Spain vs Ireland: Which is a Better Study-Abroad Destination in 2024?

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Choosing the right study-abroad destination can be a daunting process. One might need clarification to decide between two equally excellent study destinations, such as Spain and Ireland. Both countries house top-ranked universities, offering high-quality education to their students. Keep reading this blog if you can’t decide whether to go for Spain or Ireland. Here, we will do a Spain vs Ireland comparison to help you decide which option is better. We will compare these countries based on numerous aspects and award +2 points to the one which is better in a particular aspect. 

At the end of this blog, we will tally the total scores of both countries and the one with the highest score will be deemed a better destination. 

Parameters  Spain Ireland
Area 506,030 KM² 84,421 KM²
Currency Euro (€) Euro (€)
Capital Madrid Dublin
Total Higher Education Providers 86 22
Total Indian Students Studying 1,500 4,000
Average Cost of Living €689.4 – €2,430.9 €1,000 – €1,500 Per Month
Average Cost of Studying €800 to €1,200 Per Year €12,000 Per Annum
Popular Job Sectors Law, Data Science, Real Estate, Food Industry, Clothing Industry, Information and Communications Technology, and Business Development Technology, Accounting and Finance, Construction, Creative Design, Web Development, Nursing, and Business Skills. 
Permitted Part-Time Working Hours 20 Hours Per Week / 4 Hours Per Day Up To 40 Hours Per Week During Holidays and 20 hours Per Week During the School Year

Top-Ranked Universities: Spain vs Ireland

Both Spain and Ireland boast some of the best universities in the world. However, in this section, we will see which one houses the highest-ranked universities. 

Universities in Spain

Take a look at the 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 Ireland: Spain vs Ireland

Here are the most prestigious universities in Ireland:

Top Universities in the Ireland  QS World University Rankings 2024 Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024
Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin 81 134
University College Dublin 171 201–250
University of Galway 289 301–350
University College Cork 292 301–350
Dublin City University 436 401–500
University of Limerick 426 401–500
Maynooth University 801-850 401–500

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison shows that both Spain and Ireland have high-ranked universities. Hence, we will grant +2 points to both countries in this round of Spain vs Ireland. 

Also Read: Spain Study Visa

Admission Requirements: Spain vs Ireland

Before jumping into the application process for your desired university, please ensure you are aware of its admission requirements. So, let’s look at the eligibility criteria for gaining admission to the universities of Spain and Ireland. 

Admission Requirements for Spain

Take a look at the admission criteria for universities in Spain:

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

Admission Requirements for Ireland

Here are the criteria to gain admission to Irish universities: 

  • You must have a current passport to apply for admission to a university in Ireland. 
  • Moreover, you are required to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, a PTE score of 36 (UG), a TOEFL iBT score of 90, a PTE score of 63 (PG), and a Cambridge ESOL score of C1 or C2.
  • Also, the applicants should have a medical insurance policy of a value of at least €25,000
  • The students must give proof of sufficient funds as well. 
  • You will be asked to submit some mandatory documents, including: 
  1. A letter from a college confirming your acceptance
  2. A receipt as verification of registration and payment of tuition fees
  3. Two passport pictures
  4. Additional university-specific requirements

Which Country is Better?

Apparently, getting admission to a university in Spain is easier than in Ireland. As a result, Spain will receive +2 points in this round of Spain vs Ireland. 

Admission Requirements

Tuition Fees

It is crucial to consider the tuition fees before applying for admission to a university so that you can plan your budget. So, let’s compare Spain and Ireland based on the tuition costs they charge. 

Tuition Fees in Spain

This is what the average annual tuition cost looks like in Spanish universities as per their websites: 

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

Tuition Fees in Ireland: Spain vs Ireland

Here are the average annual tuition fees in the universities in Ireland as per their websites:

Study Program  Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate  €9,000 to €26,000
Postgraduate €9,000 to €35,000
Doctoral €9,000 to €40,000

Which Country is Better?

The above tables show that the tuition fees in Spain are lower than in Ireland. Hence, we will grant +2 points to Spain in this round of Spain vs Ireland. 

Tuition Fees

Living Expenses: Spain vs Ireland

Now that you are aware of the cost of education in Spain and Ireland, let’s look at the living costs in these countries. The various expected costs are listed in the tables below. 

Cost of Living in Spain

According to Numbeo, the average living expenses 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 Ireland: Spain vs Ireland

The living costs in Ireland as per Numbeo are as follows:

Monthly Rent  €1,254.49 – €2,480.65 
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre) €3,532.03 – €4,882.53 
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal  €15
Average Transportation Cost (Monthly) €100
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly) €276.21

Which Country is Better?

The cost of living is lower in Spain than in Ireland. So, we will give +2 points to Spain in this round of Spain vs Ireland. 

