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EU competition offers free train passes for 18-year-olds

13:03 25/02/2023

The European Commission is launching a contest that gives 18-year-olds the opportunity to spend a month visiting Europe by train.

Some 35,000 interrail passes – each worth €251 – are up for grabs. The scheme is not only for solo backpackers. It’s also possible to travel with friends. A maximum of five people can apply together on website between 15 and 29 March.

Discover EU is a programme that started in 2018 as part of Erasmus +. It enables youngster to explore Europe’s cities, countryside and learn more about their history, while riding on trains and meeting new people.

However, the competition is only open to people born between 1July 2004 and 30 June 2005. Each entrant is required to provide a national identity card number, passport number or residence permit number. They have to be a citizen of a European country, which includes outermost regions like the Canary Islands or countries that are part of Erasmus such as Norway, Serbia and Turkey.

Candidates are required to validate their application by answering a set of questions testing their general knowledge of the European Union as well as other initiatives focused on the younger generation.

In a supplementary questionnaire, candidates are invited to provide additional details about their travel project. They will be expected to give information about when they plan to start their journey, if it is their first time travelling on their own, what they wish to learn from the experience, how they are going to fund their journey and how they found out about Discover EU.

Winners will be able to start their month-long European journey between 15 June 2023 and 30 September 2024.  


Written by Louis Kernoa-Pascoe