Here’s a simple fact: you can’t enjoy the world on an extremely tight budget. For an international student, studying abroad shouldn’t be restricted to academics, exploring new things is important too.

But with the high cost of living and staggering tuition fees, how can you even enjoy your time overseas without drowning in financial woes? 

With a student discount card such as the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), you can take advantage of discounts to purchase your necessities, or to dine out as a quick break from your study load.

Here’s a guide on how you get an ISIC and take advantage of its amazing offers:

What is the ISIC?

The ISIC is the only globally recognized student ID card. International students who hold an ISIC use it for a wide array of services, discounts, and student benefits.

Since 1968, the ISIC has been recognized and endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization or UNESCO. Every year, over 5 million international students use the ISIC to get access to different student offers.

The ISIC has both a virtual and physical version in the form of a plastic ID. The virtual ISIC costs USD $25. A plastic ID card would cost an additional USD $3.60.

Upon receiving the ISIC, the student can enjoy its benefits for 12 months. They also offer the IYTC for non-eligible students under 31 years old and the ITIC for full-time teachers.

What are the Benefits of an ISIC?

Here are some pertinent reasons why you need an ISIC when studying abroad:

Who Can Get the ISIC?

International students from anywhere in the world can order an ISIC. The student must be 12 years old or older and must be a full-time student under a program in an accredited institution. 

Before a student can apply for an ISIC, he or she must be studying for at least 15 hours every week for a minimum of three months in one academic year.

How Can You Get Your ISIC?

If you are eligible for an ISIC, you can follow this step-by-step process on how to get one:

  1. Ordering your cardYou can order your ISIC online through the official website of ISIC. You can also order your card through a local issuing office near you.
  2. If you’re applying through an issuing office, you need a passport size photograph. For an online application, a digital photo taken in a white or blue background will do (must be in jpeg or jpg format).
  3. Prepare a scanned copy of a document proving that you are a full-time student. Make sure that the date of the issue can be seen clearly (must be in pdf, jpeg, or jpg format).
  4. Prepare a scanned copy of a document or ID as proof of your identity. This can be your passport or driver’s license (must be in pdf, jpeg, or jpg format).
  5. Confirm your method of payment. If you are applying online, you can pay with your credit or debit card via Paypal. 
  6. Submit your order and wait for about 15 business days or more to receive your ISIC. Standard delivery time may vary depending on your location.

Having an ISIC allows you to explore and experience your host country without spending too much. For more information about student discount cards, check out our stories here at MSM Unify.