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Why Stay in Italy when you can Travel the World

Traveling and Studying online in Italy — Good Travel Strategy, but why stay in Italy? studying online and using financial aid money to travel is a top notch move.

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Traveling and Studying online in Italy — Good Travel Strategy, but why stay in Italy?

Hello Spring,

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

I hope this helps. Let us know what you do, your travel strategy is excellent!

Walk Slow,



Original question about traveling in Italy while studying online with USA university

Hi Wade!
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!



Filed under: Italy, Schengen Visas, Study Abroad, Travel Help, Visas

About the Author:

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 3703 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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3 comments… add one

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  • Spring January 7, 2010, 1:17 pm

    Why Italy for two years? Well, I’m on a genealogy quest for my long lost relatives. I’m practically family-less in the US and have strong reasons to find a piece of myself over there.

    Thank you for your response and I will check out the links you gave me. I don’t know if I can pack small enough to travel every three months. I love my shoes…. but I will take your suggestion to heart.

    If there’s anyone out there reading this, I hope you all take the time to throw a few bucks into Wade’s bucket for this valuable information.



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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 8, 2010, 10:33 am

      Hello Spring,

      This makes sense. It probably would be difficult to travel away with a bunch of shoes every three months haha. Maybe it would make sense to have two or three “homes” in the region and keep your additional possessions in storage when gone? I don’t know how much this would cost, but if it is just a couple of bags, it may not be too much.

      Though the visa overstaying issues are looking ever more bleak. As of now, Italy will often not punish you for overstaying, but some of the other Schengen countries will for overstaying in Italy. I just received a letter today from a girl who overstayed her visa in Italy (the police told her that it would be OK) just to get busted in Zurich. She paid her fine and then went home to the USA. Some time later she applied for a student visa to return to Italy and was denied on the basis that she had previously overstayed her visa.

      I hope this helps a little more!


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  • buy degree online January 8, 2010, 2:31 am

    Hi, yes you right dear i agree with you about study abroad program in Italy. but now we can also buy online degree so why we go to other country?
    i think we should apply this option and save our precious money and avoid the colleges. we can get our Bachelors degree in our home on our desktop.
    so why we don’t?


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