Students in Italy

Resources for students, teachers, and youths traveling and studying in Italy, as well as student tours and student travel agencies

First of all: I envy you. One of the best year of my life was the one I spent studying abroad in Rome. Learned a lot. Traveled a lot. Met the love of my life. Yep: good times. (Also, my parents were footing the travel bill. Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

Student IDs - The ISIC

Just beyond student-hood
If you're no longer a student but are still under 26 you can get an International Youth Identity Card from the same people, which will get you the insurance and some of the discounts (but not student admission prices in museums).
The only international-accepted student ID is the International Student Identity Card, or ISIC (, a $22 investment that can save you hundreds of dollars on your travels.

Yes, the ISIC card works much better than your own student ID. Not only is it instantly recognized everywhere, it also gets you all sorts of other perks, including discounts on rail travel, at hostels, and one some sights and restaurants; a 24-hour help line emergency service; access to flexible airfares; discounts at the Apple Store and; and basic travel accident and sickness insurance.

You can get it from ISIC or STA Travel (

Best bets for solo travelers
Singles can avoid the high premium at most hotels by booking a bed, studio, or single rooms at:
Also, always ask "Studente?" when you have to pay for anything from a plane or rail ticket to museum admission. You'll often find anywhere from five to fifty percent lopped off the price.

Teacher ID cards - The ITIC

By the way, the ISIC folks ( also provide the standard and widely accepted International Teacher Identity Card, or ITIC. This, too, is good for all sorts of discounts.

Like a student, announce to museum ticket desks (and anywhere else) that you are insegnante (teacher) or professore (professor) and watch the discounts materialize—sometimes you even get in for free (though sometimes only if you have a class in tow).

You can the Teacher Identity card from ISIC or STA Travel (

Student travel agencies

Student travel agencies like STA Travel (www.statravel.comST Travel). and Student Universe (www.studentuniverse.comStudentUniverse) are one-stop shopping places for getting the best deals on all sorts of travel for students, from ISIC cards to airfares.

You might think you can beat them by going to the aggregators and doing your own Web searches—and, in some cases and sometimes, you'd be right—but there is one major reason why this is not always the case.

Students have different travel needs than other travelers. Student travel agencies have the line of the cheapest airfares that are adapted specifically for students, taking advantage of discounts (and working around fine print) that most people would never even know about or even have access to.

For example, most of the lowest fares you'll find on a regular search engine or aggregator come with all sorts of strings attached: you can't make changes (i.e., you couldn't switch dates around without incurring huge extra fees), they are non-refundable, and, most importantly, they're usually only good for trips of 30 days max (sometimes its 90 days). For a student spending a summer bumming around Europe, or heading over to study abroad in Italy, this is no good.

That's where a student travel specialist comes in. They can hook you up with the cheapest flexible tickets, good for trips longer than 30 days, and often with open-ended return dates. These are often specially-negotiated fares unavailable to members of the general public.

PartnerSTA Travel (www.statravel.comSTA Travel) - Premier travel agency for students (and teachers), providing everything from discounted airfares to international cell phones and calling plans to the ISIC student identity card. I used them (well, their predecessor Council Travel) to book the big ticket items like airfare when I took my Boy Scout troop to Europe.

PartnerStudent Universe (www.studentuniverse.comStudentUniverse) - Online rival to STA, with decent line of cheap airfares.

Travel CUTS ( - Premier Canadian student travel agency. All the services of STA for our Canuck neighbors to the north.

PartnerOneTravel ( - Major online travel agency with frequent coupons and advertised airfares up to 60% off. It also has a specialty in student fares.

Contiki Holidays ( - Bus tours for ages 18 to 35 only—and the participants partying their way through Europe tend toward the lower end of that demographic.

Study abroad

The National Registration Center for Studies Abroad (, American Institute for Foreign Study (, and the Institute of International Education ( can help you arrange study programs and summer programs abroad.

Tips & links

Useful links & resources

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