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Unlocking Adventures and Friendships with SYLE

September 16, 2023 8:59 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

photo of youth standing in a Spanish plaza while holding signs saying "hello" in multiple languagesYour Passport to the Servas Youth Language Experience! 

by Tys Sniffen

Are you between the ages of 18 and 30? Are you ready to dive headfirst into an exciting world of languages, cultures, and unforgettable experiences?  Or are you a host who could imagine a longer-term stay with a young person from another country? TheServas Youth Language Experience, - SYLE – is an amazing opportunity for Servas members.  

The Buzz About SYLE: Simply put – it’s Servas but longer term – think four weeks of immersion in a home setting where one can truly work on learning a language.  

What Makes SYLE So Awesome? 

  1. Languages for real: Forget boring textbooks and snooze-worthy lectures. With SYLE, you're diving into language learning with all the trimmings: food, daily routines, and just hanging out. SYLE participants stay with locals who speak the language: it’s the best way to pick up a language in the most natural and fun way possible. 

  1. Culture Crash Course: We're not stopping at languages, folks. SYLE throws participants right into the heart of local life. Savor delicious foods, dance to new beats, and celebrate traditions you never knew existed. Servas can make this happen.   

  1. Gain Confidence: Living in a new place and navigating uncharted territory are a huge part of growing into a global citizen. SYLE isn't just about languages and cultures – it's a crash course in personal growth. SYLErsemerge more confident, adaptable, and ready to take on whatever life throws their way. 

  1. Friendship Fiesta: Here's the cherry on top: the friendships forged during SYLE are the real deal. After connecting with locals who open their homes and hearts, and guess what? These connections are often for life. It's like building a global squad of pals who've got your back, no matter where you roam. 

The SYLE Magic: 

  1. World Wisdom: SYLE's all about breaking down barriers and building bridges. Gain a deep, firsthand understanding of cultures that goes beyond travel brochures and Google searches. 

  1. Talk the Talk: Don’t just learn a language; live it! Conversations won't be limited to ordering food – chat, laugh, and connect on a whole new level with locals. 

  1. Adventure Awaits: SYLE is like a hero's journey. Discover your inner explorer, conquer challenges, and come out the other side with stories that'll have your friends' jaws dropping. 

  1. Global Squad: SYLE transforms you into a global citizen with a heart full of empathy and a backpack full of memories. Your network of friends expands across the globe, and suddenly, the world feels a whole lot smaller (in the best way possible). 

  1. Forever Footprints: The bonds you create during SYLE don't fade away. They stick with you, serving as a reminder of the amazing people out there and the extraordinary experiences to be had. 

So, there you have it, the lowdown on why SYLE is the coolest thing since sliced bread. If you're ready to ride a whirlwind of languages, cultures, and friendships that'll last a lifetime, SYLE's waiting with open arms – your passport to unforgettable adventures! 


  • September 18, 2023 3:14 PM | Anonymous member
    SYLE is a wonderful program that has long been under-promoted, so I am glad that US Servas is now doing more to publicize it . It hasn't been clear how one would apply for SYLE. I wish this fine article had included a link to an application or information on how to apply. I also believe that national Servas organizations have provided widely varying responses to US youth who wrote for help in arranging a SYLE. While some former SYLE participants I know had good experiences with Japan and Italy, a young member I know had nothing but frustration when he tried to organize a SYLE in Germany. No one, including the national secretary, appeared interested in helping him. He gave up. Is there a way that USS as an organization can help our applicants or potential applicants? Is there a specific way to approach a national group and should that be done by the applicant or officially by a US Servas board member or volunteer?
    Link  •  Reply
    • September 19, 2023 8:48 AM | Tys Sniffen (Administrator)
      thanks for checking out the article and your knowledge of SYLE. So, there really isn't an 'application' to apply to SYLE as of now. Basically, if someone between 18 and 30 wants to do it, they can give it a try.
      Unfortunately, at this early stage of the program, every country around the world doesn't have the infrastructure or culture about supporting it in the same way. And, it is a bit like Servas itself - sometimes hosts can't host.
      I don't think there's been any 'official' way to contact a host country about it, but going through the national secretary is a great way to go. (and they can easily be found on with the search function)

      Anytime anyone has any questions or wants to see if the national organization can help with SYLE, either 'in bound' or 'out bound' they can contact the SYLE person (it's me right now) at

      And of course, if anyone is interested in helping build this program in the USA or globally, please let me know, we'd love the energy!
      Link  •  Reply
    • September 21, 2023 6:35 AM | Anonymous member
      David Schwartz - SYLE is a template that National SERVAS Organizations can support, with the home and host countries both understanding the program. We in the U.S. have had a SYLE group, and the National Secretary in Chile decided to make it his priority - absent another "guinea pig" for the first outbound SYLE, the National Secretary's grandson, Santy, is the first to do an exchange, and I'm certain that Chile will welcome a U.S. SYLE visitor (that may be my friend, who is 28-yrs-old and just getting his first passport, and will join SERVAS for the privilege!)
      Link  •  Reply
  • September 18, 2023 5:23 PM | Anonymous member
    This sounds wonderful. I am curious if there are similar programs that people have experienced for adults?
    Link  •  Reply
    • September 19, 2023 8:53 AM | Tys Sniffen (Administrator)
      Remember that 'youth' and 'adult' are vague terms in Servas. SYLE is for people 18 to 30, so of course legal adults.
      This program is just gaining traction, and takes even more energy than 'regular' Servas, so it might take some time, but there may be a way to have a language experience for those over 30 as well at some point.
      Link  •  Reply
    • September 21, 2023 7:24 AM | Anonymous member
      Deborah - as an adult, you can "do-it-yourself". I would be happy to help you, or anyone else, design-your-own exchange program. You can reach out to me by messaging from the website
      Link  •  Reply

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