I'm PhD student I will be attending a computer science summer school during 4 days in Estonia, I ask what kind of purpose journey can I a choose Study or business or tourism ? I know that I must apply for Schengen visa type C short term

Thanks everyone


2 Answers 2


A summer school is clearly study (even though summer schools also have the social purpose of making international contacts in your research community); check that.

Also, don't sweat too much about the precise "correct" answer to that question. Other than "airport transit", there is no formal difference between Schengen visas based on which purpose you check; the question is just there to help the processing of the application and be an easy way for applicants in common situations to declare what their common situation is without having to phrase it themselves. The answer serves to clue the examiner in to which general kind of story your documentation will be telling, but as long as the totality of your application gives an honest and complete picture of your plans, they are not going to nitpick about which exact category of purpose they would have mapped those plans to.


I'll have to disagree with Henning. Most "summer schools" in computer sciences are not schools. They are not credit bearing, are short in duration, and consist of talks and workshops by active researchers in computer science on topics of research interest; attenders are also usually not required to be students (they could be professionals or even faculty themselves). Moreover, attending them don't enroll you in a program of academic study.

If they meet those criteria, they are a form of academic conference, not a program of study. You should therefore state that your purpose of visit is business/cultural, not study. If the summer school is credit-bearing or does constitute a program of academic study, though, then you will indeed be studying.

  • It doesn't really matter what you choose in the end. There is no such thing as a student Schengen visa.
    – JonathanReez
    Apr 16, 2017 at 6:57
  • To me an "academic conference" is a venue where participants present the results of their latest research. A summer school would rather be characterized as a (research-based, to be sure) short course arranged by an academic institution in the host country, with a primary target audience of post-graduate students from other universities. While lectures are likely to be grounded in ongoing research, the overall aim is to convey a more systematic overview of the research area than an bleeding-edge conference (where the papers presented are whatever people submitted this year). Apr 16, 2017 at 11:03
  • That said, I don't think a consulate would refuse such an application simply based on whether one ticked "study" or "business". As Jonathan points out, it's exactly the same visa being issued in either case. Apr 16, 2017 at 11:05
  • Note also that the answer option for the purpose question just says "study", not "program of study". The fact that the course does not lead to formal credit or degrees does not prevent it from being a form of study. Apr 16, 2017 at 11:09

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