If you are 18 years old and a citizen of the European Union, you could be in with the opportunity to be selected for a free rail pass to explore Europe.

Two young women at a railway station
18 years olds may be selected for a free rail pass to explore Europe © Leo Patrizi/Getty Images

DiscoverEU is an initiative of the European Union that gives 18-year-olds the opportunity to explore Europe and gain learning experiences. They can go solo or add up to four friends in their group provided they meet the eligibility conditions. They will participate in a travel experience that will enable them to take advantage of the freedom of movement throughout the EU, exploring the diversity of other countries and cities while travelling by train, learning about European cultural heritage and history, and connecting with people from all over the continent.

For women floating in inflatable devices in the sea
DiscoverEU gives 18-year-olds the opportunity to discover Europe through learning experiences © Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

It is hoped that the scheme will enable the young people chosen to develop life skills of value to their future, such as independence, confidence and openness to other cultures. Those who have a disability or health problem that would make the trip challenging will receive assistance and support to help them take part. The young people will travel predominantly by rail, although there are exceptions to allow those living on islands or in remote areas to participate. Almost 50,000 young people have been awarded a travel pass since the first application round in June 2018, and a second round will take place between 7 November at 12:00 (CET) and 28 November at 12:00 (CET).

Three female travellers taking a selfie
They can go solo or add up to four friends in their group © Caiaimage/Rafal Rodzoch/Getty Images

To be eligible, you need to have been born between 1 January and 31 December 2001, inclusive, and be an EU citizen or legally reside within one of the member states of the EU at the time of the award decision. Applicants will need to participate in a quiz, unless they apply as a group member. Those who are selected can travel for a period of minimum one day and up to 30 days between 1 April and 31 October 2020.

Caucasian couple sitting on bench near a train reading map
The pass will allow young people to travel free for up to 30 days © Mike Kemp/Getty Images

For further information on the application process, please see here.

Want to know what it's like to travel with a Discover EU pass? Find out from a 19-year-old who got a pass and took a solo trip

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