History, Intervac

Intervac through the years… from 1953 until today

During the early 1950s contact was developing between Teachers Unions in Europe as they began to work together and to cooperate for the improvement of conditions but more especially to improve understanding between people from different cultures and backgrounds. Already in the early part of the 1950s some teachers had realized that they could benefit most form the longer holidays they enjoyed if they could find a more economical way of traveling to other countries. The idea of Home Exchange Holidays was born in this realization. To exchange homes meant that they did not have any Hotel costs and could live in another home with just the normal costs of living. It would also provide the opportunity to live in a normal neighbourhood and not only in the developed tourist areas. This would provide the opportunity to learn about local culture, customs, etc. and to get to know the people.

In 1953 the leaders of the Swiss and Dutch Teacher Unions decided that a Home Exchange System for Holidays should be formally organized. Mr. A. Lehmann (1953 – 1961), Belp, Switzerland, made contact with Mr. G.J. Beltman (1953 – 1959) , Enter, Netherlands, in 1953 and the organization which would become known as Intervac International was born!

View Intervac AGMs in a larger map

Blue marks the sixties. Red marks the seventies. Green marks the eighties. Pink marks the nineties. Yellow marks the two thousands.

The Sixties

1969 – Paris, France – 1st INTERNATIONAL MEETING

  • Date: 2nd August 1969
  • Host: Lucien Mazik, French Organiser
  • Attended: France. Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain
  • Member Count: 869

The Seventies

1972 – London, England – 2nd INTERNATIONAL MEETING

  • Date: 1st August 1972
  • Hosted by: Hazel & Michale Nayar, GB Organisers.
  • Attended by Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Great Britain
  • Member Count: 780

1973 – Völkermarkt, Austria – 3rd INTERNATIONAL MEETING

  • Date: 31st July and 1st August 1973
  • Hosted by: Hans and Inge Winkler, AT Organisers
  • Attended by: Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Finland
  • Member Count: 1127

A major decision at this AGM was to produce more formal catalogues in three languages rather than the photocopied lists that had been used until now. These catalogues would be issued 3 times per year.

1974 – Zeist, Netherlands – 4th INTERNATIONAL MEETING

    • Date: 6/7/8th August 1974
    • Hosted by Bert Vegter, Intervac NL.
    • Attended by: Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Sweden
    • Member Count: 1022

Intervac Organisers in Zeist

Intervac Organisers in Zeist.

1975 – Jönköping, Sweden – 5th INTERNATIONAL MEETING

  • Date: 6th August 1975
  • Hosted by Margareta and Karl Erik Gemfeldt – Intervac Sweden, .
  • At: Esso Hotel, Elmia in Jönköping
  • Attended by: Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Austria.
  • Member Count: 1287

In order to assist the development of the Intervac ideal, it was decided to establish the Intervac International Fund.

1976 – St. Gallen, Switzerland – 6th INTERNATIONAL MEETING

  • Date: 3/4th August 1976
  • Hosted by: Heinrich Niedermann – Intervac CH.
  • Attended by: Austria, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Norway, Netherlands and the United States.
  • Member Count: 1439 members worldwide.

This year marked the beginning of our cooperation with David Ostroff of Vacation Exchange Club USA and with Hawaii Home Exchange Service.

1977 – Espergærde, Denmark – 7th INTERNATIONAL MEETING

  • Hosted by: Jens C.H. and Lone Lauritzen – Intervac DK.
  • Attended by: Austria, Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, France and the United States.

This year we were in contact with Mrs. Suzanne Barnard of HIL, another UK based Home Exchange organisation with a view to collaboration. It was agreed that Intervac International was no longer just a Home Exchange Service for teachers but must be open to all and catalogues would state the occupation of each member. It was also agreed that there would be two printing centers: in Stuttgart for Europe and in New York for the US and Canada.

1978 – Tours, France – 8th INTERNATIONAL MEETING

  • Date: 2/3/4th August 1978
  • Hosted by Lucien Mazik – Intervac FR.
  • Attended by: Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, the United States and a representative from Hawaii Home Exchange Service

This meeting represents an important event in the history of Intervac since it saw the development of Intervac on a worldwide basis to be achievable. Decisions made included direct mailing of catalogues in Europe from Germany, two catalogues instead of three would be printed and photographs would be included in catalogues, unlisted membership possible.

1979: Brussels, Belgium – 9th INTERNATIONAL MEETING

  • Date: 24/25th July, 1979
  • Hosted by: Intervac Belgium
  • Attended by: Denmark, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Netherlands, and the United States.

Agreement was reached on standardization of codes to be used in the catalogues.

The Eighties

1980 – Stuttgart, Germany – 10th INTERNATIONAL WORLD WIDE AGM

  • Hosted by: Dieter and Helge Günzler – Intervac Germany
  • Dates: 29/30th July 1980.
  • Attended by: Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden and the United States.

A decision was taken to cooperate with HIL (GB) Mrs. Suzanne Barnard. Also present at the meeting were new contacts from Italy: Gaby Zabobetti, Bologna, and Dan Arbel, Herzliya, Israel, current Organiser in Israel.

1981 – New York, USA

  • Hosted by: David Ostroff
  • Attended by: Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France.

