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I have been studying in Italy on a student visa which expired yesterday. I plan to enter the UK the day after tomorrow. I was imagining I would have 6 months as a tourist in the UK, starting from the day I enter, although I plan to only stay about 2 or 3 months.

Will I encounter any problems, given that my study visa for Italy has expired? Also, can I still travel throughout Europe as a tourist for the usual 3 months?

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Regarding your entry to the UK, Gayot already gave a good answer:

No problems resulting from having studied in Italy previously. Itinerary, onward transportation, valid premise are needed just like any other arrival.

Regarding your subsequent visit to the Schengen area, there should also be no issues. As an Australian you may enter the Schengen area for up to 90 days out of 180 and your previous stay on a student visa won't count. The relevant regulation is the Schengen Borders Code and in particular article 5:

  1. For intended stays on the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period, which entails considering the 180-day period preceding each day of stay, the entry conditions for third-country nationals shall be the following:

[…]

1a. For the purposes of implementing paragraph 1, the date of entry shall be considered as the first day of stay on the territory of the Member States and the date of exit shall be considered as the last day of stay on the territory of the Member States. 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.

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