Servas is an Esperanto word meaning “to serve.”
Servas is a global, volunteer-driven hosting organization. We facilitate connections between travellers and hosts around the world. As a member, you can be a host, a traveller, or a volunteer.
What makes us special is our foundation as a peace-based organization and our emphasis on building connections with people around the world through travel. It takes a little more effort to join, but the benefits will last a lifetime. Read About Us for more information.
Servas–an international peace and travel organization and its member countries (e.g., Servas Canada)–is entirely run by volunteers, and has administrative costs including conferences, support for peace and youth activities, and outreach. Wealthier countries such as Canada often contribute financially to enable members from less affluent countries to participate in international events.
To check the status of your membership at any time, go to My Servas (on the Servas International website). Under the My Servas tab, click on My Profile. Your membership expiry date should be in the profile summary at the top, beside “Membership until:”. If you encounter any problems checking your membership expiry date, please contact Servas Canada and a volunteer will get back to you as soon as possible.
Travelling and Hosting
As long as you have paid your annual membership fee for 2022, there is no further payment required for an e-stamp (this may change next year). Ensure that your LOI includes a photo and an emergency contact with phone number and email address, then send an email to John (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will add an estamp to your LOI. It will be valid for the next 12 months.
Servas visits are usually two nights (three days). In some cases, hosts may invite travellers to stay longer, which is acceptable but travellers should never ask to stay longer.
Making Connections is a Servas International initiative to provide Servas members (youth and adult) an opportunity to engage in shared activities beyond a one or two night stay in a region. These activities can include volunteering in community projects, participating in cultural events, learning a new language, or co-creating special programming between travellers and hosts.
Yes, Servas is a great way for families to travel and an excellent way to engage children in various cultures.
You must be 18 years of age or older to travel independently with Servas.
As with any travel, Servas cannot guarantee safety, but with Servas you know that your prospective hosts or guests have undergone an extensive conversation, reference checking procedure, and orientation.
No. If it is not a convenient time for the host to welcome a traveller, the host can decline the traveller’s request. On the other hand, as Servas promotes trust, tolerance, and respect, a host should not decline a request on the basis of race, nationality, language, age, religion, or sexual orientation.
No, not unless you choose. However, you are expected to spend time with guests, getting to know them and sharing information about your respective countries, cultures, etc. Remember – the goal of Servas is to promote peace and cross-cultural understanding.
No. All Servas travellers must have an approved Letter of Introduction (LOI) valid for the period of travel.