Studying abroad is an exhilarating experience, and Canada has long been a preferred destination for international students. As a student in a foreign country, you’ll not only immerse yourself in a new culture and educational system but also face various practical challenges. One valuable tool to ease your transition and enhance your student life in Canada is the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). In this article, we’ll explore what the ISIC is, its benefits, and how to obtain one in Canada.
Table of Contents:
- What is the International Student Identity Card (ISIC)?
- Key Features of the ISIC
- Benefits of International Student Identity Card in Canada
- Eligibility Criteria for International Student Identity Card in Canada
- Cost of ISIC Card in Canada
- How to apply for an ISIC card?
- Frequently Asked Questions for International Student Identity Card in Canada
What is the International Student Identity Card (ISIC)?
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is a globally recognized identification card designed to cater to the unique needs of students studying abroad. It serves as both a proof of student status and a means of accessing various discounts, benefits, and services, making it an essential tool for international students around the world.
The primary aim of the ISIC is to facilitate the mobility of students and ensure that they have access to a wide range of resources and opportunities during their academic journeys.
Key Features of the ISIC:
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is an indispensable tool for international students pursuing their education abroad. It combines the advantages of a recognized student ID with access to a wide range of discounts and benefits, making it an essential companion for students looking to make the most of their academic journey while exploring new cultures and experiences around the world.
Here are some key features of the ISIC Card:
Global Recognition: The ISIC card is recognized and accepted by institutions, businesses, and organizations in over 130 countries worldwide. This recognition ensures that wherever you travel, your student status is acknowledged, allowing you to enjoy numerous benefits.
Proof of Student Status: The ISIC card serves as official proof that you are a registered student at a recognized educational institution. It includes your name, photograph, date of birth, and the card’s expiration date. This information confirms your eligibility for student discounts and services.
Discounts and Benefits: One of the most significant advantages of the ISIC is its ability to unlock a wide array of discounts and benefits. These discounts cover various aspects of student life, including transportation, accommodation, cultural experiences, entertainment, dining, and shopping. For example, ISIC cardholders can enjoy reduced fares on buses and trains, discounted museum admissions, and special offers at restaurants and retail outlets.
Travel Assistance: The ISIC card often includes access to an emergency helpline, providing assistance to students in case of travel-related emergencies, such as lost passports or delayed flights. This added security ensures that you have support when you need it most.
Optional Insurance: Some ISIC cards come with optional insurance plans tailored to international students. These plans typically provide coverage for medical emergencies, ensuring your well-being during your stay abroad.
Cultural and Educational Experiences: Beyond financial benefits, the ISIC card can enhance your academic experience. It may grant you access to educational events, language courses, and cultural exchanges, fostering a deeper understanding of the local culture and academic community.
Easy Application Process: Obtaining an ISIC card is generally a straightforward process. Eligible students need to provide proof of their student status, a passport-sized photo, and pay a nominal fee for card issuance.
Valid for One Year: The ISIC card is typically valid for one year from the date of issue, ensuring that it covers an entire academic year for students. Renewal is possible for the duration of your studies.
Whether you’re traveling, dining out, or simply enjoying cultural attractions, the ISIC card can help you save money and enrich your student life.
- Canadian Citizenship: A Step-by-Step Guide to Apply
- PR Canada: Benefits, Eligibility, Application Steps & More
- Exploring the Best Neighborhoods in Mississauga, Ontario
- Guide to Opening a Student Bank Account in Canada: Documents & Top Banks
Benefits of International Student Identity Card in Canada
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is a valuable resource for students around the world. It offers a wide range of benefits, including discounts on travel, activities, food, shopping, and insurance. ISIC cardholders are also granted student status in over 130 countries, which can be helpful when traveling or applying for discounts.
- Discounts on travel: ISIC cardholders can get discounts on flights, trains, buses, ferries, and accommodation. This can save you a significant amount of money on your travels, especially if you are planning to travel extensively.
- Discounts on activities: ISIC cardholders can also get discounts on activities such as museum admissions, tours, concerts, and sporting events. This is a great way to save money on your entertainment expenses.
- Discounts on food and drinks: ISIC cardholders can also get discounts on food and drinks at restaurants, cafes, and bars. This is a great way to save money on your daily expenses.
