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FEATURES

The ISIC

More than 30 million youths have carried the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which identifies them as international students. Today more than 5,000 organizations world wide emit and support it.

The idea of creating a document which identifies international students was born in Denmark in 1968. It was created to facilitate academic and cultural exchange and increase communication between students world wide. In 1993 UNESCO signed an agreement which recognizes the ISIC as the sole student identity document which is valid internationally.

The world wide network of benefits for young students ranges from travel ticket discounts, trips, hotels, shops (book shops, discotheques, boutiques, theatres, cinemas, etc) to participation in events, discounts for museums and shows. Among other services there is the ISIC Help Line, a free 24 hour emergency travel and information service, and connection to an organizational network which offers services to students in more that 100 countries, and a communication package with a 30% discount for international calls (ISIConnect).

The ISIC identifies the carrier as a student in about 90 countries, so that the student will be recognized as such and giving them international status. Thanks to this document ISIC functions like a student passport with the same characteristics whether it has been emitted in Croatia, Ecuador, Malta, Tunisia or Bulgaria.

Generally the businesses and shops which offer ISIC benefits display a sticker on the door, window or cashiers till. For more details in English, Spanish, French and German consult: http://www.isic.org

To obtain an ISIC a person must be a full time registered student. There is no age stipulation. However some businesses and shops may impose their own restrictions and it is possible that some discounts are subject to local conditions.

Furthermore one must, present a document which certifies that one is a student plus a passport size photograph, complete the registration document and pay the fee. (For example, in Chile it is 7,000 Chilean Pesos, in Argentina US$ 15, in Spain 700 Pesetas and in Europe 4,47 Euros.)

All students, from secondary, university or accredited schools, which prove their status by certifying that they are registered in an academic course, can apply.

If the card is requested via the internet count on 3 to 4 weeks for delivery. If one requests it personally the card can be obtained immediately. It is valid for one year.

ISIC - International Student Identity Card. A card for full time student more than 12 years old.

ITIC - International Teacher Identity Card. A card for anyone who can prove they are a teacher.

IYTC - International Youth Travel Card. A card for students less than 26 years old.

Interview with Brendan, a young writer and film actor from Los Angeles, California who is in Paris studying for a Masters in international relations. He has had an ISIC since he was 18 years old.

Q. Brendan do you consider it worthwhile carrying an ISIC?

A. Yes, because it is very convenient if one is a foreign student in another country. For example the card gives reductions and cheaper tickets for the cinema or for airline travel. If you travel frequently it is good to have it so you can benefit from student tariffs all around the world, since the national student card is insufficient.

Q. How many times have you used the ISIC?

A. This is my seventh card. I have used it 3 times this year, once to buy an plane ticket to return to my home in Los Angeles, the second time to go to London by Eurostar, and the last time to buy a plane ticket to Turkey. Generally I use it for ticket reductions.

 

Brendan is one of the hundreds of students which possess the ISIC around the world. The ISTC organization (International Student Travel Confederation) which is responsible for international tickets, will have about 3 million inscriptions in 2001, and has an ambitious plan to convert university identity cards into ISIC. More and more education establishments are granting their students ISIC cards which will serve the same purpose as the university identity card.

ISIC internet sites:

http://www.isic.org

http://www.isictm.fr (France)

http://www.isic.cl/ofint.html (Chile)

http://www.vela.comco/carnet/carnet.html (Colobia)

http://www.stb.com.br (Brazil)

http://www.isic.com.ar and, www.asatej.com.ar (Argentina)

 




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