The Basque Language is currently spoken, both as first language and second language western corner of the Pyrenees Mountain range, in the north of Spain and south west of France. The objective of this sequence of 3 courses is the attainment of basic linguistic competence, as well as an appropriate cultural knowledge for the student to use it in other classes they might take in the department, and/or visit the Basque Country if they wish and sign up for the available annual opportunity.


From Cro-Magnons to great sailors and whale hunters during the late medieval times, from hardworking sheepherders to world-wide renowned artist and corporate entrepreneurs, Basques have, for centuries, coexisted with major empires, kingdoms and romance language speaking governments.  During these periods and fluctuations, they have managed to keep their language alive – and productive – to date. They currently write and produce academy-awarded movies like The Giant using that Non Indo-European language that have evolved form that spoken by the cavemen around the west end of the Pyrenees.

Dancing around the French and Spanish border, around 3 million citizens carry out their lives in 1, 2 or 3 languages. Due to its characteristics and contingencies, the Basque society offers a case study of a modern society, for students of different backgrounds to observe, dialogue and learn.

In the courses, we will gain the basic language skills, as well as tackle issues including language and identity, participation, gender etc., through the observation of multiple art forms (literature, film and TV, dance) in a collaborative environment with the only objective of exchanging and expanding our knowledge.


Every year, one or two students are able to visit the Basque Country ACCOMMODATION COSTS COVERED, and one student might earn a prize and get FLIGHT + ACCOMMODATION COSTS COVERED, for enrolling at a language learning school.

The UCLA Basque program sponsoring Institution, The Etxepare Basque Institute, grants one student from every university they have a program in. In addition, students can participate in a writing contest for a chance to get the cost of the flight covered.


Basques, like many others, are not strangers to getting out there and keeping a close exchange with their families, towns and governments. Currently, the 42 Basque Clubs in the U.S.A (registered under North American Basque Organizations) and 11 Basque Clubs in California, offer a unique opportunity to get to know Basque-Americans, their practices and exchange knowledge and experiences with them. Who knows what can result from approaching the unknown?

Since 2011, the Etxepare Basque Institute’s academic effort have resulted in 34  academic and artistic agreements to build bridges between the Basque Institutions and foreign faculty and students, in order to connect the academic and artistic talent of the Basque Country and the world.


Unai Nafarrate-Errasti

Office: Rolfe Hall 4331