Europe for a year

I am hoping to travel Europe for a year. I am both a Canadian and American citizen.I am a little confused with schengen and the visa requirements and where I would apply for it. My basic plan is to Spend 6 months in Spain as an Au pair and then 6 months traveling the rest of Europe. Any info on this would be great! Basically my question is : How do I spend a year in Europe(in regards to getting a visa) ?

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2374 posts

You need to look into the specifics of each country immigration legislation. Au-pair programs require specific work visas. Some other countries have work-holiday visas for American and/or Canadian citizens (and those of non-European developed countries like Australia, New Zealand, Israel etc) However, bear something very important in mind: usually you cannot just use the usual Schengen travel time without visa (90 days on 180) immediately after the expiration of another work or study visa. So think carefully before settling for some arrangement or other.

Posted by Lyndsey
Reno, NV, USA
5 posts

Wow thanks those answers are extremely helpful. does anyone know how long I have to be out of that region before I can go back in and have the 90 days without the visa again?

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5687 posts

You have to be out of the Schengen Zone for 90 consecutive days before you can get back in.

Posted by Sean
New York
148 posts

If you're planning to stay for a year you can apply for a student visa. Universities in Europe are cheap, it wouldn't hurt to get an extra degree.

Posted by Beatrix
2111 posts

A student visa will let you live in Europe but will not allow you to work. If you need a bit of extra cash to finance that year of European lifestyle than the working holiday visa is a better choice (for those under 30 and some countries under 35). There are only very few of those bilateral agreements with the USA but Canadian citizens can travel to a large number of countries this way.

Posted by Sean
New York
148 posts

It depends on the country. In Spain and Italy, you're not allowed to work on a student visa. But in countries like France and Germany you can work up to 20 hours a week.

Posted by Lexma
568 posts

In the UK, as well, with a student visa you can work up to 20 hours a week during school, and I believe, fulltime during summer break

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5643 posts

The OP doesn't sound interested in school, so a student visa wouldn't help her.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12706 posts

And you can work in Spain on a student visa. Just cannot get paid.