Living Expenses

Also Read: 🇮🇪 MSc Finance in Ireland: Top Universities, Eligibility, Admission Process & Scholarships 

Work Permit and PR: Spain vs Ireland

If you seek to obtain a work permit and PR in your study destination after graduation, then this section is important for you. Here, we will compare Spain and Ireland based on their ease of granting a work permit and permanent residency. 

Work Permit in Spain

Have a look at the process of obtaining a work permit in Spain: 

Eligibility Requirements for a Work Permit in Spain:

The requirements to receive a work permit in Spain are listed below: 

  • Original work permit/training permit received by the employer based in Spain,
  • Original Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) issued by the Regional,
  • 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),
  • Personal ITR for the last 3 years,
  • 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), 
  • Pay slips,
  • Bank Statement for the last six months,
  • Passport Office, and
  • Travel insurance.

Process for a Spain Work Permit:

You must have gotten a job in Spain to apply for a Spanish work visa as your employer completes most of the Work Visa Application Process on your behalf. They are also required to apply for authorisation from the Single Desk for Immigration at their local Prefettura. You will be awarded an entry visa by your local embassy within thirty days. 

PR in Spain

To obtain the Spanish Permanent Residency, you must have lived lawfully in Spain for at least five years.

Work Permit in Ireland

Let’s take a look at the process of obtaining an Irish work permit:

Eligibility Criteria for a Work Permit in Ireland

Here are the eligibility criteria you need to meet to get a work permit in Ireland:

  • The applicants have to be hired temporarily, and they might also get a bid from a company based in Ireland. 
  • That employer must clear the Labour Markets Needs Test in case the candidate is applying for a work visa (other than a Critical Skills Employment visa). 
  • This test demonstrates that the Irish-descent employer couldn’t fill the post with a qualified Irish or EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
  • If you want to be eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, you must receive a minimum salary of €30,000 or €80,000 annually. This depends on the type of employment you are seeking.
  • Applicants for General Work Permits must have a minimum yearly wage of €30,000.
  • The minimum annual wage should fulfil the National Minimum Wage, excluding the Critical Skills Employment Permit and General Employment Permit. 
  • The Irish employer that hires the applicant for a work visa has to employ a minimum of 50% of its personnel from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.

Apply for a Work Permit in Ireland 

You have to first identify the work permit type you wish to apply for. Complete the associated application form after figuring out the needed work permit. The Irish work permit takes roughly 13 weeks to process, and the applicants can check their work visa status for Ireland on the website of DBEI.

PR in Ireland

Non-EEA nationals who have been legally living in Ireland for the last 5 years and have a work permit, can obtain a PR in Ireland. 

Which Country is Better?

Getting a work permit and PR is easier in Spain than in Ireland. As a result, Spain will get +2 points in this round of Spain vs Ireland. 

Work Permit and PR

Average Salaries: Spain vs Ireland

The average annual salary in Spain was €29,113 as reported by Statista. On the other hand, the average salary in Ireland is about €45,000 per month as per Morgan McKinley. 

Which Country is Better? 

The average salary in Ireland is more than in Spain, Hence, we will award +2 points to Ireland in this round of Spain vs Ireland. 

Average Salaries

Also Read: 🎓Top Veterinary Courses in Ireland 2024

Other Major Elements: Spain vs Ireland

There are some other significant considerations you should factor in while choosing a study destination. So, here are some of the important elements you should consider before moving to Spain or Ireland: 

Climate

Spain has a Mediterranean climate and typically experiences mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Coming to Ireland, its climate is immensely impacted by the Atlantic Ocean. The warm ocean currents keep the climate pleasant in the nation. 

Safety 

Spain is known for providing its residents and internationals with a very safe environment. The nation’s government also disseminates threat-level changes online and via local media, and boasts a public alert system for terrorism. Similarly, Ireland is a very safe country, renowned for its low crime rate and welcoming environment. 

Culture for International Students

Spain boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous museums, galleries, and historical places to explore. Students get to witness the vibrant local culture via concerts, festivals, and other events in the country. Coming to Ireland, the locals here are known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature, making overseas students feel welcomed and embraced.

Conclusion

After computing the total scores of Spain and Ireland, we find that Spain received 10 points, while Ireland got 4 points. Hence, Spain will be considered a better study destination than Ireland in this Spain vs Ireland contest. However, please bear in mind that both countries are excellent for the pursuit of education. At the end of the day, your choice depends on numerous factors, such as your budget and personal preference. 

Study abroad showdown

Related Articles: 

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

FAQs

Q1. Is Spain a good country for Indian students?

Ans: Spain not only provides top-notch education but also has a rich history and culture to explore. The country is an ideal study destination for Indian and other international students. 

Q2. Does Ireland need IELTS?

Ans: Ireland demands English proficiency examinations, but you need not necessarily take the IELTS exam because several universities here offer IELTS exemptions.

Q3. Why choose Spain to study abroad?

Ans: Spain is an ideal place to study due to its low cost of living, warm weather, vibrant nightlife, laid-back relaxed environment and people who are friendly and inviting. 

So, this was all about Spain vs Ireland. 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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