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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
ISIC internet sites: