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Homestays and Hospitality Exchanges Abroad

Articles on Homestays and Hospitality Exchanges
Worldwide Homestay and Hospitality Exchange Websites 

Hospitality Exchanges
From left to right Servas hosts Beatrice and Jesus,
in Mexico with Servas traveler Aaron from California

Mahatma Ghandi once said that “with every true friendship we build more firmly the foundation on which the peace of the whole world rests.” In a time when world opinion of America is on the decline, fostering peace and understanding through building personal relationships is more important than ever. If you are planning to study, volunteer or travel abroad, consider staying with hosts and experience the places you visit on a deeper level, through participation in the daily lives of local people. — Julie Schumacher Cohen

 Hospitality Exchanges and Homestay Articles
Homestay Programs: Lay Down Your Head but Not a Lot of Cash by Tim Leffel
Servas: How to Travel and Build Peace at the Same Time by Julie Schumacher Cohen
The Real Portugal: Experience Tradition and Preserve the Countryside with Historic Homestays by Volker Poelzl

 Worldwide Hospitality Exchanges and Homestay Websites

Cultural Homestay International is a non-profit public benefit organization founded in 1980 to promote international understanding, friendship, and goodwill through cultural homestays. We believe that the best way to eliminate fear and prejudice among nations is to experience directly the cultures, languages, and customs of the peoples by living with them. The emphasis of the program is on the education of the participating student, the volunteer host family, and the local community through communication and interaction in the home, the classroom, and the neighborhood.

Friendship Force International. Friendship Force members travel as Ambassadors from their home country to another country. Local Hosts welcome them into their homes, providing activities that reflect community life and local culture. After sharing experiences of friendship, differences of language, race, creed or politics become less important.

Homestay Finder offers student accommodations worldwide and is a top student placement guide based in the UK.

The Hospitality Club is a free German-based group dedicated to bringing people from different countries together. Over 250,000 members in scores of countries—in fact, about 60 countries can boast 100 or more members. Line up visits with locals when you travel.

Servas Internationa is an international network of hosts and travelers building peace by providing opportunities for individual visits between people of diverse cultures and backgrounds. During a typical homestay- usually 2 nights-, travelers participate in the daily lives of their host: discussing social concerns, running errands, cooking a meal, visiting a school or lending a hand in a workplace. Servas encompasses more than 15,000 homes and institutions in more than 125 countries on six continents.

WWOOF connects people directly to farms around the world interested in having travelers stay and work for varying lengths of time. After paying a low membership fee, you receive a book listing all farms that accept volunteers and you can contact the individual farmers directly to arrange start and end dates. As with organized camps, you receive room and board in exchange for your work. Like the workcamp organizations, the farms are not just looking for cheap labor. Your presence and the culture you represent are just as important as the work you provide. WWOOF works only with farms devoted to organic production as well as to cultural exchange. Whether you choose satisfying manual work on a farm or more varied work at one or more international workcamps, you’ll find that either is an inexpensive way to have an active, rich overseas travel experience.

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