Are you aged between 18 and 20? Fancy a free travel pass around Europe?
iscoverEU is an EU initiative that gives young people the opportunity to discover Europe through learning experiences, and its latest round sees 60,000 travel passes available for young people to travel for up to 30 days between March 2022 and February 2023.
Trips will mostly be by rail, though alternatives like ferries and coaches can be used where necessary, and must include at least one member state other than the one they live in.
To be eligible to apply for a pass, you must have the nationality of an EU member state, and have been born between July 1, 2001, and December 31, 2003, inclusive.
You will also have to complete a short ‘quiz’ of five multiple-choice questions on the European Union and EU initiatives targeting young people.
The applications are open until 12.00 CEST on October 26 and can be made as individuals or groups of up to five people.
Successful applicants with disabilities or health problems that may make trips challenging can receive assistance and support to help them take part in DiscoverEU.
So what are the odds of being selected? Nearly 350,000 people applied for travel passes in 2018 and 2019, according to the initiative’s records, with 70,000 receiving them.
In Ireland, 8,831 people applied over its last two years, with 672 receiving passes.
“What I loved the most about my journey was all the people I met,” said Ana from Bulgaria, who travelled to Austria, Germany and the Netherlands on the scheme.
“Sharing stories with other travellers in the common room of a hostel in Budapest, chatting till 3am with Erasmus+ students from the Canary Islands in a dorm in Vienna, and having local travellers show us around Munich are truly some of my favourite memories ever,” she added.
DiscoverEU launched in 2018 with a budget of €12m. It has now been integrated into the Erasmus+ Programme, and will open more widely in the coming years with an expected budget for 2022 of €26m.
Winners will be notified by January 6, 2022.