I have been going to Lidl and BM, with 25 euros I have purchased the basics: overall greek yogurt and pineapple. Here in Bilbao they have the BEST pineapples in the world from Costa Rica, the great little paradise.
  • The main stores open at 9:00. Also, I have found that many offices and stores close at 1:30p.m or 2:00p.m, and then re open at 3:00 p.m or 4:00 p.m.
  • I’m 30 minutes far from the beach, Las Arenas.
  • Everyone talks about “siesta”, I haven’t tried this so far due to homework.
  • Friday is not the only day where you can hang out and party…
  • Zara is everywhere.
  • Instead of saying “ok” or “great”, say “vale”.
  • They feeling of “everything needs to be done now”, is drifting away from my agenda.


Having a good balance between studying and living abroad is my goal, I came to study, hence I have a wanderlust heart, what to do? Study hard during the week and choose a day when I can chill and relax to wander around. Like my dearest friend from Malaysia said: “we’re the type that would prefer coffee and a good book”, thank you Xiang. From coffee shop to little streets is one of the ways of how I like to discover the city.

During my whole life, I have been very strict to me with school, studying is an opportunity that not everyone has; therefore I have to make the most of it, is now or never. I just think about the struggles I had to come here, all the nights with paper work, all those days waiting for my visa, being here is a privilege and I must be thankful.

After the first week of classes, I decided to have a quick trip to Vitoria a city located an hour far form Bilbao, I will tell you more about this in the next article.


Don’t forget to visit these pages for stalking Bilbao at its best:


Bilbao International

Visit Euskadi

ESN Bilbao, the latest news and events of the Erasmus life here in Bilbao


Bilbao I can promise we are gonna have PURA VIDA!


Deusto University
Deusto University

All Images Copyright © 2014 – 2015 The Wanderlure, All Rights Reserved.