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) ?
If you plan to get an Au-Pair position you need a visa that allows you to work. Young Canadian citizens can get a "working-holiday" visa for up to 1 year: Overview:
http://www.international.gc.ca/experience/working_holiday-travail_vacance.aspx Specifics for Spain: http://www.international.gc.ca/experience/destinations/spain_espagne.aspx?lang=eng
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.
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?
You have to be out of the Schengen Zone for 90 consecutive days before you can get back in.
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.
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.
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.
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
The OP doesn't sound interested in school, so a student visa wouldn't help her.
And you can work in Spain on a student visa. Just cannot get paid.