ISC 2020

International Student Convention

Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Center • Chiang Mai, Thailand

May 23–29, 2020 POSTPONED

This ISC will be unlike any other, combining the excitement of Convention with the thrill of international travel to a completely new country. With this new experience comes many questions. Here is some general information.

ISC will be held at the Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Center (456 Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand). General events will take place at the Convention Center, while athletic events will take place only 2.2 miles (3.6 km) away at the 700-Year Sports Stadium and arenas. Since ISC is taking place at a convention center, housing will not be offered on location. Rather, accommodations will be the responsibility of the individual or the school. This affords attendees the opportunity to stay at any hotel of their choice, according to their preferences. Most hotels include breakfast with the cost of the room. Food will be on site, through different vendors. Each participant will pay for individual meals and will have a wide variety of cuisine and prices from which to choose. There are a few options for transportation, accommodating the individual as well as the larger groups. The Convention Fee does not include housing, meals, or transportation. 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: All staff, students, and guests must be registered online by May 6. 

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Convention-related questions:

$30 nonrefundable Registration Fee per sponsor, contestant, and guest (6 years old and up)

$149 Participant Fee (for sponsors and contestants)

Please Note:

  • All payments are required prior to arrival. Only those registered are permitted in the convention facility, starting Sunday, May 24.
  • Payments are online only by credit card.

Having ISC abroad means a few things will have to be different, whether because of availability, ease of transportation, or a difference in implementation. Changes in events for ISC 2020 will not affect Regional Student Convention events. Here are the changes in events that will only apply for ISC 2020:

New competition events:

New Procedures for ISC 2020 Academic Competitions:

New Procedures for ISC 2020 Athletic Events

  • Basketball - The total number of teams allowed to compete is 32.
  • Volleyball - The total number of teams allowed to compete is 32.
  • Male and Female Track
    • All races will be run against the clock only; there will be no finals.
    • Male and female track will be run at the same time on the same day at two different facilities at the 700-Year Sport Stadium area.
  • Table Tennis - This competition will begin on Saturday, May 23, at 1 p.m. Come prepared to play after registration.

Events that will not take place at ISC 2020:

  • Over 100 PACEs
  • Afghans
  • Suits and Coats
  • Male/Female Archery (all categories)
  • Discus
  • High Jump
  • Soccer Kick
  • Large Vocal Ensemble (There will simply be Vocal Ensemble, no matter the number of participants.)
  • Large Instrumental Ensemble (There will simply be Instrumental Ensemble, no matter the number of participants.)
  • Music Arranging
  • Music Composition
  • Handbell/Hand Chime Choir

The Convention Center is not equipped to receive packages for events. One option is to make arrangements with the hotel where you will be staying. Keep in mind that you and the shipper are solely responsible for your shipped items. Be certain your shipper includes a tracking number.

Yes. While participation in some events at ISC requires receiving a medal at RSC (places 1-3 for elimination events and places 1-6 for non-elimination events), students attending a school or homeschool using the A.C.E. curriculum can come to ISC to compete in open events or attend as a guest. See the Convention Guidelines for more information.

Yes! In order to accommodate the events at this ISC, an extra day of competition has been added for this year. The Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 29.

You will receive instructions following registration for electronically submitting ALL early entries. Mailed entries will no longer be accepted for ISC. Early entries must be submitted by April 6. 

Travel-related questions:

Chiang Mai International Airport accommodates flights from all around the world and is located within the city.

Most major hotels have a shuttle service. Taxis are also available. For larger groups, reserving a bus is an option.

There are many hotels in the immediate area of the Convention Center, some within walking distance. Some forms of transportation include taxis, buses, songthaews, and tuk-tuks. Keep in mind that if you rent a vehicle, driving is on the left side of the road.

A.C.E. will offer transportation from the Convention Center to the 700-Year Sport Stadium.

During the month of May the highs average 94°F (31°C) and lows average 73°F (23°C) with high humidity and possibilities of rain. Preparing for heat is the best idea.

In addition to appropriate ISC dress-standard clothing, consider packing a water bottle, hat, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes, and an electric outlet converter (travel adapter).

Chiang Mai is an excellent location within Thailand for tourism from the night safari to cultural excursions at the market to visiting the ancient Old City. Here is one of many useful sites for ideas.

Thailand is one of the “to-see” countries of Asia. There are many places to see and many things to do. Visit for more information. Neighboring countries are just a one- or two-hour flight away, where sights (such as the Lost City of Angkor Wat in Cambodia) can be explored.

There are many flight options, and nearly all will require connecting flights. While it is impossible to estimate costs, we encourage you to shop around in order to find the best option to fit your needs. Some tips for finding cheaper flights are to purchase tickets in advance, be flexible with your date of arrival and departure (some sites offer “Flexible Date” tables to compare), and explore the possibility of group fares.

It is minimal, but please keep in mind that a debit/credit card or foreign currency will not be accepted for on-the-spot transportation. Make sure you have Bahts (Thai currency) to pay for transportation.

Travelers from some countries are exempt from purchasing a required visa to enter Thailand. A Visa on Arrival is required for travelers from a few countries. Others will require a visa from the Royal Thai Embassy prior to travel. Please visit this link for more information. For procedures and the cost of a Visa on Arrival, visit this link. Research to determine if a Transit Visa is requied for making connecting flights through other countries. You do not want to be surprised when attempting to proceed through customs.

This will depend on where you are located. A great site for obtaining this information is

Nothing works for everyone. In an attempt to quickly force a body clock change, some delay sleep until the night they arrive in Thailand. Others may wish to arrive early at ISC in order to work slowly into a time change.

Though the CDC has a list of possible vaccinations for each country (, you will first want to consult with your family physician. It is possible that you do not require vaccinations based on your personal medical history.

WiFi can be found in some locations and some hotels. Be sure and understand your cellular service international plan. If you want to have more access to the Internet and phone services without paying roaming fees, a local SIM card with a prepaid plan may be purchased at the Chiang Mai airport.

You will not always find places that accept debit/credit cards. It is recommended that money be exchanged ahead of time in addition to having your debit/credit card with you. The best place to exchange money is at the airport, but you can also withdraw Baht with your debit/credit card at local ATMs (fees typically apply).

Hotel- and food-related questions:

No, all attendees are responsible for obtaining their own accommodations.

There are many types of accommodations located within proximity to the Convention Center, everything from hostels and condominiums to popular hotel chains and high-end resorts. Prices of local, mid-range hotels may be found from $20 USD to $40 USD per night, depending on where you look online.

Here is a list of optional hotels in the general vicinity:

Since housing is not offered on site, the usual age limit of 13 will not apply to housing at the 2020 ISC. However, every non-competitor and non-sponsor will have to register as a guest in order to have access to the Convention Center and 700-Year Stadium. Keep in mind that no one under the age of six is allowed in the competition rooms.

A variety of foods will be available during ISC. You will be able to choose from lots of fresh fruit, western food, Chinese food, Thai food, and so much more. Certainly, with the options provided, there will be something for everyone.

Prices will vary according to what is available, but food will not be expensive. Additional information may become available as the ISC dates draw closer.

Safety-related questions:

Chiang Mai is considered very safe by the current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory, assessed at a Level 1 (exercise normal precautions). Chiang Mai is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all tourists arriving to experience the city. However, just like any city around the world, it is recommended that you travel smartly, be aware of your surroundings, remain in groups (some suggest a minimum of four people), be respectful of the culture, do not venture out at night, and research places of interest before visiting. Research other suggestions for traveling safety.

The property is gated and managed by security guards. Access will be granted only to those associated with the A.C.E. Convention and the Convention Center during the week of ISC.