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Teens get free pass to enjoy Europe by train

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By Alice Cuddy
Teens get free pass to enjoy Europe by train

The European Commission is giving away 12,000 free Interrail tickets to 18-year-olds in the European Union, after thousands benefited from the scheme during the summer.

The DiscoverEU will remain open to applicants until December 11.

The rules state that applicants must be 18 years old on December 31, and be prepared to travel around Europe between April 15 and October 31, 2019, for a maximum of 30 days.

Participants must be a national of an EU member state, and can travel individually or in a group of up to five people.

While participants will generally be travelling by train, to ensure that young people in remote areas can also take part, the European Commission said participants can also travel by buses, ferries and, in exceptional cases, planes.

Winners will be chosen by an evaluation committee and notified in mid-January.

The launch was announced after 15,000 teenagers were able to enjoy the first round of the scheme this summer.

“They experienced first-hand what it feels like to be European. They got the opportunity to discover Europe's diversity and cultural richness as well as to meet people from all over the EU,” Tibor Navracsics, European commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said in a statement.

“We have heard so many fantastic stories from those who took part, and I am delighted that we are able to offer this experience to more young people next year”, he added.

Interested candidates can apply via the European Youth Portal