ISIC Card: Everything You Need To Know

    Updated on: 12 Sep 2023

    ISIC stands for International Student Identity Card, a globally acceptable student ID card for students studying abroad. It grants a full-time student status. When you go abroad for higher education, having an ISIC card entitles you to many concessions and discounts. The ISIC card helps students get monetary and other benefits to which they became entitled by virtue of this card, and they wouldn't have received these benefits otherwise. From an Indian student's perspective, the cost of an abroad education is way too high. However, as a student, you will have the option to save on a lot many things once you have the ISIC student card with you. It will help you reduce the cost of living.

    What is an ISIC Card?

    ISIC Card is a panacea for international students living abroad. It started in 1953 and has been helping students ever since. Currently, institutions from more than 130 countries recognize the card to help students. More than 5 million cards are issued annually to international students. The card gives students an identity when studying abroad and acts as a universal student ID card. Apart from identity to students, one of the pertinent questions in a student's head is who can get an ISIC card? Well, the answer is pretty simple. If you are a full-time student over 12 years of age and attending a school, college, or university, you fulfill the eligibility criteria to get an ISIC card. One of the apprehensions is about the upper age limit, which is not contention with it as there is no upper limit whatsoever as long as you can prove that you are a full-time student.

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    ISIC Card Uses and Benefits & When Do You Need One?

    ISIC card has so many benefits that students across the globe rely on it and use it to get massive discounts on products, bills, travel, and other expenses while studying abroad. You need an ISIC card when planning to go for higher studies abroad. It will give you student status across the globe as it is valid in more than 130 countries globally. So, let's answer the question, What is the use of ISIC cards? Once you get the ISIC card, you are entitled to get these benefits for sure:

    1. Convenient for transactions in different currencies: ISIC card, besides being a student ID card, is also one of the best forex cards. The ISIC card can be stacked with any currency you wish, depending on the country where you are studying. You can load cash in USD, Euro, GBP, etc., without hassle, withdraw money from ATM, pay your bills, or use a local convenience store. The universality of transactions is the biggest USP of ISIC cards.

    2. Loaded With Discounts: Once you have the ISIC card with you, an ocean of discounts is what you are going to get out of it. The ISIC card helps you save a ton of money on food, shopping, travel, books, activities, and a complete range of discounts on other expenses while studying abroad. With its broad reach, the ISIC card entitles you to discounts in different countries and for various expenditures. In fact, these students' forex cards can be used at almost all the outlets that allow MasterCard.

    3. Security against forex fluctuations: One of the most significant issues you would face abroad while dealing with foreign currency. One of the perks of using an ISIC card is the fact it is forex fluctuation free. No matter the exchange rates, you will not lose a penny in the name of forex fluctuation. It gives students and parents the much-needed cushion and helps save a lot while studying abroad.

    4. Faster loading of cash: One of the top features of the ISIC card is the ease with which money can be transferred into the card. You don't have to go anywhere to load money into your card. You can instantly do it from the comfort of your home.

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    ISIC Card Discounts

    The ISIC card is your best choice to save money while studying abroad. You can use the card to get a discount on things of daily use like buying utilities, eating out, traveling through partner organizations, entertainment, and a ton of other stuff. The website also has a search option wherein you can easily search for a coupon that fits you best. You will also get a discount while visiting listed tourist attractions eligible for a discount.

    Is ISIC Card Worth it?

    On top of everything, the benefits of this card are way more than the price you pay. You can claim discounts, get an international student status, and much more by using the ISIC card. It lets you access more than 1,50,000 discount locations in more than 125 countries worldwide. It is perhaps the best financial tool for an international student to save on almost every spend they spend while studying abroad.

    How to Get an ISIC Card?

    Applying for an ISIC card is simple and not very time-consuming. You have the liberty to apply either online or offline. Students usually prefer the online mode as it is hassle-free and takes less time. You can follow the step-by-step guide to get an ISIC card:

    • Visit the official website of ISIC.
    • Click on the "Get you Card" link on the ISIC website.
    • Then click on "Order Card" on the Virtual ISIC card link. You can get the physical card, too, once your Virtual ISIC card is issued.
    • Fill in your personal details.
    • Upload all the required documents along with a photo in blue or white background.
    • You also have to upload the proof of being a full-time student that clearly mentions the date mentioning that you're a student. You can use your college ID card or letter of acceptance. Also, upload an ID proof.
    • Choose the method of payment, and pay the required fees.


    Another option is to go to a local ISIC office and purchase an ISIC card. The offices are spread across the globe but do check if there is one nearby, keep all the documents handy before going to their office to purchase an ISIC card.

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    ISIC Card Price

    The last question that might be hovering over your mind is how much does an ISIC card cost? The cost of getting an ISIC card is only INR 999 (delivery charge is applicable). It is such an abysmally low amount that you might spend more than this on the weekend partying with your friends. Also, the card is valid for one year, and on average, the courses abroad are of one or two years duration. So, the entire cost will be anywhere from INR 1000 to INR 2000. The price of an ISIC card is barely anything compared to the benefits you will get with it. It helps you make a considerable difference in the cost of living, and if used wisely, you can enjoy your student life abroad without taking a toll on your finances. It helps millions of students each year and is credible as it is recognized and endorsed by UNESCO.

    The card has served more than 100 million students globally, which speaks volumes of its credibility. So, you can get this card without worrying about anything. Its security architecture is also world-class, enabling you to use this card swiftly and without worrying about identity theft or financial fraud. One thing that you must note is that it takes around 3-4 weeks of time to process your application. So, it's always better to get the ISIC card issued well in advance so that if there are some changes to be made, you can do it as soon as possible. However, if you missed the chance to get this card while residing in India, you can always apply after reaching the country where you are planning to study. The only thing you need to take care of is that you must have all the documents with you, and you can get the ISIC card right at the place of your study.

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    First published date: 05 Jul 2022

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About author

Anjaney Chaturvedi
Anjaney has in-depth knowledge of abroad colleges, and universities. With a background in Mechanical Engineering, he has a unique understanding of STEM courses. His interest also lies in finance and education financing. Firmly believes in ‘Being as unique as your fingerprint’.

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