Spain vs Italy: Which is the Best Place for Studying Abroad?

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spain vs italy

It’s hardly surprising that you’ve limited your study abroad options to two of Europe‘s most famous nations, both of which are renowned for their rich cultures and natural beauty. The United Kingdom is the most popular study-abroad destination, followed by Italy and Spain. Both nations have beautiful cities, well-known landmarks, delicious cuisine, and excellent weather. The magnificent Alhambra in Granada is a prominent contender for the title, as is the famed Colosseum in Rome, which has been dubbed one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. In fact, there are more UNESCO World Heritage sites in these two nations than anywhere else in the world. Here are some things to think about if you’re torn between Spain vs Italy in the competition. The contest is about to start!

General Overview

Here are some generics to help you understand both countries better and help you decide which one suits you best.


Italy is a country in central-south Europe. Rome, one of the oldest and most significant cities in the world, is the country’s capital. Rome is a well-liked travel destination. Milan, Florence, Venice, Turin, Genoa, and Naples are some of the other significant cities in Italy. Italy, which has the eighth-largest GDP in the world and the fourth-strongest economy in Europe, is also a member of the G8.

Italy has a nearly four-fifths mountainous or hilly landscape. Italy receives close to 50 million visitors annually. With tourism contributing over 63% of the country’s GDP, Italy’s economy is extremely dependent on it.

Must Read: Study in Italy for Indian Students 2022


Spain is located in southwestern Europe, shares a border with Portugal, and is bounded to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east by the Mediterranean Sea. Spain’s geographical location makes it a perfect option for getting the most out of your travels while studying abroad.

Its official language is Spanish, which is the world’s second most widely spoken language.  Spain’s currency is the Euro. Its capital, Madrid, is a tremendously advanced and contemporary metropolis. Its other well-known cities are Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Bilbao. 

Must Read: Study in Spain for Indian Students 2022

Spain vs Italy: Top Universities

Here is a comparison between the top universities in Italy vs Spain and the tuition fees of the universities.

Top Universities in SpainTuition feeTop Universities in ItalyTuition fee
Pompeu Fabra UniversityDomestic tuition is 2,287.12 EUR, (INR 2.06 Lakh) International tuition is 8,500 EUR (INR 7.68 Lakh)Scuola Normale Superiore University666-1,272 USD/Month(INR 54408 – 1,03,915)
Autonomous University of Barcelona2,000 (INR 1.80 Lakh) and 3,000 EUR/year (INR 2.71 Lakh)University of Bologna2,700 USD/year(INR 2.20 Lakh)
University of Barcelona2,900 EUR/year (INR 2.62 Lakh)University of Padua2,501.38 EUR(INR 2,26,117.18)
Autonomous University of Madrid2,000 (INR 1.80 Lakh)  and 3,000 EUR/year (INR 2.71 Lakh)Vita-Salute San Raffaele University9,091.67 EUR(INR 8,21,859.45)
University of Navarra10,500 EUR(INR 9.49 Lakh)Sapienza University of Rome2,924 EUR(INR 2.64 Lakh)
University of Valencia2,600 EUR/year(INR 2.35 Lakh)Polytechnic University of Milan3,500 EUR, ( INR 3.16 Lakh) International tuition 3,900 EUR (INR 3.52 Lakh)
Universidad Complutense de Madrid620 USD/Month(INR 50,653)University of Milan2,400 USD/year(INR 1.96 Lakh)
Open University of Catalonia12,23 USD/Month(INR 99,918)University of Trento4,000 EUR/year(INR 3.61 Lakh)
Universitat Rovira I Virgili502-953 USD/Month(INR 41013 – 77859)University of Florence5,275.00 USD/Month(INR 4.67 Lakh)
Polytechnic University of Catalonia2,500 USD/year(INR 2.04 Lakh)University of Naples Federico II1,038 USD/year(INR 84,803)

Must Read: Top Universities in Spain

Must Read: Universities In Italy

Spain vs Italy: Cost of Living

Here is a general comparison between the living expenses in Spain vs Italy:

Accommodation USD 300-500 (INR 24,508- 40,847)USD 300-500 (INR 24,508- 40,847)
Transportation PassUSD 42(INR 3431)USD 37(INR 3022)
UtilitiesUSD 30-60(INR 2450 – 4901)USD 40-70(INR 3267 – 5718)
GroceryUSD 150-200(INR 12,254 – 16,338)USD 200-285(INR 16,338- 23,282)
MiscellaneousUSD 55(INR 4493)USD 71(INR 5800)

Want to study abroad but are worried about expenses? Let Fly Finance help you.

Must Read Cost of Living in Italy

Spain vs Italy: Customs and Cultures

In many ways, including several customs, Spain and Italy have comparable cultures. Both nations have a focus on the family, strong religious relationships, and declining populations. Both countries have a little more of a laid-back attitude towards life, with most businesses closing up shop in the afternoons (siesta time!) and entire cities becoming deserted in the summer as residents head to the coast for vacation. There are some differences, though.

In Italy, initial impressions are of the utmost importance. In Italian culture, the idea of “bella figura” (literally, “beautiful figure”) is significant. It underlines how important it is to portray oneself effectively, which involves dressing nicely and acting appropriately and confidently. Italians may be thought of as a more formal society since they do not like to appear uninformed, despite their inherent sense of drama in daily life.

Must Read: 10 Biggest Cultural Shocks in Italy

Spain has a little more of a hedonistic culture and way of life. The main focus of the game is having a fiesta and having fun. During holidays and festivals, Spaniards might be seen celebrating on the streets well into the morning. Parades and bullfights take place during the festivities.

