Spain vs Australia: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination in 2024?

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Both Spain and Australia are considered to be excellent study-abroad destinations among students. If you are someone who cannot decide which one to choose for the pursuit of your higher education, then you are at the right place. Here, we will clear all your doubts regarding Spain vs Australia. We will compare both countries based on certain aspects and award +2 points to the one which is better in a particular aspect. Towards the end of this blog, we will tally each nation’s score and the one with the higher total score will be deemed a better study-abroad destination. So, without any further ado, let’s begin our comparison. 

Parameters  Spain Australia
Area 506,030 KM² 7.688 Million KM²
Currency The Euro (€) AUD (AU$)
Capital Madrid Canberra
Total Higher Education Providers 86 170
Total Indian Students Studying 1,500 95,791
Average Cost of Living €689.4 – €2,430.9 AU$2800 – AU$3000 Per Month
Average Cost of Studying €800 to €1,200 Per Year AU$20,000 – AU$50,000Per Year
Popular Job Sectors Law, Data Science, Real Estate, Food Industry, Clothing Industry, Information and Communications Technology, and Business Development Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Healthcare and Medical, Architects, Professional Services – Technical & Scientific Area
Permitted Part-Time Working Hours 20 Hours Per Week / 4 Hours Per Day 40 Hours Per Week

Top-Ranked Universities: Spain vs Australia

Spain and Australia boast world-class universities which are renowned for their academic excellence. Let’s compare both countries based on their top-ranked universities in this section. 

Universities in Spain

Here is a list of some of the highest-ranked universities in Spain:

Top Universities in Spain QS World University Rankings 2024 Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona =149 201–250
Universitat de Barcelona =164 =152
Complutense University of Madrid =171 501–600
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid =199 351–400
University of Navarra 280 301–350
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) =310 201–250
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) =319 801–1000
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) 354 601–800
University of Granada 403 501–600
IE University 428 201–300

Universities in Australia

The table below shows some of the best Australian universities: 

Top Universities in Australia  QS World University Rankings 2024 Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
The University of Melbourne 14 34
The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) 19 71
The University of Sydney 19 54
Australian National University (ANU) 34 62
Monash University 42 44
The University of Queensland 43 53
The University of Western Australia 72 131
The University of Adelaide 89 88
University of Technology Sydney 90 133
Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) 130 192

Which Country is Better?

It is clear from the above tables that Australian universities are ranked higher than the universities in Spain. Hence, we will award +2 points to Australia in this round of Spain vs Australia. 

top-ranked universities

Also Read: Spain Study Visa

Admission Requirements

Before you jump into the admission process for a university in your desired country, make sure you are aware of its admission requirements. So, let’s look at the eligibility criteria to gain admission to the universities in Spain and Australia. 

Admission Requirements for Spain

Here are the admission criteria for universities in Spain:

  • If you are applying for a bachelor’s program, you need to ensure that you have completed your high school. If you are applying for a postgraduate course, then you have to complete your undergraduate degree. 
  • You need to score a minimum grade of 5 in the general core subject in the PCE exams you attend. 
  • You also have to secure a minimum score of 6.5 on IELTS and 90-100 on TOEFL.
  • Moreover, you must provide the following documents for your admission: 
  1. A valid passport, 
  2. Medical insurance, 
  3. Travel insurance,
  4. A valid student visa, and
  5. Proof of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses during your studies. 

Admission Requirements for Australia

You need to fulfil the requirements shown below to gain admission to Australian universities: 

  • Students have to score a minimum of 65% in the examination of their Class 12.
  • Applicants also need to provide a statement of purpose and a letter of recommendation for admission. 
  • Students also need to ensure the submission of a curriculum vitae. 
  • They must ensure that they possess a valid visa to enter and pursue education in Australia. 
  • The applicants are required to have a minimum IELTS score of 5.5, a TOEFL score of 46 (internet-based test), a CAE score of 162, and a PTE Academic score of 42. 
  • Moreover, they must receive Overseas Student Health Coverage (OSHC).

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison shows that both Spanish and Australian universities have a straightforward admission process. Hence, we will award +2 points to both Spain and Australia in this round of Spain vs Australia. 

Tuition Fees

Education costs are a major concern among students when choosing a study destination. So, let’s compare Spain and Australia based on their annual tuition fees. 

Tuition Fees in Spain

The average yearly tuition fees at the universities in Spain as per their websites are given below: 

Study Program  Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate  €750 to €2,500
Postgraduate €1,000 to €3,500
Doctoral €3,300

Tuition Fees in Australia

As per the websites of the Australian universities, the average annual tuition costs in the country are as follows: 

Study Program  Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate  AU$15,000 – AU$33,000
Postgraduate AU$14,000 – AU$37,000
Doctoral AU$14,000 – AU$37,000

Which Country is Better?

The tuition fees in Spain are lower than in Australia. Hence, we will grant +2 points to Spain in this round of Spain vs Australia. 

tuition fees

Living Expenses

Don’t forget to factor in the living expenses while choosing a study destination. So, let’s compare Spain and Australia based on their cost of living. 

Cost of Living in Spain

According to Numbeo, the average living costs in Spain are as follows:

Monthly Rent  €694.44 to €1,538.34
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre) €1,995.84 to €3,390.71
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal  €12.00
Average Transportation Cost (Monthly) €31.30
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly) €177.31

Cost of Living in Australia 

According to Numbeo, the living expenses you will have to bear in Australia are as follows:

Monthly Rent  AU$1,827.31 – AU$3,775.63
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre) AU$8,924.80 – AU$11,645.02
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal  AU$25
Average Transportation Cost AU$170.65
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly)  AU$453.55

Which Country is Better?