- Discounts on shopping: ISIC cardholders can also get discounts on shopping at stores such as clothing retailers, bookstores, and electronics stores. This is a great way to save money on your essential purchases.
- Discounts on insurance: ISIC cardholders can also get discounts on travel insurance and health insurance. This is a great way to protect yourself financially while you are studying in Canada.
- Access to exclusive events and discounts: ISIC cardholders also have access to exclusive events and discounts that are not available to the general public. This is a great way to meet other students and experience new things.
The ISIC card is a valuable resource for international students in Canada. It can help you save money on your travel, activities, food, drinks, shopping, and insurance. It also gives you access to exclusive events and discounts. If you are an international student in Canada, we highly recommend getting an ISIC card.
Here are some of the specific discounts that ISIC cardholders can get in Canada:
- 20% off Air Canada flights
- 10% off VIA Rail train tickets
- 10% off Greyhound bus tickets
- 10% off hotel stays
- Free admission to over 2,800 museums and cultural attractions
Eligibility Criteria for International Student Identity Card in Canada
Eligibility criteria for obtaining an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) in Canada is listed as follows:
- Student Status: You must be a full-time student enrolled in a recognized educational institution in Canada. This can include universities, colleges, language schools, and high schools. Part-time students may also be eligible in some cases.
- Age Requirement: To qualify, you need to be a full-time student over the age of 12 currently attending a school, college, or university. There is no upper age limit on the card, but you do need to prove you are a full-time student
- Proof of Enrollment: You will typically need to provide proof of your student status, which may include a current student ID card, an acceptance letter from your institution, or a letter from your school’s registrar’s office confirming your enrollment.
- Photograph: You will need to provide a recent passport-sized photograph for your ISIC card application.
- Application Fee: There is usually an application fee associated with obtaining an ISIC card. This fee can vary depending on where you apply and which organization or agency handles the issuance of ISIC cards in your area.
- Application Process: The application process for an ISIC card in Canada may vary depending on where you apply. You may be able to apply online, through your educational institution, or at a local ISIC issuing office.
- Renewal: ISIC cards are typically valid for one year from the date of issue and can be renewed as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about the ISIC card eligibility criteria in Canada:
- You are not eligible for an ISIC card if you are only taking a short-term course or program.
- You are not eligible for an ISIC card if you are a part-time student.
- You are not eligible for an ISIC card if you are over the age of 30.
Cost of ISIC Card in Canada
The cost of an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) in Canada can vary depending on where you apply for the card and the type of ISIC card you choose. Here are some general guidelines:
- Standard ISIC Card: The cost of a standard physical ISIC card in Canada typically ranges from $20 to $30 CAD. This price may include the card itself, processing fees, and sometimes additional benefits or services.
- ISIC Virtual Card: Some organizations offer virtual ISIC cards, which are available for a lower cost than physical cards. The price of a virtual ISIC card may range from $10 to $20 CAD. Virtual cards are digital and can be downloaded and stored on your smartphone.
- ISIC Plus: Some ISIC organizations offer a premium version of the card called ISIC Plus, which may include additional benefits and services. The cost of ISIC Plus can be higher, ranging from $30 to $50 CAD or more.
- Renewal Fees: If you need to renew your ISIC card after its initial validity period (usually one year), you may be required to pay a renewal fee. Renewal fees are typically lower than the cost of the initial card and may range from $10 to $20 CAD.
How to apply for an ISIC card?
Applying for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) typically involves a straightforward process, but the specific steps may vary depending on your location and the organization responsible for issuing ISIC cards in your country or region. Here is a general outline of the steps to apply for an ISIC card:
1. Check Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria, which usually include being a full-time student enrolled in a recognized educational institution.
2. Gather Required Documents: Gather the necessary documents, which may include proof of enrollment (such as a student ID card or a letter from your school), a passport-sized photograph, and any required fees.
3. Choose the Application Method: Determine how you want to apply for your ISIC card. Common application methods include:
- Online: Many countries offer online application options through the official ISIC website or a local ISIC organization’s website. You may need to upload scanned copies of your documents and a digital photograph.
