Superpowers of a Student Id Card

posted at May 4, 2022, 6:04 p.m.

What do you think you should do on Day 1 of reaching your country of study? Get housing? Get groceries and a sim card? Well, we would argue that you should rush to your university and get your student ID card first. One of the many amazing things about being a student is capitalizing on the perks of this status. With your student ID in hand, you can open so many doors that would have been less accessible otherwise.

A student ID card not only lets you see yourself under the banner of the university that you have worked so hard to get into but also makes your stay in this new world so much more comfortable. Here’s a glimpse into what this card can do for you:


You are out in a different country, with a whole new landscape and culture to explore. Whatever be your budget, we think travel is something you must not ignore while you are offshore. Some good planning and a student ID can save you a lot of money while making your grad experience richer. Varun Harnathka, a chemical engineer and alumnus of Cornell University says that Student Universe was the website he would use to book cheaper tickets. All that these websites need is an authentic scan of your ID and you can even book hotel stays, tours, and even tour guides!

Museums and art galleries:

Most people you would meet who have studied abroad would say that a graduate degree outside of India has literally changed their lives. This is not only because of the educational rigor that you are put through, but also because of the widening of your horizon that takes place when one becomes a part of a different culture and society. To understand a country’s culture, one need not look further than its art and history. A student ID enables you to walk into most museums and art galleries for free. We would highly recommend that you make the most of this perk and learn more than what your tuition fees can provide you with.


A student ID makes most libraries a stone’s throw away. Figuratively, of course. Even if you don’t go to a library for the sole purpose of reading, which, in all fairness a graduate student must, you could also just library-hop for the sights! Many Gradvine mentors’ favourite spot is often named libraries. Some are extremely beautiful, some regal, and some so massive that are sure to make your jaw hit the floor. Some examples are the Bobst Museum in New York City, Hunt Library in Carnegie Mellon University & The British Library of Political and Economic Science at London School of Economics.

Cafes, bars, and restaurants

Some universities are cool enough to have pubs within their premises with great prices for students. LSE’s pub on campus, The George IV, is two hundred years old! For universities that are not so lucky, students can head out with their ID cards to cafes, restaurants, and watering holes to get a better deal on the fun.


A great way to experience grad school is to study hard and play equally as hard. Get festivals and concert tickets at a cheaper rate because that’s the power of a student ID. Use it for deals on movies, theatre plays, and OTT and music streaming platform subscriptions!

Sporting events

Sporting in US universities is unlike any that an Indian student has ever experienced before. Take for example Duke university’s basketball team, which is usually top of the leader board. The fact that you belong to this university will get you a free pass to these matches that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


From supermarkets to apparel stores, you can use your student ID cards for just about anything retail. Worried about finding the right winterwear and packing those huge jackets in your limited baggage weight? We would suggest that you skip such shopping here and do it in that country, armed with a student ID. Many big fashion retailers have good student deals.

Public transport

Student IDs can be quite the boon when fuel prices are continuously soaring. Trains, buses, and cabs are all subsidized for students. We have had some mentors get free Uber and Lyft rides too, using their student IDs!

Electronics and software subscriptions

Hold off on that celebratory iPhone purchase now that you have got a great admit. Be it a phone or a laptop that you might want to update for your new chapter in life, we would suggest equipping yourself with a student ID and then going shopping. A little planning can lead to smart savings! The same goes for any of the software that you might need for university. Just like with many colleges in India, you will get a great deal on such necessities when you’re a student abroad.

In essence, there is close to nothing that a student ID abroad cannot give you discounts on. This is why we at Gradvine call a college ID every student’s superpower. In our opinion, a separate ID card on the likes of ISIC and others, is not necessary, since most big university students can avail the same discounts just on their own student ID. We asked some of our mentors how they have made the best use of theirs, and here’s what we got:

Varun Harnathka, a Cornell University graduate says, “UNIDAYS helped me save hundreds of dollars. A lot of the stores like H&M, Banana Republic, etc. had student discounts. Even for flights, Student Universe was the website we used to book cheaper tickets. It also helped me in getting cheaper subscriptions to software that I wanted to use (outside of what's required by my curriculum), courses that I wanted to take on Lynda (free for all Cornell students), Drive space, etc. Abhinav Singh, our mentor from Carnegie Mellon university says. “I think the best perk I had on my ID was free Public transportation in Pittsburgh. That Included buses and subways, but more interestingly, the inclines that took us up the Mt Washington. We also had free access to a host of museums and libraries like the Carnegie museum, Andy Warhol museum, and the science museum. We'd get 30pc off at Burlington’s for winter apparel which was essential in Pittsburgh weather. There would be several events - concerts, buffets, moving day sales and church sales all across the year where having a student ID would get you lots of little perks.

Sruthi Satyamurthy from ASU says, “We get discounts in local restaurants and got fee waivers in local busses. We even get discounts on retail shopping. So everywhere we go, we ask if we have a student discount before we make a purchase. You can get a discount on yoga or other classes that you wish to take. I made use of my ID to keep a healthy work-life balance by taking hot yoga classes that would keep my body and mind healthy, something that you definitely need when you are busy juggling so many professional duties and household chores.