The International Young Catholic Students (IYCS), also known as the Young Christian Students, has its roots in the development of several YCS national movements in the late 1920’s in Belgium and France. Since its creation, YCS movement grew in the spirit of the Specialized Catholic Action movements that were inspired by Joseph Cardijn (the founder of the Young Christian Workers) with the methodology of See-Judge-Act.
In 1946, just at the end of the Second World War, the International Coordination was established in Paris - France. Today, the International Secretariat is coordinating 85 national movements across the continent.
The IYCS has a General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, and an Operational Status with UNESCO in 1998.
IYCS is recognized by the Holy See and since the World Council of Kampala in 2007, has the private juridical statute according to the Canon Law 298-311 and 321-329.