ISIC - The History

60 years of history

The ISIC card was first created by students for students in 1953. The decision to create the ISIC card was an initiative of the Norwegian and Dutch Union of Students, supported by the Coordinating Secretariat of National Unions of Students (COSEC) of Denmark, at the 3rd International Student Conference where the decision was made to “take the necessary steps to ensure that an International Student Identity Card be made available as soon as possible in as large a part of the world as possible.”

Originally the ISIC card was a student identity card that gave full-time students world access to special discounted airfares. In order to get discounted airfares, students bought an ISIC card allowing cardholders to explore the world and discover new countries and cultures.

This supported the ISIC card’s pioneering mission statement: “Increasing international understanding through the promotion of travel and exchange opportunities among students, young people, and the academic community.”

2013 marks the 60th Anniversary of the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). To recognize ISIC’s 60 years of history a short documentary featuring interviews with key people central to the ISIC card’s significant milestones in the past and present, giving a real insight into the ISIC card’s unique history and providing a snapshot of the promising future ahead.

A change in focus

ISIC continues to be the only internationally recognized proof of student status. However, the growth of discounted airfares online has changed the ISIC card focus. The availability of cheap online flights has led to the decrease in ISIC card sales in the new millennium for simply travel related purposes. Today, the portfolio of benefits and discounts accessible with the ISIC card goes far beyond travel alone. The ISIC card is now also an everyday use student lifestyle card. Cardholders still enjoy discounts and services on travel opportunities. On top of that, students gain preferential access to over 42,000 products, services or experiences in every stage and area of student life, both at home and abroad.