Hosting is a great way to travel the world without leaving your home. Whether your goal is to make friends, expose your children to different cultures, learn a language, or contribute to the peace movement, Servas can add a wonderful new dimension to your life.

As a Servas host, you'll be part of a network of more than 15,000 families and individuals spread over 125 countries on six continents. Mirroring Servas travelers, Servas hosts cover the whole spectrum of diversity. They live in urban, suburban, small town and rural communities. They are multigenerational and one-parent families, bankers and brick layers, retirees and people of all ages.

THE BASICS

Hosts are united by their desire to help build world peace by providing opportunities for goodwill visits—usually 3 days and 2 nights—between peoples of diverse cultures and backgrounds from around the globe. During these visits hosts share with travelers their daily lives, their concerns about social and economic issues, and their commitment to promoting peace through friendship and cultural exchange. Pictures & Stories

Hosts create their own host listing including information about how many people they can host, how much prior notice a traveler should give, other household members, interests and hobbies, languages spoken and a personal quote. Host listings help the traveler pick the hosts s/he feels can best enlarge her/his understanding.

The US Host program is free, however, a voluntary tax-deductible registration fee is requested to defray host list production and other administrative expenses. All day hosts and overnight hosts must agree to and sign the Servas host pledge.

The experience does not end when the visit is over. The good times shared, insights gained, and differences explored will continue to enrich both the host and traveler!

Length of Visits

Servas hosts offer simple accommodations to approved Servas travelers for visits usually lasting three days and two nights, allowing host and traveler time to begin a genuine exchange. Visits can be extended beyond the two night minimum at the invitation of the host. Visits can also be just for an afternoon for those hosts that cannot accommodate longer stays. The host's first contact with a prospective visitor will generally be a letter, E-mail, phone call, or fax from the traveler(s) telling about her/himself and inquiring about a visit. Hosts should reply to all traveler correspondence indicating whether or not they are available to host. Hosts are not obligated to accept a traveler but should welcome Servas visitors when they have the time, energy and interest to receive guests.

Different Ways to Host

As a Servas host, the world comes to you! By opening your doors you are creating a greater global community and learning more about the diverse cultures and peoples of the world. There is more than one way to be a Servas host. As an Overnight Host you will offer simple accommodations for visits usually lasting 3 days and 2 nights, where you can share your daily life, ideas and perspectives with Servas travelers from around the world. If you are not able to host for that length of time, you might want to consider becoming a Day Host. As a Day Host, you will welcome travelers for a few hours in your home or perhaps meet at a park or café. Peace and social justice organizations may also serve as Day Hosts as part of our special Peace Links program, welcoming travelers for an afternoon of volunteer work. For more information on types of hosting programs or the Peace Links program, visit our Membership Programs page.

HOST APPLICATIONS

A host application and information packet, along with a list of interviewers, are included in your application materials. You may download them as a PDF file (viewable in Adobe Acrobat Reader). Access our online host application or Download a Host Packet.

To find an interviewer near you, view the list of US interviewers.

Please visit our Rates and Fees page for a list of host membership rates.

Note: These materials are intended for use only by applicants currently in the United States. If you are outside the US, you should contact a Servas representative in one of our member countries.

Annual Renewal

Hosts must renew annually to be included in the US Servas Host List. Renewal forms are mailed out in the fall and should be returned by the end of the year; the new list is available the following spring. Hosts are requested to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation each year they renew to help defray host list production and other administrative expenses. Access our online host application

Approximate Timeline For New Hosts

The entire registration process takes approximately three weeks.

Click Here to see the Timeline.

Week 1: Obtain and Prepare Application Materials

  • Apply online, download application from this website or request application materials by mail from the US Servas office.
  • Print your completed form so your interviewer can refer travelers to you until your listing appears in the next US host list or supplement.

Week 2: Meet with a local interviewer.

  • Review the list of volunteer interviewers to find one who lives or works close to you and make an appointment for a personal interview.
  • If you applied online or emailed us your application
    • Call our office as soon as you have the appointment so we can forward the information to the interviewer.
    • Bring your letters of recommendation
  • If you downloaded the application,
    • Bring your signed Host application and a copy. Your interviewer may have some suggestions about how to modify your listing to get just the right number/kind of inquiries.
  • Upon approval, the interviewer will sign your application and send the materials to the Arcata office for data entry.

Week 3: US Servas processes your new host application.

  • The US Servas national office receives your application materials and voluntary host registration.
  • The office sends you a "host welcome packet" with more information about hosting, newsletters, and how to get more involved with Servas locally.
  • Your listing will appear in the next printing of the US Host List Book. The Host List Book is published in the second quarter of the year..

Host Responsibilities

All Servas members must demonstrate an understanding of Servas protocols and show a commitment to upholding them. The following guidelines, combined with goodwill and a warm and friendly attitude will help promote Servas and ensure successful visits.

  • Agree to accept Servas members regardless of age, race, creed, nationality, or sexual orientation.
  • Spend as much time as convenient with your traveler. Share ideas about your life, community and interests.
  • Provide three days' and two nights' accommodation (overnight hosts); meet with travelers during the day (Day Hosts).
  • Promptly answer letters, E-mails and phone messages from travelers.
  • Accept no money from travelers except as reimbursement for direct expenses, such as for telephone calls made.
  • Notify US Servas about any changes of address or phone number and report any problems, should one arise.
  • Travelers also have responsibilities to adhere to, and you may read them here: Traveler Responsibilities

Click Here to Read the Complete Pledge

"I/We understand and subscribe to the goals of Servas, which are to promote peace, the unity of mankind, and mutual understanding of the cultures, outlooks, and problems of the people of the world and we will accept Servas travelers of any race, creed, sexual orientation, or nationality, and seek to have a meaningful visit with them. I understand that Host Lists are to be used only by approved Servas members for their intended purpose. Using the Lists for any other purpose (e.g. as a mailing list) is ground for the immediate termination of Servas membership and possible litigation."

AFTER YOUR VISIT

We expect that you will have an interesting and enriching experience by becoming a Servas host, and we encourage you to share what you have learned, as well as read other's stories.

Host Stories

Submit stories of your Servas visits for use in our newsletter and on our Pictures and Stories page!

Perhaps you discussed the role of sports in society with a Brazilian, or talked about films with an Italian artist, or learned about varying views on American politics from a Chinese student. We would like to hear about it all! In so many instances, the bonds created from the host-traveler experience have created life-long friendships. Spread the word of your fascinating experiences, and invite us all to share your encounters. Submit a Story!

Get Involved Locally

To promote contact on a local level, US Servas encourages members to arrange seasonal events and monthly dinners for area hosts, travelers and friends. These get-togethers give members an opportunity to get to know one another, share their Servas experiences and introduce Servas to new potential members. If you do not know your local interviewer, visit our U.S. Interviewers page.

There may also be an event that you can get involved in, so visit our Community Page for the latest information.

Should a Problem Arise

Major problems between hosts and travelers are rare, however, striving to overcome even small problems between host and traveler with patience and goodwill is an important expression of Servas' efforts to promote peace. If a problem arises that cannot be solved between the host and the traveler, the situation may be brought to a local representative or to the national office staff who can offer advice and indicate what further action is necessary. Complaints Procedure

MORE QUESTIONS?

If your questions have not been fully answered please try our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact the office.