Does time spent in a Schengen country under a student visa (issued by that country) count towards the 90 days permitted within the Schengen Area?
My (Australian) partner will be undertaking some studies towards her MBA in Barcelona, and will apply for a Spanish student visa. Her studies will span just over 90 days (the minimum for student visas in Spain). We'd like to do some travel before and after this period, within the Schengen Area, bringing our time in Schengen countries to around 4 months.
Is this a problem as far as the 90/180 rule is concerned, or does time spent under a given visa not count towards the 90 days? Our local Spanish consulate is being exceptionally vague and refuses to assist us until we've booked flights, which of course we don't want to do until we know what's permitted.