How would you like to travel and build peace at the same time? US Servas Travelers have been doing just that since 1948.
Servas members meet with volunteer interviewers for an orientation and identity check. We make every effort to keep this screening process as easy as possible while still providing maximum security and comfort for our members. Interviews are done by other Servas Members, and is one of the key volunteer activities that keeps the organization functioning. Think of the interview as a chance to have an in-person experience with another Servas member — which is what Servas is all about!
- Interviews happen (in person whenever possible) the first time you are becoming a Traveler.
- A Touch-Base Interview occurs after Year 1 and into Year 2 of your Travel Membership. This touch-base can be by phone or email, and is ideally with the same interviewer from the first time.
- Interviews also need to re-occur if it has been more than 3 years since you were last active as a Traveler.
- What is a ” LOI”?: A Letter of Introduction or LOI is synonymous with a Travel Membership. When you have a valid, stamped LOI — it means you have a valid Travel Membership.
- Travel Partner: On your LOI form, it has a spot where you list “Members in your Travel Party.” This is where you put any children traveling with you under 18 years old. Please note that every member in your travel party, older than 18, needs a valid, stamped hard-copy LOI in hand when you show up at your Host’s door, and all the digital scans should be emailed to Hosts when reaching out beforehand.
Below are the Steps to becoming an active Travel Member:
Create an Account Profile
If you have already created an acount on USServas, you can Log In with your Log In Email and Password. Otherwise you will Register a new account by creating a Log In (email) and Password. You’ll then be in the site, and will see your User Name in the up, right corner of the screen. Click on that to go to your Profile Page. Here you will want to click on the link: “Create, update, or renew your Servas Profiles”
Need help navigating the website? Download this quick guide to becoming a member online: How to Create or Renew your Travel and Host Profiles
Fill in your Contact, Traveler, and LOI info
Now that you’re into creating your account, you’ll complete the top 3 of the 8 steps. 1: “Update Contact Information” (here you can put any and all emails and phone numbers you want to be contacted by, as well as addresses) 2: “Join or Renew as a Traveler” (yes or no), 3: “Update Letter of Introduction” — This is what your future Hosts (and Interviewers) will see. Upload a photo (note: only you in the picture, and the other requirements as listed). The office will approve your photo after you submit it. Note: You’ll want to hit “save and continue” at the bottom of each page to keep moving forward.
Reach out to an Interviewer
Now that you’ve done the above steps, you’ll say yes or no to step 4: “Join or renew as a Host” and step 5: “Update Host Profile” Note that unless you say “no” to being a Host, you will need to fill out all sections of the Host Profile before requesting your interview. You are now on Step 6: “Find an Interviewer” where you can put in (ex: 50 miles) from your zip code, and all the available interviewers come up. This will list their contact information. You’ll want to click on “request an interview” with your choice. Your interviewer should respond within 1-2 days to work out setting up a place and time with you. They will look at the information you’ve filled in online to learn about you beforehand. They may, at this time or during the interview, request for you to supply them with Letters of Recommendation. Note: interviewers can also interview couples, but each person will need their own Profile page and LOI.
The interview serves as an orientation to the Servas policies & procedures, and ensures that all Servas members have been vetted for safety. We require an in-person interview; if extenuating cirmcumstances prevent an in-person interview, or there is not an interviewer in your vicinity, than reach out to the Office for assistance being connected to an approved remote interviewer, who can interview you via Skype or phone. Also contact the office if you don’t hear back from your requested Interviewer within a couple days of reaching out to them. Office contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Interviewer may ask to see two letters of recommendation from two personal references before you can travel. These are to ensure that travelers will be respectful guests in the homes of our hosts. The letters of recommendation may come from anyone who knows you well, including family, friends, neighbors & coworkers. This person should be able to attest to your responsible conduct as a guest in a stranger’s home. Email the office if you need a template for the Letters of Recommendation.
Complete the Travel Membership
After a successful interview, your interviewer will then file their report online. When this is done, you will receive an email saying “Application Accepted” and you can now log back into your account, and click on “Create, Update or Renew your Servas Profiles” (once you are on your Profile page). Click again into #3: Letter of Introduction, check that all is OK, continue to “Save and Continue” at the bottom of each screen and you will be lead to the payment screen. Your interview report will also show up under the “Interviews” tab, on your page. You can now pay the fee of $98. Once the payment is completed you will receive an email with the order number. The Servas office will be notified, and will generate your digital scan of your original, stamped LOI (Travel Membership) and will mail the hard copy LOi to you. The office will send you a Welcome email with the digital LOI scan attached, and also the Travelers Responsibilities attached. When you travel, you must show this original document to hosts to verify the validity of your membership. You are also able to request Host Lists on your Profile Page, as soon as you have paid the Travel Membership fee and will see in red writing “request host lists” (the office will send you a pdf of the country requested within 1-2 days of requesting. Now you can start traveling!