The ISIC card
The ISIC card allows students the world over to prove their official student status and make the most of thousands of targeted student benefits and discounts in over 130 countries.
Developed to help nurture cross-cultural understanding and international exchange, the card originally provided students with access to exclusive discounts on travel opportunities, allowing cardholders to discover and interact with new countries, cultures and languages at reduced rates.
Now, firmly in the digital age, the ISIC card has evolved to best meet the needs of the modern day student. Although travel benefits will always remain central to the card, ISIC cardholders also gain preferential and discounted access to over 150,000 products, services and experiences relevant to all aspects of student life. There are a multitude of offers available to ISIC cardholders, from educational courses, software licenses, digital communications, public transport and magazine subscriptions, to music streaming, cafés and eateries, music festivals, theme parks, sporting events, world heritage sites and more!.
The ISIC card has been endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 1968. The card is recognised by universities, academic institutions, student unions, national governments, financial institutions and ministries of education around the world.
60 years of history
The ISIC card was first created by students for students in 1953. The decision to create the ISIC card was an initiative of the Norwegian and Dutch Union of Students, supported by the Coordinating Secretariat of National Unions of Students (COSEC) of Denmark, at the 3rd International Student Conference where the decision was made to “take the necessary steps to ensure that an International Student Identity Card be made available as soon as possible in as large a part of the world as possible.”
Originally the ISIC card was a student identity card that gave fulltime students world access to special discounted airfares. In order to get discounted airfares students bought an ISIC card allowing cardholders to explore the world and discover new countries and cultures.
This supported the ISIC card’s pioneering mission statement: “Increasing international understanding through the promotion of travel and exchange opportunities among students, young people and the academic community.”
2013 marked the 60th Anniversary of the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). To find out more, watch this short video featuring interviews with key people central to the ISIC card’s significant milestones in the past and present, and providing a snapshot of the promising future ahead for ISIC cardholders.
A change in focus
ISIC continues to be the only internationally recognised proof of student status. However, the growth of discounted airfares online has changed the ISIC card focus. The availability of cheap online flights has led to the decrease in ISIC card sales in the new millennium for simply travel related purposes. Today, the portfolio of benefits and discounts accessible with the ISIC card goes far beyond travel alone. The ISIC card is now also an everyday use student lifestyle card. Cardholders still enjoy discounts and services on travel opportunities. On top of that, students gain preferential access to over 150,000 products, services or experiences in every stage and area of student life, both at home and abroad.
Want to know more on the history of ISIC? Contact us to find out more.
The mission of the ISIC Association is:
To provide all bona-fide students, regardless of their nationality, race, gender or religion, with the opportunity to prove their student status in every country worldwide, via an official and affordable identifier of student status. This unique identifier aims to allow students access to preferential travel opportunities, specially negotiated services, discounts and experiences in every area and stage of student life, consequently reducing the cost of being a student. As such, the ISIC Association aspires to play a supporting role in improving intercultural understanding and increasing educational opportunities for all.
ISIC works with a number of global partners who are committed to supporting students around the world. Click on each of our partners below to see what special benefits, discounts and services are available to ISIC cardholders internationally.