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Student Visas/Schengen Zone

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I have a question that has been troubling my feeble little brain.

So here's the gist: My program requiring a student visa "begins" October 1st. Rumor has it that the consulate will typically issue the student visa for September 15th.

I am planning to enter the Schengen Zone on July 29th. This plan arose with the idea that I would be able to travel visa-free for 90 days. But when I enter the Schengen zone will they stamp my passport or my student visa?? If my visa starts on September 15th will they turn me away if I try to enter before the 15th of September? How does this thing work, exactly?!

I have heard a rumor that in order for this to work I must enter the Schengen Zone on July 29th, do my traveling then exit the Schengen Zone before September 15h and re-enter on, say, September 17th.

So here's the part around which my feeble little brain cannot wrap (never having had a student visa before): is this going to work? Are they going to turn me away when I first enter the Schengen zone if my visa doesn't start until September? How does leaving and re-entering "reset" my student visa--I feel like that cannot possibly be a realistic option? Will they really let me back in when I need to come back!?

Any advice or resources to assist me would be much appreciated!

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