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For starters, this is all before going to the embassy. I'm trying to get my immediate questions answered before I have to make the trip into the city. I am a United States citizen.

I am going to be studying abroad from late August 2018 until December 2018 (classes end on the 15th of Dec) in Florence, Italy. I plan on doing plenty of short travels during my stay, but after classes end on the 15th, I was hoping to spend my holiday in Switzerland and visit a friend in Germany. I would have to return to the states by the 15th of January for my own reasons.

My question is how I might accomplish this! My student's visa will likely not extend to the holiday, so I was wondering if I'd need to apply for a visitor's visa in advance that starts after my Student Visa ends? Does that work?

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You do not need a visa for a short stay, because you are a US citizen. Anyway, the earliest you could apply for a visa starting in December would be September, because you cannot apply more than three months in advance (Schengen Visa Code, Article 9).

US citizens are subject to the "90/180" rule, meaning that short stays are limited to 90 days within any 180-day period. Days authorized under your long-stay visa do not count in that calculation, so you should be fine.

This is laid out in Article 6(2) of the Schengen Borders Code:

Periods of stay authorised under a residence permit or a long-stay visa shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the duration of stay on the territory of the Member States.

  • stated otherwise: if the last day of your student visa is the 15th of December, your 90 days starts on the 16th of December. – Mark Johnson Sep 1 '19 at 8:02

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