Italy’s history as a nation is still very recent, even though it was formerly thought of as the epicentre of Western culture and the birthplace of some of the greatest thinkers, artists, and scientists in history. Spain, on the other hand, has had a protracted and challenging history as a nation. As recently demonstrated by the growing enthusiasm and support for the independence of Catalonia (of which Barcelona is the capital) and Pas Vasco (the Basque Country) from Spain, regional identification frequently outweighs national affiliation.

Must Read: Hola! Know these Unique Ways to Say Hello in Spanish!

Pros of Studying in Spain vs Italy

Here are some pros of studying in Italy vs studying in Spain.

You can learn (or enhance your) Italian.You can learn (or enhance) your Spanish.
You will get knowledge of Italian culture.You will get knowledge of Spanish culture.
Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Spain enjoys a high standard of living.
There are almost 300 English programmes in Italian universities.There are almost 300 English programmes in Spanish universities

Major Differences Between Spain vs Italy

When it comes to selecting a study abroad experience, it is evident that Spain and Italy share many similarities. Let’s look at some of the significant distinctions between them to help you decide.

  1. Although Spanish and Italian are similar, they are not the same language

Although Spanish and Italian share many vocabularies (and knowing one makes learning the other easier), keep in mind that the two languages are not interchangeable. Speaking Spanish to Italians, for example, is not the best approach to making friends with the locals.

Choose the language that most interests you, whether for personal, professional, or cultural reasons and keep it in mind. Even if you wind up studying abroad in English, you’ll be exposed to one of these languages regularly, so choose wisely!

  1. Spain and Italy have several cultural distinctions

Those who enjoy fish will find Spain to be a pleasure. Italy would be ideal for folks who enjoy pastries. Both countries have strong coffee cultures, but the Italians are more rigid about it; cappuccinos, for example, are only offered in the morning (before 11 a.m.). The two countries also have distinct eating cultures—Spaniards are notorious for eating late suppers. Dinner is traditionally served between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.

As a result, Spain has earned a reputation for epic nightlife that lasts till morning. If you don’t eat dinner until 11:00 p.m., the night is still young! That’s not to suggest you won’t find a comparable lifestyle in Italy, but it’s nearly a guarantee wherever you study abroad in Spain.

  1. It is significantly more expensive in Italy than in Spain.

Both countries use Euros and have generally comparable consumer costs. Spain is somewhat more expensive in terms of transportation, but Italy is slightly more expensive in terms of rent, food, shopping, groceries, and entertainment.

This is a key distinction to remember if you plan to study abroad on a tight budget. Furthermore, large cities in both nations (for example, Rome and Madrid) will always be more expensive than smaller places off the beaten route.

  1. Your study abroad experience will also be influenced by the programme.

While your host nation is crucial, one of the most significant factors to consider is the programme and/or university. So, in addition to deciding whether to study abroad in Italy or Spain, evaluate whether the programmes in each country align with your professional goals.

We advocate conducting research, reading reviews, investigating host cities in addition to countries, and knowing about the visa and document application process. All of this can influence your choice between Italy and Spain. All of these factors should be addressed by your university’s study abroad office or the programme coordinator at your programme(s) of interest.

Skills in Demand in Spain vs Italy

Spain: Competition for jobs in Spain is tough, and the bulk of overseas employees tend to gravitate towards larger cities, where opportunities are more plentiful. Expats frequently visit Madrid and Barcelona, the country’s two main cities, as well as Valencia and Seville. Shortage occupations in Spain include doctors, engineers, marketers, operations personnel, and business consultants.

Italy: Rome, Milan, Bologna, Firenze, Bergamo, Turin, and Naples are some cities in Italy with greater infrastructure and career prospects. Employers in Italy require a limited number of foreign specialists, such as technical professionals and tourist workers. Engineers, builders, doctors, and programmers will be in high demand in Italy in 2023.

Post-Study Work Permit Options

Italy: Once you have your degree, you want to live there. For international students, there are possibilities. Italy extends a resident visa for six to twelve months following the completion of a degree or course. A work visa is another name for this. While still enrolled in school in Italy, you can change your status as a student if you have a job contract.

Must Read: Italy Student Visa

Spain: Students can apply for a post-study work visa, which allows them to stay in Spain for a year if they have earned a master’s degree. People are free to look for work at this time.

Must Read: Spain Work Visa

Which one Should You Choose?

Choosing Spain does not preclude you from visiting Italy, and vice versa. Both countries are members of the European Union and the Schengen Area, which allows for free movement. So, if you choose Spain over Italy to study abroad, you may easily visit the other during your adventure! (Of course, there are many other European countries.)

In general, Spain is a better option for individuals who intend to learn Spanish or travel to Latin America in the future. It may also be less expensive. Italy is the place to go if you want to study Italian and learn about Italian culture and history.


Is Spain or Italy better to study in?

Spain was the most popular study-abroad location for American students for the 2019-2020 school year. Spain is popular among international students for a variety of reasons! Italy is well-known for being the cradle of the Renaissance, luxury companies, and, of course, world-renowned food such as pizza, pasta, gelato, and many more.

Which country is better Spain or Italy?

Which Should You Choose: Italy or Spain? Italy and Spain will both deliver an unforgettable vacation. If beaches are important to you, Spain is definitely the better option. Spain is also significantly cheaper than Italy, though this varies depending on where you stay.

Which one is cheaper Italy or Spain?

Italy is 10% more expensive to visit than Spain on average, and 17% more expensive to live in.

Hope this blog helped you sort out your confusion about where you should study abroad between Spain vs Italy. To make your dreams of studying abroad come true, connect with Leverage Edu counsellors and book your 30-minute free session on 1800 57 2000.

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