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SERVAS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Q: Can anyone join Servas?

A: Yes, Servas is open to everyone age 18 and over who shares Servas' values. There is no  upper age limit. Servas also has a young people's programme to encourage contacts  between young people from different countries. There is a language experience programme  for members aged 18 to 30.

Q: How do I become a Servas member?

A: To become a member you will be interviewed. When you are accepted as a member, your  interviewer will advise you how to get on-line. Once you are on-line, you can manage your  own details and choose which Servas Members with whom you wish to share your  information. If you are a traveller you may search for other Servas Hosts Worldwide  We'll also put your details on our Host List (PDF updated every year) for travellers to look up.

Q: How do I visit other hosts with Servas?

A: To visit other hosts, you first need to join as a traveller or a host (see previous question). If you only intend to visit hosts in Britain and Ireland you can do this as a host. To travel worldwide you will need to complete a Letter of Introduction (LOI) in Servas OnLine. When the traveller fee is paid, the National Secretary will add an electronic stamp. An LOI lasts for one year (365 days) and is your "passport" to visit other Servas Hosts. There is an annual fee payable for each LOI and an annual fee to be a host.

Q: Is it possible to join Servas when I am already travelling?

A: In general, we ask you to become a member of Servas before travelling. However, some  countries have special arrangements, which make this possible.

Q: How long can I stay for?

A: A Servas visit is for two nights.

Q: Can I stay for longer than two nights?

A: No, you shouldn't ask to stay with your host for more than the usual two nights. The only  time you may ask is where hosts state that they accept longer stays, but ask about this  before you travel. However, the SYLE (Servas Youth Language Experience) is for youths age 18-30 years, where youths can stay 1- 4 weeks in various homes to practice the language and learn about the culture of the host country.

Q: Why is SYLE (Servas Youth Language Experience) limited to 18-30 year-olds in Ireland, but not in other countries?

A: In Ireland, people under age 18 cannot stay in a home without a parent or adult guardian, unless all those age 16+ years-old, living in that home, are Garda Vetted (certified by the police as not a threat to children). Garda Vetting can only be done by companies or non-profit organizations for their employees and volunteers. Servas Ireland cannot do Garda Vetting, so homes cannot be certified as safe for children. Of course, children accompanied by a parent or adult guardian are welcome as part of a normal 2 day Servas visit.

Q: How much does it cost to stay with a Servas host?

A: There is no money involved in a visit, but some travellers like to bring a small gift from their country. The main point of your visit is to spend some time together and to share ideas  and experiences. Travellers have the chance to take part in the everyday life of the host’s  household.

Q: Are Servas Members online?

A: All our worldwide members are in Servas Online.

Q: Who runs Servas Ireland?

A: Servas Ireland is run by volunteer members. The organisation is non-profit-making, relying on a fee from travellers and a fee from hosts. Servas Ireland is part of Servas International, which holds an international conference every three years. See our Servas International website for more information.

Q: How did Servas begin?

A: Servas started just after the Second World War, when a group of friends from different  countries who were meeting in Denmark came up with the idea of an 'open doors' network. Their aim was to work for peace by creating a framework for like-minded people to enjoy  hospitality in members' home and promote international understanding. From there, Servas  has grown into an international, non-governmental peace association with consultative  status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. For more details, see a brief  history of Servas on the Servas International website


Email: ireland@servas.org     -    ©: 2019: Servas Ireland and Derek Lee.