International Student Identity Card: Is it Worth It?

international student card

I recently have booked my ticket back to Italy—I’m thrilled to be heading back to Europe in order to live there for a few more months. Not only am I looking forward to seeing my friends, but I’m also looking forward to seeing some more of the continent—Eastern Europe is uncharted territory, and I’m excited to change that.

When purchasing my ticket from STA, I was asked whether or not I wanted to purchase an International Student Identity Card for a discount. Though I skipped on it this time, I have used one in the past when booking international flights. Recently, I’ve been asked by a few people whether or not it’s a reasonable investment for students and youth who travel a lot.

Pros

One of the good things about the card is that you can use it for several years after you buy it, so even if you aren’t technically a “student” anymore, you can still use it to get discounts to museums and other attractions. You just have to remember to carry it around with you when you are planning on heading to a destination.

It’s also helpful when booking a flight. You can save $25 by adding an ISIC card to your cart on sites like STA.com. Twenty-five dollars might not seem like a lot when you are buying a plane ticket across the world, but it never hurts.

Perhaps the best thing about the card is that it also offers discounts to multiple different travel sites and hostels. There’s a full list of the places you can save some money online, including some sites like Hostels.com and Amazon. For twenty-five dollars, there are plenty of perks to having the card.

Cons

Pretty much every time you want to book on STA travel, they will require you to buy a new card rather than use the one you have. Depending how badly you want to save twenty-five dollars, you’ll end up with a whole stash of them.

The discounts aren’t always guaranteed, as well. They often change, so don’t plan on using your card for the same thing over and over again. Some of them can be rather cheap—like ten dollars off a Hostelworld.com booking or a free English course from EF (I suppose that’s the “international” part of International Student Identity Card).

Overall? I believe it’s a worthwhile addition to your plane ticket, but only once. Also, you’ll have to take some time and see which discounts are available at different times.

Have you ever purchased an ISIC? What did you think?

Photo courtesy of tiffini.

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