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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the CouchSurfing mission?

When we incorporated CouchSurfing International, Inc. as a non-profit, we filed our official mission statement as:

"CouchSurfing seeks to internationally network people and places, create educational exchanges, raise collective consciousness, spread international portfolio inc tolerance, and facilitate House in Phuket cultural understanding."

As a community we Travel Itineraries strive to do our individual fireworks and collective parts to make the world a better place, and we believe that the surfing of couches is a means to accomplish this goal. CouchSurfing isn't about the furniture- it's not just about finding free accommodations around the world- it's about participating in creating a better world. We strive to make a better world by link building opening our homes, our hearts, and our lives. We open our Spotsylvania reckless driving minds and welcome the knowledge that cultural exchange makes available. We create deep and meaningful connections that cross oceans, continents and cultures. CouchSurfing wants House in Phuket to change not only the way we travel, but how we relate to Carousel Day School the world!

Can you give me an example of how this system could be used?

Absolutely!

  1. You become a member of CouchSurfing.com. Create a profile and fill it out as much as possible, including photos. Be sure to link to any friends you might already have in the network.
  2. Consider joining some discussion groups in your areas of interests or engage in the chat. You meet some friendly people online and share in some interesting discussions.
  3. You decide you want to spend two weeks traveling around Europe. You get a ticket arriving in Amsterdam and departing from Florence.
  4. You log on to CouchSurfing.com and do a search for members within 20 km/miles of Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Zurich and Florence- your new travel itinerary.
  5. You contact interesting prospects from the list and explain the sort of travel/stay you're interested in. Use the "Request to CouchSurf with..." button to include specific details.
  6. You get several offers for places to stay. You decide that you want to spend a few days in each city.
  7. You confirm with your hosts, adjust your travel plans, and excitedly fly off to Amsterdam.
  8. Martin offers to pick you up at the airport, but you, an environmentally conscious public transportation fan, have already arrived at his flat in the Rembrandtplein section of Amsterdam. The two of you walk around the neighborhood and meet some of his friends at a lively cafe for dinner. You stay up late sharing stories and getting to know each other. Martin recommends some interesting places you might like to explore around the city. When he returns from work the next evening, he takes you to his favorite pub and you tell him about your adventures. The two of you laugh and connect; you make new friends at the pub, and you're grinning the whole walk home along the canals.
  9. As an example of a good surfer, you do as much as you can to give back to your hosts. This includes doing simple things like, for example, washing the dishes, making dinner or helping out in some way. Maybe you have a special skill you're willing to share?
  10. You say good-bye and move on to Brussels, Frankfurt, and then Zurich. In each location you've met some great people and have been able to experience being a part of the culture through your connection with your host. You go places you would have never read about in a guidebook, meet interesting locals, and spend time bonding with your host. You're actually experiencing those "deep and meaningful connections" you've read about on the iphone photography site, and you're making friends for life.
  11. You decide to stay a little longer in Florence and your host, Donia, has agreed to let you spend a week with her.
  12. You spend the week talking with Donia about politics, travel, art, your hometown, and a whole lot of other things. She lets you borrow her bicycle and gives you a map she's marked with some fun places to check out. On the weekend she takes you on a side trip to visit some relatives in a small Tuscan village. You learn to make awesome marinara sauce, you take a hike through picturesque rolling hills and her uncle, a craftsman, gives you a handmade leather belt. You're amazed at the time you're having! Back in Florence, Donia takes you to her favorite gelato place and you know it's the best thing you've ever tasted.
  13. By the time you leave on the bus for the airport, you feel that you've gotten a good feel for the local life in each of the places you've traveled. You've made many new friends and you hope Martin, Donia and others will visit you. You can't wait for your turn to show them the great things about your culture.
  14. When you arrive home you are so excited about CouchSurfing you go immediately to the participate tab and start helping CouchSurfing community advance the mission of the project.

Is CouchSurfing safe?

This is one of our most commonly asked questions. CouchSurfing has implemented several precautionary measures for the benefit of its surfers, hosts, and community. Every user is linked to the other users he or she knows in the system through a network of references and friend links. In addition to the solid network with friend link-strength indicators and testimonials, we have our vouching and verification systems. Some of these are new technologies invented by the CouchSurfing founders.

Verification

Image:Verification_level_3.gif This icon indicates that a member has been verified to level 3.

Vouching

Image:Vouched-for-image.gif This icon indicates that a member has been vouched for.

Ambassador

This icon indicates that a member is a CS Ambassador. Not just anyone is a vouched for member. Members can only become vouched for by an already vouched for CouchSurfing.com member. Essentially, it's a trust circle.

What is the verification system? In the verification process, we check to make sure your name and address are correct and valid. Once you have completed the process, your profile identifies you as a level 3 verified member. Other people viewing your profile may feel safer about communicating with and meeting you because you are verified. Some people choose to ONLY communicate with other verified members. It's all about your own personal preferences and feeling about safety. For some people, verification may not be important. For others, it is crucial. It's up to you

All of these features help other users determine how trustworthy you are, based on the quantity and 'quality' of the people you know, and how you've participated in the system.

Please Note: You do not need to be vouched for or verified to use CouchSurfing.com. We encourage you to sign up, host, surf,

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