Servas Canada

Visiting people around the world in their homes

SERVAS is a non-profit organization of 20,000 "host" and/or "traveller" members in over 130 countries, with the shared goal of promoting peace and understanding between people by providing opportunities for personal contacts between people of different cultures.

It offers members who travel the opportunity to meet and have short stays with people abroad, sharing in the everyday life of their hosts, and those who don't travel the chance to entertain visitors in their homes.

Gijsbert and Marlene Crielaard describe the organization, and their experience as hosts:

They have met a wide variety of people from all around the world, enjoying all the travellers who stayed with them, and making some friends that they have kept in touch with for years.

Each participating country has a list of hosts (approx. 750 in Canada), which the traveller uses to arrange their visits directly with the hosts. They can choose the hosts whose interests and beliefs are most interesting to them.

Gijsbert and Marlene describe how to be a traveller, and tell about their experience as travellers. They say that participants must be interested in learning about other cultures and have and be prepared to adapt to the rules of each household they visit.

They spent a year travelling around Europe, visiting Servas hosts in smaller cities and towns.

Servas dinner party