When you’re going to move abroad as a student, there are several things that you’ll need to sort before you start packing your bags and looking for accommodation. However, there probably isn’t anything more important than being sure to obtain your student visa.
As every destination is different, the Schengen area requires specific documentation and requirements that must be adhered to if you’re hoping to relocate abroad as a student. In this guide, we will explore the steps that you need to take to discover if you will need a visa and to be sure you have all of the documents that you’ll need, including to provide proof of accommodation in as hassle-free way as possible.
By finding the answers to a few important questions, you’ll be able to look forward to your study abroad with the assurance that you’ll need to plan accordingly. Let’s jump right in!
If you’re not already in the know about the Schengen area, then it’s important to have a good understanding of it and how it may differ from other parts of Europe. Schengen is an area that is part of the European Union, which allows people to move freely from one country to another without a passport. This means that as long as you have a visa from the Schengen area, you can travel without worrying about the borders.
The 26 countries that are part of the Schengen area include:
Additionally, there are other countries that are not technically part of the Schengen area, but will also allow citizens of other countries to enter with only a Schengen-issued visa at their borders.
Not every student who relocates to study abroad in the area of Schengen will be required to have a student visa. So, it’s important to first find out if you will need to apply for one.
If your home country is part of the European Union, you will not need a visa. In fact, only those hailing from a country without a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen area are required to have one.
If you’re interested in a Schengen Visa for the purpose of studying in the area, keep in mind that this is a short-term visa, and it is only good for 90 days. If you plan to stay for an entire semester or longer, then you will need to apply for a Long-Stay Study Visa from the country where you’ll be studying.
When applying for a student visa, you’ll need to have all of the supporting documentation that is required for your application to be approved. However, it is imperative that you gather all of the documents ahead of time, as that it can often take weeks to receive replacements for certain types of documentation.
Documents that you will need to apply for a Student Schengen Visa include:
Two visa applications forms - Be sure to sign the forms at the bottom, and only include information that is accurate and true.
Two copies of the same photo - The photo must have been taken within the last three months.
Copy of passport data - Please include a copy of the biometric data on your passport.
Other passports - Always include any previous passports.
Roundtrip transportation reservations - You must provide the dates and flight numbers of your booking both in and out of the area.
Residency proof - Supply a form of proof or idenitification that you are a resident of your home country.
Insurance - It is also required that you submit proof of travel medical insurance for your entire stay, which will cover up to €30,000.
Proof of payment - Show that the visa fee (€60) has been paid.
Financial verification - Proof of financial means must cover the entire stay in the area, and can include a scholarship of at least €631 monthly, three months’ worth of bank statements or proof of sponsorship from another individual.
Proof of housing - This can include a contract from a dorm, confirmation that you’ll be staying with a relative, or a signed rental agreement.
Acceptance letter from a higher learning institution in the European Union - This letter must include your name, along with both the length and type of program and the weekly hours of study.
Academic qualifications - You must also provide academic records or a diploma to show that you qualify for the study program.
Sometimes providing proof of address is not always as easy as it seems. If you will be staying temporarily in a hotel or a hostel until you find more permanent housing, then you will need to show proof of a confirmed reservation with a deposit. If you are renting directly from a landlord, then that is just one more step that you’ll have to take. You’ll need to request a signed copy of your rental agreement that must include the full names of both the landlord and the renter, along with their date of births, addresses and ID numbers. You can also ask for a letter of declaration from your landlord.
When you have everything in order, including all of the required documentation, you can submit your application at the Consulate or Embassy of your destination within the Schengen area, which is located in your home country. You must make an appointment for an interview.
There are also strict rules as to when you may apply for a Student Schengen Visa. It cannot be earlier than three months before your trip, nor can it be later than 15 days out.
Now that you have the best information on how to obtain a Student Schengen Visa, including providing proper proof of accommodation the simplest way possible, you are just one step closer to being an authentic exchange student! It’s going to be the adventure of a lifetime!