The Learning Curve – Travel Discounts with an International Student Identity Card

As a single parent, one of the perks of my full-time studies is the various discounts I receive when I show my Athabasca University ID card.

Not only do I not pay banking fees anymore, but I save money on my insurance and even receive discounts in some clothing stores in my town.

Recently, I learned about the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) program. Recognized world-wide, this additional ID card opens doors for full-time students, as well as saves them a lot of money when travelling or even doing things close to home that may be considered tourist-related.

The cost of the card varies, but according to Via Rail’s website, if you purchase the card at one of their locations it is only $16 and it doesn’t expire for 16 months.

According to the International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) website, the following information is required to apply for the card:

Acceptable proof of full-time student status, including either a copy of your university or student ID card (if properly dated and clearly indicating your full-time student status), or a signed and dated letter on official university or school stationery attesting to your full-time student status. An original copy is preferred, but photocopies and faxes may be accepted.

You will also need a passport-sized photo and proof of your date of birth.

The discounts available would make the purchase of this card worthwhile even for a student who is not planning on travelling internationally. For instance, Via Rail offers students a 35 to 50 per cent discount, and children can still travel for free with a paying student-parent during the summer.

Greyhound Canada also offers a discounted price of 25 per cent off adult tickets for ISIC holders, and there are literally thousands of discounts available with the ISIC that are listed by country on their website.

From museums to student travel companies, this also seems to be a magic card for any full-time student living on a budget.

According to the ISTC website, the ISIC also offers other benefits to student travelers, which include access to a free 24-hour multilingual emergency help line, and a personalized trip planner and travel guide.

For a card that only costs $16, It’s an amazing deal. And with the card being valid for 16 months, it means that even if you apply for the card when only a month away from graduation, you can have a valid student identity card for 15 months?even when you are no longer a full-time student!

For more information, visit the International Student Identity Card website and Via Rail’s Student Discount Information page.

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