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Youth Beat

Discounts for Students

December 07, 1986|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

Full-time students are eligible for thousands of travel discounts around the world but individual school identity cards are not always recognized as proof of student status. That's because it's difficult to tell which cards are phony when there are thousands of styles.

If you want to be sure you can take full advantage of student discounts abroad, carry the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). The 1987 edition is available now.

The ISIC card is issued and honored by all the travel services that are members of the International Student Travel Conference. Each arranges discounts in its own country.

Directory Offered

When you get the card, ask for a copy of the international directory of discounts. It lists the types of student discounts available in each country, gives addresses of travel agencies specializing in students and youth, offers short descriptions of local tours for the low-budget traveler and gives information on travel services that offer discounted rates for youths.

For example, students going to Australia learn that they are eligible for a 25% discount on many domestic air fares, and up to 10% off on a variety of tours. Discounted tours include six-day canoeing and white-water rafting trips in Victoria that regularly cost $375 (Australian) or about $258 U.S. These tours operate from October to January.

Through the directory you also learn that anyone younger than 26 is eligible for a discount of up to 40% on international rail fares in 22 European countries and Morocco. The directory supplies addresses in 13 countries where the special Eurotrain tickets can be bought. Using this system in 1986 a young traveler would have paid $77 U.S. to go from Paris to Copenhagen, $38 Rome to Amsterdam or $93 London to Lisbon.

Good While Shopping

Students planning a stop in Hong Kong will find their ISIC cards honored for reductions when shopping, taking tours or arranging accommodations. You'll also learn that the Hong Kong Student Travel Bureau can arrange trips to China for one to 15 days. Rates range from $200 to $16,270 (Hong Kong) or $28 to $2,294 U.S.

In India you might want to contact the student travel services (STIC) for further details on their packages. In recent years they have offered students 10% discounts on five-day stays on houseboats in Kashmir and four-day stays in Nepal.

Students heading for Scandinavia will learn about a youth rail card valid for one month of unlimited travel in all Nordic countries. This year in Denmark that card sold for 1,000 Danish kronen or $139 U.S.

Students including Korea in their travel plans will learn that through its student travel service (KIYSES), short home stays can be arranged with Korean families. This year the cost was $150 U.S. for one week, $160 for two weeks.

Honored on Ferries

In Finland students are eligible for up to a 50% discount on ferry travel to Sweden, and any young traveler can arrange to join short budget-priced trips to Leningrad. Each year the Finnish student travel service (FSTS Travela) operates four-day bus trips from Helsinki to Leningrad during summer. The fees include full board, English-language sightseeing tours, accommodations and visa arrangements. This year the price ranged from $193 to $215 U.S.

In Egypt, students' ISIC cards can be used to obtain up to a 50% discount on rail travel, in all but first-class.

Through the directory you learn that in Venezuela you can join budget camping tours by contacting student travel service (ONTEJ). The trips range from four to seven days. A three-night trip to Morrocoy National Park Camp, including transportation from Caracas by bus and boat, tent accommodation, all meals and guide services costs $50 U.S.

The ISIC photo-card is valid for the calendar year. If you obtain one now it will be valid until Dec. 31, 1987.

Contact the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), 1093 Broxton Ave., Los Angeles 90024.

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