Present also was Maria Angeles SAS, the current Intervac Organiser for Spain.

Intervac International was restructured at this meeting creating a Board of Directors (BD) which would meet between AGMs to manage the affairs of Intervac. The first BD elected was composed of the Organisers for the Netherlands, France, and Denmark. Maria Angeles SAS was elected as Organiser for Spain.

1982 – Gjøvik, Norway

  • Hosted by: Intervac Norway
  • Attended by: Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg, Great Britain, the United States and Sweden


Intervac Organisers in Norway at the meeting.

1983 – Drogheda, Ireland

  • Hosted by: Frank and Hilary Kelly, Intervac Ireland.
  • Attended by: Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, the United States and Norway.

Additionally, a prospective Organiser from Costa Rica also attended the meeting.

In 1983 we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of Intervac.


The 2 most senior Organisers: Hazel Nayer (RIP) GB and Heinrich Niedermann CH with Frank Kelly – IRL – getting ready to cut the anniversary cake.


30th Anniversary cake!!

The Eighties Continued

  • 1984 – Spain
  • 1985 – Italy
  • 1986 – Völkermarkt, Austria
  • 1987 – Derby, United Kingdom
  • 1988 – Yngsjö-Kristianstad, Sweden
  • 1989 – Athens Greece

The Nineties

1990 – Tiburon, California, USA

  • Hosted by: Intervac US
  • Attended by:


Intervac Organisers in Tiburon at the Annual General Meeting.

The Nineties Continued

  • 1991 – Brûgge, Belgium
  • 1992 – Switzerland

1993 – Lisbon, Portugal: 40th Anniversary!

  • Date: 25 – 27 of July 1993
  • Hosted by: Intervac Portugal
  • At: Hotel Alif

1994 – Reykavik, Iceland

  • Hosted by: Elisa Kwaszenko – Intervac IS

1995 – Tours France

  • Hosted by: Lucien Mazik – Intervac FR

1996 – Calgary, Canada

  • Hosted by: Richard Rysak and Suzanne Cassin – Intervac CA

1997 – Oosterbeck, Netherlands

  • Hosted by: Roel and Willemien Eissen – Intervac NL

1998 – Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Hosted by: Intervac Denmark

1999 – Prague, Czech Republic

  • Hosted by: Intervac Czech Republic

The Two-Thousands

2000 – Helsinki, Finland

  • Hosted by: Mervi Luostarinen – Intervac FI


Intervac Organisers in Helsinki at the Annual General Meeting.

2001 – Madrid, Spain

  • Hosted by: Maria Angeles-Sas – Intervac Spain


Meeting room in Madrid at the Annual General Meeting.

2002 – Krakow, Poland

  • Hosted by Ewa & Stanislaw Krupscy – Intervac Poland

2003 – Pontresina, Switzerland: 50th Anniversary!


  • Hosted by: Claudia and Iso Niedermann – Intervac Switzerland


Meeting room in Pontresina at the Annual General Meeting.

2004 – Catolica, Italy

  • Hosted by: Gaby Zanobetti – Intervac Italy

2005 – Drogheda, Ireland

  • Hosted by: Frank and Hilary Kelly – Intervac Ireland

2006 – Rhodos, Greece

  • Hosted by: Stathis Mihos & Maria Karakiza – Intervac Greece

2007 – Ahus, Sweden

  • Hosted by The Family Gemfeldt – Intervac Sweden


Intervac Organizers in Ahus at the Annual General Meeting.

2008 – Great Britain

  • Hosted by: Brian and Leslie Hayes – Intervac Great Britain


2009 – Sarpsborg, Norway

  • Hosted by: H.J. Kjell Kristiansen – Intervac Norway

The Two-Thousand Tens

2010 – Lisbon, Portugal

  • Hosted by: Ana Neto – Intervac Portugal

2011 – Leuven, Belgium

  • Hosted by: Jempi and Yolande de Cooman – Intervac Belgium


2012 – Bologna, Italy

  • Hosted by: Gaby Zanobetti – Intervac Italy


2013 – Berlin, Germany: 60th Anniversary!

  • Hosted by: Leoni Günzler – Intervac Germany


To Sixty Years of Home Exchange! Cheers, Intervac!


2014 – La Rochelle, France

  • Hosted by: Kristina and Olivier Caillaud – Intervac France
  • Date: 24-27 April, 2014


Welcome to La Rochelle. More photos at {:href => “https://www.facebook.com/IntervacHomeexchange/photos/a.791995410840290.1073741850.180133322026505/792042870835544/?type=3&theater”, :title => “Link to Facebook slideshow”} our Facebook slideshow.


Intervac organizers annual group photo.

2015 – Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Hosted by: Michael Støvelbæk – Intervac Denmark
  • Date: 23-25 April, 2015


A General Meeting to remember!

2016 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Hosted by: Roel and Willemien Eissen – Intervac Netherlands
  • Date: April, 2016


Busy in the meeting room

2017 – Corfu, Greece

  • Hosted by: Giannis Krikis – Maria Theofanous – Intervac Greece
  • Date: 28-30 April, 2017


Beautiful Corfu in April. Nearly everyone was present.

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