From 4 October, young eighteen-year-olds can apply for the European Union (EU) Erasmus+ initiative “DiscoverEU”, which offers free travel cards to explore Europe. More than 35 000 young Europeans, including at least 155 young people from Latvia, will be granted this opportunity in the autumn 2023 application round, according to Egija Ļuļēna, Senior Communications Specialist at the JSPA Communications Unit.
The eighth round of “DiscoverEU” initiative is open for applications from 4 October at 13:00 (Latvian time) until 18 October at 13:00 (Latvian time) by completing the online application form on the European Youth Portal
To apply for “DiscoverEU” initiative, young people should:
• be 18 years old on 1 January 2024, meaning born between 1 January 2005 (inclusive) and 31 December 2005 (inclusive);
• be a citizen or resident in one of the EU Member States, including their Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) or an Erasmus+ associated third country;
• provide the correct number of the identity card, passport, or permanent residence permit in the online application form.
Selected applicants will be able to travel between 1 March 2024 and 31 May 2025, individually or in a group of up to four friends who meet the eligibility criteria. Participants will also receive a DiscoverEU European Youth Card, a discount card. The card gives access to a number of discount opportunities in 36 European countries - for transport, accommodation, food, sightseeing, cultural and sporting events, and other activities.
Travelling around Europe should primarily be undertaken by train, but people living on islands and in remote regions will be able to use other transport alternatives (such as ferries or buses). Participants with disabilities or health conditions that might hinder their travel will be able to get extra support.
“Recalling my experiences and the emotions connected with the time spent on the road, I think “DiscoverEU” is a wonderful opportunity! It gives you the chance to put your emotional resilience to the test, to prove to yourself and others that you can be independent, to meet new people and maybe make new friends,” says Paula Molodavčenko, who has travelled to six countries in six days thanks to “DiscoverEU”.
“DiscoverEU” aims to give 18-year-old Europeans the opportunity to explore Europe, discover its cultural heritage, enjoy freedom of movement, and make new friends. In addition, young people can enjoy informal learning throughout their journey, gaining new, practical skills and experiences for the future.
“DiscoverEU” travel cards are granted according to the proportion of the Member States' population compared to the total EU population, as well as on the basis of an application form. Since 2018, when first “DiscoverEU” initiative was launched, a total of 248 000 “DiscoverEU” travel cards have been issued to more than one million young people from across the EU, including 6 420 young people from Latvia, of whom 1 032 used this opportunity.
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