Friday 24 May 2019

Free travel? Irish teens invited to apply for 20,000 free Interrail passes...

A new round of the European Commission's 'DiscoverEU' travel passes is now open for applications...

The Glenfinnan viaduct, as featured in the movie versions of Harry Potter, by JK Rowling
The Glenfinnan viaduct, as featured in the movie versions of Harry Potter, by JK Rowling
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Fancy travelling around Europe for free?

The EU has made a further 20,000 Interrail travel passes available for 18-year-olds to explore Europe this summer.

A new round of applications for the DiscoverEU passes is open from today on the European Youth Portal (it closes at 12.00 CEST on May 16).

To apply, you need to have been born between July 2, 2000 and July 1, 2001. You must also be a National of one of the 28 EU member states.

The DiscoverEU scheme aims to give young Europeans, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the chance to learn whilst travelling. It launched last year with a budget of €12 million; this year that rises to €16 million.

In 2018, some 30,000 young people awarded a travel pass - of almost 5,000 Irish applications, 314 were succesful.

On this round of applications, winners will be able to travel around Europe for up to 30 days between next August and January 31, 2020.

Applications can be made as individuals or groups of up to five people.

For the scheme's second year, the European Commission is focusing on enhancing the learning dimension of the project.

Participants will be provided with information and travel tips about what to visit in Europe, it says, and those interested can also receive a travel journal to record and reflect on their experiences.

"There is so much to learn across Europe and a scheme such as this is very welcome in helping young people as they learn and develop," commented Ireland South MEP, Fine Gael's Deirdre Clune. "It is great to see so much interest from young people.”

Winners will be notified in June 2019, the European Commission says, with another application round due before the end of the year.

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