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News Overview 2013

Travel to Europe

Travel to Europe 2013 - Kick-Off in Berlin

Rendezvous in Berlin: a total of 150 students from Balkan countries kicked off their four-week trip through the European Union in Berlin. For many of them, this is their first opportunity to visit neighboring European countries and experience Europe.

The students are from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Although many of them can now travel to the EU without a visa, in most cases they don’t have the money. With its "Travel to Europe" program, the Robert Bosch Stiftung supports these young people who up until now have spent little or no time abroad. The participants receive health insurance, Interrail tickets, a daily allowance, and - in the case of the students from Kosovo - a Schengen visa free of charge for four weeks.

They all came to Berlin for the kick-off ceremony, spent time getting to know each other, took part in a City Rally to learn about the German capital, went to parties, and discussed the future of the Balkans with the former EU commissioner Gunter Verheugen. "In Europe, the focus is first and foremost on peace and values, and less on the EU Commission’s criteria and rules," said Verheugen. And Andjela Vujkovic from Montenegro sees things the same way. She is 21 years old and studies Political Science and International Relations. Similar to the other Balkan countries, joining the European Union is also one of her home country’s major goals. "But to us it’s important that we truly live out European values before we become a member of the EU." These values include democracy, education, and fighting corruption, for example.

After two days in Berlin, the students began their four-week train trip through the EU in small groups. Between now and the end of August, the group will travel to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Italy, Barcelona, and Austria - also acting as small ambassadors from their countries along the way.

City Rally and Discussion with Gunter Verheugen

Photos: Tobias Bohm
City Rally in Berlin
City Rally in Berlin
City Rally in Berlin
City Rally in Berlin
City Rally in Berlin
City Rally in Berlin
City Rally in Berlin
Visiting the Berlin office of the Foundation
Diskussing with Gunter Verheugen the future of the Balkans
Diskussing with Gunter Verheugen the future of the Balkans
Diskussing with Gunter Verheugen the future of the Balkans

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