When the EU makes young people travel

, par Chloé Lourenço, Translated by Emma Latham, Translated by Rebecca Wenmoth, Voix d’Europe, Wassila Zouag

When the EU makes young people travel

Summer is coming and the European Parliament is taking its annual leave, but that does not necessarily mean that the European Union is completely out for the summer and leaving Europeans stranded on the side of the road. As it happens, those who benefit the most from the EU’s good deals are young people, who have the opportunity to discover the cultural riches of the Old Continent quite easily. And on this occasion, our partner Voix d’Europe is taking you with them in their case !

Interrailing : discover Europe by train

Implemented by a European agenda, this travel pass allows you to travel on most European trains from just one week up to a month. Established in 1972, the Interrail Pass unites 30 nations and encourages European residents to travel throughout Europe without limits. What’s more, there is no certain age to take advantage of it : in fact, the EU gives all of its citizens the chance to discover the history, culture and heritage of Europe. It is also in this way that borders are abolished, and that people can unite together…

Nearly 280,000 people a year travel by train with an Interrail Pass, and yet, this cultural programme still remains largely unknown by Europeans. Did you know, for example, that just one pass can give you unlimited travel to up to 30 countries ?

There are 3 possible options : a ‘global’ pass which will allow you unlimited travel in several European countries (several options are possible, prices start at €168), a ‘One Country’ pass which, from €59, will give you the chance to discover a country inside out, and a ‘Premium’ pass - useable only in Italy or Spain - with which you can travel comfortably and book your trains in advance (budget for €123).

And if the European Union is also one giant human network, Interrail is, therefore, the best symbol of this railway and maritime grid : in fact, in some cases, travellers can catch a ferry to discover certain islands. In addition, Interrail enriches our cultural horizons, sometimes changing our outlook on certain countries or cultures. We return to our university desks in September with our heads full of wonderful things and our address books a lot fuller.

“This is a great invitation to travel, and a good way of fostering amongst European youths a feeling of belonging to the same community, that of the European Union.” – states Romain, age 22, interviewed by French newspaper, Le Monde.

DiscoverEU : 20,000 free transport tickets for new adults

DiscoverEU is a European Commission programme that offers 20,000 transport tickets to 18-year-olds that want to travel in the European Union. The first taste of freedom for these new adults ; DiscoverEU allows them to explore the diversity and culture of different member countries. The teenagers can obtain a ticket valid for up to one month, for free — time for a road trip !

Last summer, 15,000 young Europeans is to offer young Europeans “fresh opportunities for them to explore the continent’s rich cultural heritage, get to know other people, learn from other cultures and experience what it feels like to be European.”

A budget is an allocation according to the number of countries visited. DiscoverEU is in its third year and has already been granted to more than 30,000 young people. Those wishing to take part can apply on a dedicated portal on the Commission’s website, and their travel will take place during a set period of the year.

With 20,000 places for the entire EU, each member country has a limited number of places : the United Kingdom, for example, was given around 2,500 places*. Candidates are selected based on a quiz of general questions about the EU.

Among those who have already enjoyed this incredible opportunity to make memories, many have described the initiative as an excellent way to discover another side of Europe.

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