Students who finish 12th grade will be offered free train rides and accommodation
Portugal has opened registrations for its new ‘Anda Conhecer Portugal’ (Get to Know Portugal) programme, which will offer free train rides and accommodation to students who complete 12th grade.
The announcement came on Tuesday morning before the resignation of Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa.
“With this programme, youngsters who finished or have finished 12th grade will be able to travel for free for seven days, with unlimited train rides and six nights in the Pousadas de Juventude networks (with a minimum of two nights spent in each Pousada),” the government’s statement read.
Says the government, the goal is to give every youngster living in Portugal the “possibiity to get to know their country, mitigating socioeconomic barriers and promoting mobility, youth tourism and territorial cohesion.”
The programme was born out of a partnership between Movijovem, the organisation that manages the country’s youth hostel network known as Pousadas de Juventude as well as the Youth Card (Cartão Jovem), and national train company Comboios de Portugal (CP).
The scheme has a €4 million budget for 2024 and is aimed at students who complete their secondary school education between the 2022/23 and 2024/25 school years.
Students who completed 12th grade in the 2022/23 school year will be able to enjoy the government’s offer between January 8, 2024 and January 8, 2025.
For students who finish their secondary school education in the 2023/2024 school year, they will have between July 5, 2024 and July 4, 2025 to use their free holiday package, while 2024/25 secondary school graduates will have between July 5, 2025 and July 4, 2026 to take advantage of the scheme.
Free Youth Card in 2024
The government also announced that the Classic Youth Card, which previously cost €10 per year, will become free in 2024.
The card will be available to youngsters aged 12 to 29 and offers several discounts on insurance, transportation, education, theme parks, cultural events, travel and more.
The revamped card will also allow holders to present it digitally, without the need of showing the physical card.