Are you an enthusiastic 18-year-old who loves travelling? Would you like to see the beautiful continent of Europe without spending a single cent on transportation?
If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions then your travelling dream might just come true thanks to a new European Union initiative that is giving enthusiastic 18-year-olds a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel around Europe using free rail tickets.
15,000 Lucky Globetrotters
The new initiative launched by the European Union will also include British citizens of age 18 – although only 2,000 people from country will be able to avail the exciting opportunity due to a limited number of spots.
The free travel pass to see the beautiful continent of Europe is valid from July to September of 2018, and will be offered every year during summer. So, if you’re looking for something fun to do during your summer break or want to explore Europe before going off to college, this could be the best – and probably the only chance – to check it off your bucket list.
European Commission’s Twitter Announcement
The exciting initiative was announced recently by the European Commission in a tweet which stated that it wanted to allow 15,000 ‘young enthusiastic people’ to discover Europe without having to worry about transportation costs.
The pass will only be valid for three months and applicants must demonstrate sound knowledge of European history and culture and convince the Commission through a personal essay why they should be given the amazing travelling opportunity in order to become the travel pass holders.
The Twitter announcement said that Europe allows freedom of movement across borders to allow people to travel and explore the continent without restrictions, but since most 18-year-olds don’t have thee luxury to travel due to various financial circumstances, it is up to the European Commission to make it easier for youngsters to explore the diversity of Europe and learn more about its culture.
The commission further added that travelling can also be a great opportunity for self-discovery and finding likeminded people in different parts of the world which is why the initiative is extremely important for youngsters’ self-development and growth.
A Rigorous Selection Process
The commission explains that the travel passes can be used on ferries, buses and trains, although in exceptional cases where no other means of transportation are available, the participants will be allowed to travel by air without paying for the ticket.
All 18-year-old citizens of European Union, including those belonging to the U.K., are encouraged to apply for the free travel pass, although the tickets will be divided equally among the EU member states, allowing 2,000 enthusiastic travelers from each EU country to win the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Due to the limited number of spots, the applicants can expect to face intense competition from other contestants. The rigorous selection process will include an online quiz to test the applicants’ knowledge on European history and culture along with assessing cover letters to determine who is the worthiest of the golden travel pass.
Restrictions on Citizens of U.K. and Ireland
While filling out the application form, contestants will have to choose their travel destinations but it isn’t clear whether the applicants’ choice of destination will impact their winning chances. The ultimate value of the ticket will depend on the number of destinations the applicant wishes to visit.
For the citizens of U.K. Ireland along with other countries which are on the fringes of European Union, will not be able to travel to certain destinations including Slovakia, Greece, Slovenia, and Cyprus. Since one of the requirements for being eligible for free travel is being a citizen of an E.U member nation, British citizens will not be able to partake in the scheme from next year onwards.
According to the website, the passes are only valid for 30 days and will allow travelers to visit a maximum of four countries. More details about the application process will be revealed on European Youth Portal’s Facebook page.