The UK has recently streamlined its entry rules for students from EU nations, making it easier for them to embark on language and cultural trips within the country. Since the UK's formal
departure from the EU in 2021, students from France and other EU countries faced more stringent regulations for such educational visits.
Following discussions between British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron in March, a significant change has been implemented. EU students can now enter the UK using their national identity cards instead of passports, restoring the pre-Brexit travel conditions.
This modification doesn't apply to non-EU nationals attending French schools; they still require passports for entry. However, the British government has eliminated the need for them to acquire a visa, previously priced at 120 euros.
While hailed as a welcome change by the British Educational Travel Association (Beta), they expressed that these adjustments, while positive, don't fully address the industry's requirements. Emma English, the association's executive director, emphasized the need for a youth group travel scheme that permits supervised under-18 EU nationals and residents to visit Britain for educational and cultural tours lasting up to six weeks. Beta intends to advocate for an expansion of this scheme in France and other European countries.
In France, the director of an organization offering school trips, Edward Hisbergues of PG Trips, praised the relaxation of restrictions, foreseeing an increase in visits. Hisbergues highlighted the significance of these changes, noting a decline in UK excursions due to high costs. He expressed appreciation for the UK's renewed image as a welcoming country for French teachers and students, according to comments made to the French news agency AFP. Photo by dannyman, Wikimedia commons.