FAQ

General

Is CISV religious?
No. CISV is not affiliated with any religious organization or religion. CISV is open to all individuals regardless of their religious beliefs.
Is CISV political?
No. We are not encouraged or supported by any political direction. CISV is open to all individuals regardless of their political ideologies.
Which language is spoken at camps?
CISV's official language is English. Although many languages are informally spoken at camp, most CISV participants have some understanding of English.
Do all kids speak English?
English fluency is not required to participate in CISV. Children quickly learn to express themselves non-verbally or in basic English. The leaders and staff utilize "translation time" before and during activities to ensure all delegates understand and can fully participate in activities.

Application

When can I apply?
Programs for the upcoming year are announced in the late fall. Most applicants attend Mini Camp in early February where they interview for their Program.
Which programs can my child apply to?
Our Programs have strict age limits. The child must be of the required age (between 1 June and 31 August on at least one day).
How is selection made?
In addition to the written application, there is an interview with a Board Member to ensure a fit to CISV. Priority is given to families with CISV experience both traveling and participating and volunteering for the local chapter
Cancellation of an event by CISV?
In this case, paid program fees will be refunded in full.
What is covered by the CISV insurance?
  • Costs due to illness or accidents
  • Travel expenses incurred by cancellation or program cancellation by CISV or by accident or illness of the participant or the leader (up to 1000 GBP)
  • Loss of travel baggage
  • Cost of travel delay
  • Crisis management in an emergency (political, natural catastrophe)
  • Liability insurance for damage caused outside CISV

Preparations

When and how do the children of a delegation get to know each other?
The delegation will meet several times, usually at a family's home or in a restaurant. The children get to know each other and get in touch with their companions. The adults also get to know the leader and discuss organizational matters.
What does "PreCamp1" mean?
The "PreCamp1" is the first camp information from the hosting nation. It is available for summer programs at the beginning of March the latest. Within the "PreCamp1" the following information is given:
  • Which chapter of the partner country will host the camp?
  • When shall the participants arrive?
  • When should they depart?
  • Which airport?
  • What other countries were invited?
The flight must be booked for the whole delegation at the same time.
Forms, forms, forms?
During preparations you have to fill in some forms. The program chair or the leader will help you. You confirm that the leader is responsible for your child, and you provide information on the health of your child (medication, allergies, ...), so that in case of an emergency (which will hopefully not occur) the staff and the leaders can react immediately and adequately.

Leader

How many kids are accompanied by a leader?
The children travel in small groups (4-6 children) and each group is accompanied by an adult, trained "leader" over the entire duration of the camp. Exception: host family stays.
Who is the leader?
We are looking for the best possible leaders, many of them experienced CISV people, some are pedagogical students or in training to a social profession, and all are trained in preparatory courses for the CISV program. It is important to us that the leaders can deal with in difficult emotional situations, look after the children reliably and affectionately, help them to interact with the other children and offer the children an optimal camp experience.
How do you become a leader?
An application is possible at any time. We are looking forward to dedicated adults who are 21 years of age or older at the time of travel.
What is a leader's income?
Nothing. The travel costs travel are paid by the parents, food and lodging is taken over by CISV, Interchange activities are also financed by the parents.
What is the difference between a leader and a staff?
The country hosting the program provides the Director and Staff, usually around 4 people. The Staff receives training and a small stipend.
Are there opportunities to staff a local program?
Yes! Each year our chapter host a program that requires a local staff. Staff does not need to have previous experience with CISV (although preferred).

During a Program

What do the children do all day?
Each Program has a full curriculum that includes routine games and personality-forming activities. Activity phases are usually initiated by "energizers", which are short, fun games that are fun and stimulate the children to work together. There is also plenty of time for sports and leisure. The activities follow a certain pattern: First, the children get to know each other. Only when the leaders and the staff can establish that the participants are no longer feeling foreign, there are activities, where also closer contact can take place. Of course, the specific needs of the children are taken into account. Gradually, the participants feel confident about each other, and more and more activities lead to tolerance, understanding and finally to friendship.
Is the age of the children considered?
Of course. Camps for older young people have more opportunities to participate democratically. Camps for the younger ones, on the other hand, are designed by the leaders and the staff.
What's for dinner?
Regional food. Special needs of the children (vegetarian, allergies, no pork, ...) are taken into consideration.
What about religion?
CISV is religiously unbound. This means that if your child is religious, it is by no means prevented from exercising his religion. If possible, its needs are also supported. on the other hand no kid will be encouraged or even forced into any unwanted religious activities.
Can I call my child on the mobile phone?
No. No direct contact is possible during the camp. This makes the children much easier to become comfortable in the new environment. They are, however, always happy about mail from home; Sporadic e-mail traffic is also possible via the leader. Please understand that no answer from your child is most probably a sign that it feels very comfortable.

The staff is also available for emergencies.

And if something happens?
Our staff and leaders are prepared for unforeseen things as much as possible. Each program has at least one staff member trained in first aid. In addition, there are experienced risk managers who handle crisis situations in each chapter and country. Our greatest interest is in the welfare of all participants.

Host Families

For which camps are there family stays?
In a Village, the children spend their first and third weekend with a host family. A Step Up also starts with a host family weekend. During the Interchange the child lives with the host family and meets with the rest of the group again and again to perform CISV activities with the group.
How many children live with a host family?
During an Interchange usually one kid, as there should be the same number of children in both groups. For the other programs, children stay with their host families in groups of two or more children.
Who can be host family?
Usually these are CISV-affiliated families. Most of them have children who take part in CISV activities or are alumni.
What are the requirements to be a host family?
Every adult receives a background check and must have separate beds and separate rooms by gender. Time to sleep, understanding for possible jetlag, a warm welcome and sufficient food should be self-evident. The children should get to know local customs, and experience the host country a bit more "close up". Very often the host families get to know each other before and meet for common leisure activities (swimming, museum, ...). The host families are informed in advance about CISV practices and rules.
How much money does a host family receive?
Nothing. It is a purely voluntary activity - like all activities at CISV. There is a strong "play it forward" culture to hosting by families who have attended Village.