Full-time students 12 years and older* will find the ISIC (International Student Identity Card) card the ticket to discounts on transportation (like Amtrak), accommodation (like hostels and hotels), tours (all over the world), activities, shopping, and entertainment. Not only that, but as a traveler, ISIC cards will also give you access to basic sickness and travel insurance abroad, which is a pretty amazing deal.
The ISIC card costs $25, or slightly more if you want to upgrade your travel insurance policy with them, and is valid for one year from the date of issue. I think it's great value for money for students, and highly recommend getting one. There are so many discounts available to you through this card that you should make your money back within just a couple of months.
Here's how to get your hands on an ISIC card:
*You must be seeking a degree at an accredited institution.
Time Required: A few hours
What You'll Need Before Applying:
- One passport-sized photo (2x2 inches, with name printed in ink on the back)
- Payment of $25, whether you're applying online, by post, or in person
- Proof of student status
- Proof of age
- $3 or $20 for shipping, depending on whether you get your card expedited or not.
A Step by Step Process for Getting Your ISIC Card
- You can either call 1-800-223-7986 (toll-free) to apply by phone through an STA travel agency, apply for an ISIC card online, or find your nearest brick and mortar ISIC issuing office. Many campus registrar or international education (study abroad) offices are ISIC issuers, so ask around on campus first, as that'll be fastest. If you don't have an ISIC card issuer on campus, I recommend applying online, as it's a much simpler process.
- Gather one passport-sized photo (2x2 inches head and shoulders shot, with your name printed in ink on the back). You won't need to do this if you'll be applying online.
- Prepare payment of $25 if applying by mail, and add $3.00 if for shipping. If you are paying online, make sure you have your credit or debit card ready, or access to your Paypal account.
- Next, gather proof of student status: this could either be a photocopy of school ID that is valid this year, or a photocopy of your transcript/report card for this academic year. You can then either take this in to the office, send a photocopy if applying by mail, or scan it in to your laptop if you're buying your card online.
- Gather proof of your age: this could be a copy of your driver's license, your passport, your state issued identification card or student identification card if it shows your age. A birth certificate won't work here, because your proof must show a current photo and your age.
- If you'll be applying by phone or online, be prepared to upload your documents to your laptop so you can either upload them to the online form or email them to the person you're speaking to on the phone. If applying by mail, send the $25 you have prepared and the above documents to STA Travel, INC. National Call Center, ID card Department; 585 N Juniper Drive, Suite 250; Chandler, AZ 85226.
- You're all done! Now you just have to wait for your ISIC card to arrive, and then you can start reaping the benefits. Standard shipping will take 15 business days and will cost you $3. If you're in a hurry, you can speed up the shipping to two days by paying $15. The ISIC card is great for scoring student travel discounts, like the student travel discount on Amtrak, and you can also use it as international ID as you travel around the world.
This article has been edited and updated by Lauren Juliff.