An International Student Identification Card is a must when travelling in Egypt. If you are a student you can get many discounts in Egypt as an ISIC holder, including half-price entrance to most archaeological sites and museums. You can also get good discounts on rail and air travel, accommodation and in many restaurants and shops in major cities. Valid in 85 countries throughout the world, the benefits of an ISIC card are well worth the cost of around GBP 7. If you are enrolled in full-time studies and are at least 12 years old, you are eligible for the ISIC card, whether in secondary school or in post-secondary studies and there is no upper-age limit for the ISIC.
If you are no longer a full-time student, but are under the age of 26, then you can get an International Youth Travel Card (IYTC), which will give similar benefits. Alternately if you are a full-time teacher then the International Teacher Identity Card (ITIC) may be for you.
For more details see the ISIC website.
In Egypt you can obtain any one of these cards from the Cairo office of the Egyptian Student Travel Services in el-Roda, which can be found above the National Bank of Egypt, two blocks south of el-Roda Square, near the el-Giza bridge. It is within walking distance from el-Malek-el-Saleh metro station. There is another issuing office at the Campus of the AUC just off Tahrir Square.
The main office address is:
Egyptian Student Travel Services – Headquarters
el-Mamalek Square, 23 el-Manial Street, el-Roda, Cairo
Tel: (02) 53 10330
You will need to produce a legitimate Student Identity Card and a letter from your college or university professor as verification of student status. Your passport and two passport-sized photographs will also be required and after filling in a form a card will be made for you. This usually takes around half an hour if the office is not busy. The office is open Saturday to Thursday from 8.00am to 8.00pm and Fridays from 9.00am to 6.00pm. The card currently costs EGP 50. SCA rules have been greatly tightened up lately and as a mature student I have occasionally had my identification queried at the office, but never refused.
There is also an issuing office in Alexandria, in front of el-Raml police station, telephone (03) 58 44324. In Luxor you can now obtain an ISIC card in Ahmed Orabi Street, beside the Hotel Institute, telephone (095) 382163.
For students of archaeology who are serious about seeing many sites, especially those which are not usually open to visitors, it may be useful to apply for an antiquities permit. This can be obtained from the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Abbassiya in Cairo, on production of an introductory letter from your college. It may be wise to contact the SCA before you go there to make an appointment and you will need three copies of a letter from your college. The office is open Saturday to Thursday mornings. With an antiquities permit students may be given free entry to many sites and museums, but you will still need travel permission from the Tourist Police as well for some out of the way areas.