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Study Abroad in The Czech Republic Without Student Visa

How can I study abroad in the Czech Republic without a Student Visa? Hello Ross, I understand your predicament well: you want to study abroad in the Czech Republic but your program is going to last longer than the time allowed by your Schengen visa. This is a very common situation, and many study abroad [...]

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How can I study abroad in the Czech Republic without a Student Visa?

Hello Ross,

I understand your predicament well: you want to study abroad in the Czech Republic but your program is going to last longer than the time allowed by your Schengen visa. This is a very common situation, and many study abroad students are having a difficult go at this.

What does your host university recommend that you do? They are probably use to receiving American students, and can probably guide you in the best direction.

I only see three options, which follow in order from best to worst:

  1. Wait to study abroad until the next semester, and apply for a student visa in the meantime. I do not know if your university has any capstone requirements that say that you have to be on your home campus for your last semester, but you may want to look into flip flopping your study abroad semester with your final semester at home. This is the best option.
  2. Travel to the Czech Republic and only study for 90 days or take a trip outside the zone in the middle of the semester so that you can add those days onto the the end of it (which may be difficult to arrange with your school, especially since many universities in Europe erroneously tell their foreign students that they can overstay their visas).
  3. Overstay your visa and take a chance at being banned from the entire Schengen zone for 3 to 5 years. /li>

My advice is to wait to study in the Czech Republic until you can obtain the proper visa or search for a study abroad program that will not exceed the bounds of the Schengen visa — a month could be enough time to switch programs.

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions or would like to add anything to this, please comment below.

Thank you.

Walk Slow,


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Original question about studying abroad in the Czech Republic

I am going to be studying in the Czech Republic in the near future. I was under the impression that my stay was going to be exactly 85 days. So I never felt the need to apply for a Student Visa. However, I was just informed that I cannot receive the credits unless I complete a follow up course pushing my total stay to about 120 days. I AM planning on taking a trip to London on or around day 50 of my stay in the Czech Republic. My return trip has me connecting through either Warsaw, Frankfurt, or Munich where I will board a plane from there to the USA. I only have about 30 days until I leave and a student visa is NOT an option because they take my passport in the registration process. What are the odds that I get in trouble here? I just want to study in the homeland of my ancestors and return home in time to finish the LAST semester of my college career.

Thanks a lot,

How can I study abroad in the Czech Republic without a Student Visa?

Do you have a Schengen visa question?

If so, then take a look at our Schengen visa community forum. It’s a community just for people who have questions or concerns related to Europe’s Schengen immigration zone.
Filed under: Schengen Visas, Study Abroad, Travel Help

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I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3705 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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7 comments… add one

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  • Ross Iverson August 18, 2009, 2:04 am

    Thank you Wade. I have since decided to go ahead with my trip anyways. I am traveling back home from Prague through Warsaw Poland, then New York. What are a few of the penalties I could expect? What is the WORST? Which are the most likely? Thanks again,


    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 18, 2009, 11:39 am

      Hello Ross,

      Most likely, nothing will happen. Though your info could be logged into the computer system which may affect a future visit, though I do not know how likely this would be. As far as penalties, I have heard of people being fined upwards of 200 Euro for each day that they overstayed their visa or being banned from the region for 15 years, and I have also heard of people just having a form filled out about them with little other penalty.

      It seems as if the Schengen authorities are getting stricter in a few countries like Germany and Switzerland, though I still say that odds are in your favor for not being given any difficulties when you exit the region. Though bureaucracy tends to have funny ways of shifting winds rapidly and inconsistently, so there is no telling what could happen.

      I hope this helps.

      Please leave a comment here after you leave the Czech Republic so we can leave some tracks for other travelers.


      Walk Slow,


      Link Reply
  • preetam March 29, 2010, 8:56 am

    i want to study in czech but i don’t know how to apply from nepal

    Link Reply
  • Colin August 17, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Dear Mr. Sheppard,

    In your experience how long does it take to get a student visa? My passport has been gone a month now and i have not received anything as of late. I leave in 2 weeks so this is a problem. Also, if i go abroad do you think that the university, Masaryk University, will have a problem with this (in your best approximation) or can i slip through the cracks. Last year i studied in Sweden, i received a visa but my buddy did not and left the country without a problem after 120 days.

    Thanks for the article!

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard August 17, 2012, 9:51 pm

      No, don’t go to a country planning in advance on breaking their immigration laws. That’s stupid, especially since you could face a three to five year ban from the entire Schengen zone for it. Everyone has a “friend who overstayed in Sweden and got away with it,” but, you know what, many of these people try to overstay and they get busted and then either A) don’t return to Schengen Europe, B) pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to immigration lawyers who essentially do nothing, or C) request my consultation, which at this point I’m pretty sick of giving to people who purposely overstay their visas. Changing your flight or showing up for school a little late is much less of a hassle than trying to get out of the SIS.

      Some of the information on this page is outdated, and has been edited.

      Link Reply
  • Paige July 18, 2013, 1:29 pm

    My study abroad program is in midSeptember and the earliest I can apply for my visa is June24 from the hours of 2-4 because they are the only embassy in my state. Do you think I will have my visa in time or should I wait to get my visa in the czech?

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