Basque Country Must Sees

Every year Dr. Herrera takes a group of graduate students to the Basque Country, in north of Spain to explore a successful truly democratic model of organization. Through participation in this course, students open their minds to the co-operative model of leadership, a model that was built (and remains functioning ) on principles of cooperation, participatory management, payment solidarity, and social transformation. The Mondragón cooperative is today one of the leading Spanish business groups, integrated by autonomous and independent employee owned cooperatives with production subsidiaries and corporate offices in 41 countries and sales in more than 150.

Since we understand that the course itself is only part of the experience, we have compiled a list of MUST SEES in the region to maximize your time and enhance your cultural exposure while abroad.


Guggenheim Museum- Frank Gehry’s architectural masterpiece, said to be one of the most important structures of its time.  In addition to its artistic accomplishments, this museum is attributed with revitalizing and transforming the city.  The building and its extensive collection of modern and contemporary art are must-sees.

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Casco Viejo – The old town and medieval neighborhood of Bilbao. Beautiful architecture, full of little bars, shops and restaurants.

Plaza Miguel de Unamuno – Visit this bright, open plaza named in honor of Bilbao’s greatest intellectual.

Parque de Doña Casilda de Iturrizar – A whimsical, peaceful park with an English-style garden.  Relax in the open, green area and enjoy the fountains and large duck pond.


La Concha Beach – A crescent shaped beach with clean, blue waters framed by a mountain and the old city.  Enjoy the coastal promenade walkway and check out the nearby restaurants and bars.

Dr. Herrera with students in San Sebastian

Dr. Herrera with students in San Sebastian

Parte Vieja – The old city is located between the harbor and the Urumea river.  Wander through the streets to see the characteristic shops and pintxo bars.

Monte Urgull – This mountain, located across the gulf, offers a variety of nature trails with views of the surrounding bay and city.  Take a 20 minute walk to the peak and enjoy a sweeping view of San Sebastian and La Concha beach.

MONDRAGÓN: Opening eyes to co-ops

Interesting facts:

  • Cooperative initially started in 1941 by Catholic priest, Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta
  • 147 companies
  • 80,000 workers
  • Salary Range: the highest paid worker can never make more than 6.5 times the lowest paid worker.
Students gather around Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta's statue - founder of the Mondragón corporation

Students gather around Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta’s statue – founder of the Mondragón corporation

PAMPLONA: La Fiesta de San Fermín!

Famous 8 am daily event in Pamplona - running with the bulls !

Famous 8 am daily event in Pamplona – running with the bulls !

About an hour south of Mondragón is Pamplona, a city that welcomes hundreds of tourists each year for the famous San Fermín celebration. San Fermin is internationally known for the event of the running of the bulls, where the bulls are let loose through some of the streets of the old part of the city. The runnings of the bulls take place from the July 7th to July 14th at 8.00 am in the morning.

If you are going to be in North of Spain during the San Fermín celebration and would like more information about the event click here.

 Food in the Basque Country:

It has been said that San Sebastian has the best food you will ever eat. In fact, with its nearly 40 Michelin starred restaurants, the Basque Country is one of the best fine dining destinations in the world. From traditional to experimental dishes, it’s all here.

Here is a small list of the MUST EATS:

Pintxos – Basque tapas

Txikiteo is the Basque word for pub crawl. It is a ritual rooted in the values of cooperativism (and solidarity) itself since locals prefer to eat only a few pintxos in one bar and move on to the next one (and another one after that, and another one) in order to give business to their entire community.


(Picture from  )


Seafood – balacao (cod); marmitako (fish stew)


(Picture from )

Wines – Txakoli (dry, sparkling wine w/ high acidity)

wines in the Basque country

(Picture from )

For more information on the Basque cuisine check the links below:


We look forward to seeing you all in Bilbao next week!

Find Out What Students are Saying About Studying Abroad!

“The opportunity to travel abroad is one of the aspects of USD’s graduate program that I value the most. Learning abroad is much more than showing up to class in another country. Although the courses and professors that these programs offer are fantastic, it is traveling in itself that offers the greatest learning opportunity. Learning and interacting in foreign countries has added immeasurably to my MBA experience and has enriched my overall time at USD. Not to mention, Rio is one of the most amazing places on Earth”

Danny Reeves – MBA/MSRE student about a class taken in Rio

Students experience Brazil while Studying Abroad

Students Explore Brazil while Studying Abroad


“I have travelled to many countries but USD’s intersession program abroad was very unique and outstanding. The effective integrated academic program combined with a local site tour provided knowledge and an experience that was better than any other business or personal travel I have ever had. Also, the number of students who attended the program was the perfect size, which helped to maximize the sharing of information among one another while minimizing any confusion.

In addition, the combination of USA students, international students and local students working together with a common goal provided a very diverse environment for productive discussion and creative insight in decision making.”

Yungchul Huh – MSRE/MBA student about her consulting project experience in Rio

Consulting Project Abroad - USD and COPPEAD Masters Students Collaborating
Consulting Project Abroad – USD and COPPEAD Masters Students Collaborating

Educational and Cultural Program at USD – Tec de Monterrey Students

As part of their learning experience at USD, incoming students have an opportunity to expand their business knowledge through on-site visits and in-depth discussions with the management teams of local corporations.

This year, 87 students from Tec de Monterrey (Campus Guadalajara) Business, Humanities and Architecture programs came to spend the month of June emerging themselves in American culture and participating in USD’s faculty led seminars on campus.

Tec de Monterrey business students had an opportunity to learn about the expansion and growth of Cinepólis, a Mexican company, into the United States while visiting the company’s location in Del Mar.

Tec de Monterrey (campus Guadalajara) students visit Cinepolis

Tec de Monterrey (campus Guadalajara) students visit Cinepolis

As part of their educational and cultural program abroad, Tec business students are also going to visit Taylor Guitars, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium acoustic and electric guitars headquartered in San Diego; and WorldTrans, a all-in-one supply chain logistics corporation.

Students visit Taylor guitars San Diego headquarters to learn what steps the company took to increase market share by going internationally.

Students visit Taylor guitars San Diego headquarters to learn what steps the company took to increase market share by going internationally.

Tec de Monterrey students who are part of the Humanities program will have the opportunity to visit ABC Channel 10 facilities in San Diego; San Diego’s local newspaper – The Union Tribune; and EvoNexus, a San Diegan non-profit technology corporation.

Dr. Moran's American Media & Culture class visits ABC 10 News

Dr. Moran’s American Media & Culture class visits ABC 10 News

Architecture students visits will include: The historic Friendship Park, which connects individuals from both sides of the border; Woodbury University; the NBC building; the Merrimack building; and Barrio Logan.