- In-Person: Some locations have physical ISIC offices or partner institutions where you can apply in person. Check the nearest location on the ISIC website or inquire at your school if they offer in-person application services.
- Through Your School: Some educational institutions have partnerships with ISIC and can assist students with the application process.
4. Complete the Application: Follow the instructions provided by the chosen application method. You will typically need to fill out an application form with your personal information and provide the required documents.
5. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the applicable application fee. The fee amount may vary depending on your location and the type of ISIC card you are applying for (e.g., standard ISIC or ISIC virtual card).
6. Verification: Your application and documents may be verified for authenticity. This process may take a few days to a few weeks, depending on the issuing organization.
7. Card Delivery or Collection: Once your application is approved, you will receive your ISIC card. The delivery method may vary; you might receive a physical card by mail or be able to download a digital version of your card, depending on the options available in your area.
8. Activation: If you receive a physical ISIC card, make sure to activate it according to the instructions provided with the card. Activation may involve registering your card online.
9. Enjoy the Benefits: Once you have your activated ISIC card, you can start enjoying the discounts and benefits offered to ISIC cardholders, both locally and internationally.
In conclusion, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is a valuable asset for international students pursuing their education in Canada. It opens doors to a world of discounts and benefits, making student life more affordable and enjoyable. As we’ve explored in this article, ISIC cards are accessible to eligible students, and the application process is relatively straightforward. Whether you’re seeking discounts on transportation, cultural experiences, or travel opportunities, the ISIC card can significantly enhance your student experience in Canada.
Moreover, the ISIC card serves as more than just a means of saving money; it’s a symbol of your student status and a passport to a global network of students. It connects you with like-minded individuals, cultural exchange opportunities, and enriching experiences that extend far beyond the classroom.
As you embark on your academic journey in Canada, consider obtaining an ISIC card to maximize the benefits available to you. Remember to check the official ISIC website or consult with your local ISIC issuing office for the most up-to-date information on eligibility, application processes, and the latest discounts and offers. With an ISIC card in hand, you’ll be better equipped to explore, learn, and thrive during your time as an international student in this beautiful and diverse country.
Frequently Asked Questions for International Student Identity Card in Canada
1. What is the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), and why should I consider getting one in Canada?
Ans: The ISIC, short for International Student Identity Card, is a globally recognized identification card designed to provide numerous benefits and discounts to international students. In Canada, having an ISIC card can help you save money on transportation, dining, cultural activities, and travel expenses. It also serves as proof of your student status, making it a valuable tool during your academic journey.
2. Who is eligible to apply for an ISIC card in Canada?
Ans: To be eligible for an ISIC card in Canada, you generally need to be a full-time student enrolled in a recognized educational institution. This can include universities, colleges, language schools, and high schools. Some organizations may also extend eligibility to part-time students, so it’s essential to check the specific requirements of the issuing organization in your region.
3. How can I apply for an ISIC card, and what documents are required?
Ans: The application process for an ISIC card in Canada can vary depending on your location. Typically, you can apply online through the official ISIC website, in person at an ISIC issuing office, or through your educational institution. You’ll generally need to provide proof of enrollment (e.g., student ID card or a letter from your school), a passport-sized photograph, and the applicable application fee.
4. What discounts and benefits can I expect with an ISIC card in Canada?
Ans: With an ISIC card in Canada, you can access a wide range of discounts and benefits, including reduced fares on public transportation, discounts at restaurants and retail stores, savings on cultural and entertainment activities, and discounts on domestic and international travel. The specific discounts may vary by location and over time, so it’s a good idea to check the ISIC website or inquire locally for the most up-to-date offers.
5. Are there different types of ISIC cards available in Canada, and how much do they cost?
Ans: Yes, there are different types of ISIC cards available in Canada. The standard physical ISIC card typically costs between $20 and $30 CAD. Some organizations also offer virtual ISIC cards at a lower cost, ranging from $10 to $20 CAD. Additionally, premium versions, such as ISIC Plus, may provide enhanced benefits and services but may cost more, often ranging from $30 to $50 CAD or more. Renewal fees for extending the card’s validity are generally lower than the initial cost and typically range from $10 to $20 CAD.