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After my graduation, when most of my friends were preparing for CAT, I decided to build a career in luxury products and services management. So, I enrolled in the SP Jain – MIP Milano dual campus program in masters of luxury management.

As soon as I landed in Milan, I understood I had taken the right step. With boutique brands taking luxury and craftsmanship to a new level every now and then, Milan is considered to be a luxury capital.

Perhaps the biggest irony of my profile was that I was studying luxury goods management, but I was a student on a tight budget. Hence, although I was studying Armani and Gucci in my program, the brands I could afford were way down the price hierarchy. I got to learn that Italian businesses are responsive to student customers. I used this insight to ask for student discounts everywhere I went – to the Indian grocery store, to the restaurant and even to the book store.

This continued until one day the store manager refused to give me a discount. He said it to my face – just because I was a student, it did not me entitle to a discount everywhere. I was a bit offended. But I knew that legally he was right. That was when I started looking for organized channels to get student discounts. My search started on Google and ended on the International Student Identity Card (ISIC).

How can ISIC help you?

I immediately applied for the ISIC. Soon, after my application was accepted and I had finished paying my fees for the same, I got the notification that my ISIC would arrive soon. I started searching about ISIC and where can I use it.

My research showed me that ISIC was a 64 years old organization. Present in over 125 countries, ISIC helped students get over 150,000 unique offers. I was surprised at the wide reach of the community and the number of offers available.

As soon as I got my ISIC, I mapped out every single store in Milan that offered student discounts. Soon, I discovered that my savings on my monthly expenses had come to almost half. I started eating at the restaurants that were ISIC partners. I started buying clothes and groceries from ISIC partner stores. Not just that, when I had to go to Florence for a short trip, I used ISIC to get heavy discounts on the flight as well!

ISIC is a unified centre for students who want discounts and a thriving global community that is designed to help students. I got access to a ton of exchange programs, project opportunities and even scholarships via ISIC. Not just this, when I said I had an ISIC in an internship interview, the interviewer was impressed by my ability to be cost-efficient.

ISIC has become a part of my lifestyle here in Italy.

I have actually used ISIC more than I used my university identity card. Even in buses and public transport mediums, I often use ISIC as an identity proof and many a time I get a discount. One day, I went to the very store that had once refused to give me a student discount. The manager who had offended me had long left the store. The new manager was courteous enough and had a look at my ISIC. He eventually gave me a 20% discount on my purchase. When I told him about my earlier experience at the store, he apologized and gave me an additional discount coupon for further purchases.

ISIC has made it easier for me to be a student in a foreign land. Much more than that, ISIC is like a friend who stands by you and helps you have a better quality of life, at a fraction of the original cost!

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