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Student discount in Europe (e.g., Eurostar, Eiffel Tower, etc.)

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Mar 24th, 2009, 07:28 AM
  #1
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Student discount in Europe (e.g., Eurostar, Eiffel Tower, etc.)

Is it worth getting an ISIC or ISE card (International Student Card) for student discounts on Eurostar, Eiffel Tower, Thalys, etc. and for other student discounts in England, France, Belgium, Netherlands & Scandinavia?
wismergirl is offline  
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Mar 24th, 2009, 07:44 AM
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As far as I am aware Dutch museums do not offer discounts for students over 17 years. So it will be of little help here.
hetismij is offline  
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Mar 24th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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You'll have to 'do the math' as it depends on if/how much you use it. It costs $22 so I suggest you look at the ISIC website and see if there are specific items you will use it for.

If you do get one then I recommend you always ask if there's a student discount and show your card as there might be a discount that's not overtly advertised.

Often a passport showing your age to be under 26 is enough as discounts apply to students and young persons under 26 in some cases.
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Mar 24th, 2009, 08:00 AM
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I don't know about any place that actually has student discounts, or how valuable that card is, so maybe others can say if it serves any use. However, I know that some things you cite don't have student discounts (like Eurostar). They have some tickets priced by age, that's all, it has nothing to do with being a student and you only need to prove your age with your passport or something like that. I assume Thalys is the same way, I don't know any train system that has student discounts, only ones by age. The Eiffel Tower is a private company and doesn't have any discounts for students. Paris museums that have free entrance do it by age, also, not whether you are a student.
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Mar 24th, 2009, 08:34 AM
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I suggest you look at STATravel.com. It's an agency that specializes in student travel. They are helpful and knowledgeable. They have offices near many major universities, too, so you can go in and collect brochures and pick their brains. The staff is made up of students, who have lots of travel experience.
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Mar 24th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Sassy_cat's advice of doing the math is good. The following comments are going to pertain specifically to France, more so Paris. I'm not sure on the other countries you mentioned as I was never there for significant amounts of time as a college student.

The ISIC card is necessary to get the student discounts in many Paris museums. An American driver's license or school student ID won't pass. If you plan on visiting a lot of museums this is where you need to do a cost/benefit analysis on whether or not you are getting your $22.

As for the eurostar, Thalys, SNCF, etc... This highlights an important distinction between student discounts and "youth" discounts (up to youth 24 or 25 in Paris). Air France, Eurostar, SNCF et al. have the discounts for 18-24 year-olds. For these you don't need the ISIC card as it isn't a student discount. However, you could be asked to show identification proving you are within the valid age range. Some museums are also like this, where it isn't a student discount, rather an age related reduced rate. So in summary, the place where the ISIC card would come into play is typically going to be museums and not the travel.
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Mar 25th, 2009, 08:28 AM
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Thanks to everyone who has been so helpful! I'll certainly do the math and see if it's worth getting the ISIC card. Extra thanks to MrNuke and Sassy_cat for the train info.
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Apr 9th, 2009, 07:50 AM
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I just bought 2 Eurostar tickets for 32 pounds each from London to Paris for travelling in July (heavily discounted from 59 pounds) through STA Travel (only the UK site but not other STA sites around the world) using the discounted rate for ISIC holders. It's only 9 pounds to issue an ISIC and just 1 train trip makes it worth getting the card. I guess more youth should know about this fantastic deal.
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