The cost of living in Australia is more than in Spain. As a result, Spain will get +2 points in this round of Spain vs Australia.

Also Read: Spain Study Visa

Work Permit and PR

The ease of obtaining a work permit and permanent residency is an important consideration you shouldn’t ignore while choosing a study-abroad destination. So, let’s look at the process of receiving a work permit and PR in Spain and Australia. 

Work Permit in Spain

This is what the process of obtaining a work permit in Spain looks like:

Eligibility Requirements for a Work Permit in Spain:

Here are the requirements for obtaining a work permit in Spain:

  • Original work permit/training permit obtained by the Spain-based employer,
  • Two recent passport-sized coloured photographs on a white background with 80% face cover on a matt or semi-matt finished paper (35mm x 45mm),
  • Original Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) issued by the Regional,
  • Original Passport with a validity of more than six months and a minimum of three blank pages for visa stamp (Attach all your old passports if any), 
  • Personal ITR for the last 3 years,
  • Bank Statement for the last six months,
  • Pay slips,
  • Passport Office, and
  • Travel insurance.

Process for a Spain Work Permit:

You need to first ensure that you have secured a job if you wish to obtain a Spanish work visa. This is because most of the Work Visa Application Process is completed by your employer on your behalf. Moreover, they have to start by applying for authorisation from the Single Desk for Immigration at their local Prefettura. Your local embassy will award you an entry visa within thirty days. 

PR in Spain

To receive the Spanish Permanent Residency, you need to have lived lawfully in Spain for five years. You can apply for Permanent Residency and be granted the right to remain in the nation as a permanent resident.

Work Permit in Australia

This is what the process of obtaining an Australian work permit looks like: 

Eligibility Criteria to Get a Work Permit in Australia

Here are the eligibility criteria for getting a work permit in Australia:

  • The age of the applicant should not be over 45 years old. 
  • Moreover, they must have the necessary skills and work experience of at least 3 years. 
  • The candidate also has to fulfil health and character standards.

Steps to Apply for an Australian Work Permit

We have provided below the step-by-step process to apply for an Australian employee work visa:

Step 1: First of all, go to the official website of the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs.

Step 2: Now, fill out the application form for the kind of visa you wish to apply for. 

Step 3: Now, check if your profession is mentioned on the list of skilled occupations for Skilled Visas.

Step 4: Get a nomination from an approved work sponsor before attending the appearance skills examination for sponsored visas. 

Step 5: Then, proceed and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to SkillSelect. 

Step 6: You need to get an invitation to apply for this visa.

Step 7: Make sure that you collect and prepare all of your necessary paperwork.

Step 8: Now, apply for a visa within 60 days of receiving the invitation.

The work visa processing time in Australia typically takes about 2-8 months. However, the time is based on the visa type. Some of the Australian work visas you can apply for are Skilled Independent visa, TSS visa (Temporary Skill Shortage), and Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS). 

PR in Australia

The Australian PR process includes three parts:

  • Skill Evaluation in Australia: A designated skill assessment authority holds the Skill evaluation in Australia. 
  • Australia PR Visa Approval: The DHA thoroughly goes through your profile after the submission of mandatory documentation. If you meet their special standards, you will be awarded a visa. 
  • Preparation for Departure: If the candidate is awarded an Australian PR visa, he or she has to move to Australia by the first entry date given on the visa grant letter. 

It usually takes 6.5 to 8 months to process an Australia PR visa application.

Which Country is Better?

Both Spain and Australia have straightforward processes for granting work visas and permanent residency. Henceforth, both Spain and Australia will receive +2 points in this round of Spain vs Australia. 

Average Salaries: Spain vs Australia

The average yearly salary was €29,113 in Spain in 2022 as per Statista. On the other hand, the average annual salary is AU$ 73,923 in Australia according to 

Which Country is Better?

The average salary in Australia is more than in Spain, henceforth, we will give +2 points to Australia in this round of Spain vs Australia. 

average salaries

Also Read: Best Universities in Australia for International Students 2024

Other Major Elements

Now, let’s look at some other small considerations you need to factor in before finalising your decision to move to your desired destination. So, here are some of the other major elements of Spain and Australia: 


Spain usually has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Coming to Australia, the nation experiences distinct climatic conditions. Hence, it has diverse areas, be it the tropical rainforests or golden beaches.


Spain is renowned for providing a very safe environment to its residents and people coming from overseas. The Spanish government even has a public alert system for terrorism and disseminates threat-level changes online and via local media. Talking about Australia, the country is popular for being a very safe country for international students. Crimes like murder and narcotics are very rare in the nation. 

Culture for International Students

Spain is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, with numerous galleries, museums, and historical places to explore. Students get to experience the vibrant local culture via festivals, concerts, and other events in Spain. Coming to Australia, the nation is renowned for its natural beauty, vibrant life, and outdoor experiences, allowing the expansion of students’ cultural horizons. 


After tallying the total scores of Spain and Australia, we find that both Spain and Australia have scored 8 points, making this contest a draw. So, both Spain and Australia are excellent countries for the pursuit of education. You can expect to have a bright career if you study in either of the countries. Your choice depends on various factors, such as your personal preferences, budget, and goals. 

study abroad showdown

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China vs New Zealand: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination in 2024? France vs Canada: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination?


Is it better to live in Spain or Australia?

Both Spain and Australia are known for offering a good quality of life, recreational options and extensive career opportunities. 

What is the cost of living in Australia compared to Spain?

The living costs in Spain are reportedly about 70% less than in Australia.

What is the average salary in Spain vs Australia?

The average annual salary is €29,113 in Spain, while it is AU$ 73,923 in Australia. 

So, this was all about Spain vs Australia. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad

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