Visas for Private Study

July 17, 2017, 6:55 PM · I am from the U.S. I want to travel to the Schengen Zone in particular or Europe. I know some countries such as South Korea will grant you an extended visa if you're coming to learn about culture or some other specific area of study, and this does not have to be through a University program. I am wondering if any countries in the EU offer such a visa as well. I want to study with a private violin teacher in Italy who is just awesome. I also want to study with other teachers in Finland and the Netherlands. Has anyone ever been granted an extended visa for private study not through a University or community program?

Replies (6)

Edited: July 17, 2017, 7:47 PM · How long do you intend to stay? For months or for years, and if years, how many years? Do you intend to work or study, other than your private lessons?

If you do not intend to work (and you can show income, as well as a bank balance in the tens of thousands of dollars, proving that you can support yourself on your savings), you can apply for a long-term visa in Italy. That would allow you to do whatever you want for the visa period (I think it's a year), as long as you do not work in Europe. Since Italy is within the Schengen area, you could travel to other European countries while maintaining Italy as your place of official residence for the duration of your visa.

July 17, 2017, 11:52 PM · Do you have specific teachers in mind?

Many students come to the U.S. from all over the world to study with one of the many excellent teachers here.

July 18, 2017, 1:24 AM · Up to six months you dont really need a visa. If your studying period is inferior to that, dont even bother with the paperwork.
July 18, 2017, 2:23 AM · Britain is not in the Schengen area, even before Brexit....
July 18, 2017, 4:30 AM · If you're a U.S. citizen, you get 90 days out of a 180 day period in the Schengen area visa-free. If you can work something out within that time frame it would be easiest.

Even if the teacher is not affiliated with a college or university, you might still be able to get a student visa. Although the country is in the Schengen area, I believe each individual country is still in charge of their own visas. The best way to get complete information of the application process and rules for the visa is to contact the country's embassy in the US and ask. The embassy is usually the place where you'll need to send documentation to get the visa.

Keep in mind that in many countries, a student visa is different from becoming a temporary resident (for example, you might not be able to get a job when you're in the country). They also often require that you have enough funds to live off of while there, and/or have a pre-purchased plane ticket to leave at the end of your visa (my daughter needed both for a student visa when she studied in Japan).

July 18, 2017, 8:47 AM · Bruno is incorrect. You only get 90 days as a tourist. You don't want to overstay; you run the significant risk of making it harder to travel to Europe in the future if you're caught, which is highly likely.

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