Traveling and Studying online in Italy — Good Travel Strategy, but why stay in Italy?
I must first commend you for arriving at such a novel travel strategy: studying online and using financial aid money to travel is a top notch move. This is similar to what I did in university, and I wrote about it a little at, Study abroad online good travel strategy.
To answer your question about if it would be possible for you to overstay your visa in Italy and stay there for the remainder of your studies, the only thing I can say is why would you want to?
You may well be able to overstay your Schengen visa and stay in Italy for the next two years — although the extreme length of this proposed overstay is pushing the bounds of discretion a little — but I do not really understand why you would want to do this.
There is an entire world out there outside of Italy and Schengen Europe, and you have the key to access it: you are able to study anywhere because you are going to an online school, and you can get the money to pay for it through financial aid.
You could spend 90 days in Italy and then take the boat to Albania and travel to Bulgaria and Turkey for 90 days. Then you can return to Italy with a clean slate, just to do another trip like this again in 3 months — maybe Egypt, or Romania, or Ukraine, or Russia, London or Ireland, Morocco — the possibilities are endless!
It is very difficult to answer questions about overstaying the Schengen visa, because many Westerners overstay without penalty, but some are busted and slapped with heavy fines. At this time, Italy is one of the more lax of the Schengen countries for visa overstays, but it is my opinion that a 2 year stay may be pushing it a little too far.
I recommend a 90 day in, 90 day out strategy. You can go anywhere!
More information on overstaying Schengen visa
- Do not overstay your travel visa
- Schengen visa overstay questions on Travel Help
- Visa questions on the travel community forum
I hope this helps. Let us know what you do, your travel strategy is excellent!
Original question about traveling in Italy while studying online with USA university
I just found your site as I was googling for an answer. I think you might be able to help me.
I will be admitted to a University approved study abroad program in Italy for 2 months (June/July). My home university (Seattle, WA) offers a degree that is completely online. Recap, this is me! –> I do my business degree online with exception of the upcoming two months of study abroad in Italy.
Do you see where this is going? I TOTALLY want to stay in Italy after my language emersion courses are finished. If I love it there (as much as I think I will), I want to stay the duration of my online degree until May 2012. I recieve student loans to pay my living expenses and have around $1000/month.
How should I plan this? I’m afraid to break the rules… but I’m determined to have this amazing “once in a lifetime experience”.
P.S. I’m especially nervous because the convicted killer, Amanda Knox, is from my hometown!