Booking Conditions

  • Last Update: July 26th, 2022

These Booking Conditions are valid for all EF Gap Year Programs departing after January 1, 2022.

Upon enrollment on any EF Gap Year program, every Traveler must agree to and sign these Booking Conditions, inclusive of the Release of Liability & Agreement; Rules of the Road; General Terms & Conditions; Payment Plan Terms & Conditions; Cancellation Policy; and Essential Eligibility Criteria. By signing, Travelers agree to and acknowledge the following:

  • Details on what is included and excluded from the Program Fee
  • Terms & Conditions for upgrade purchases, add-ons, and extended stays
  • EF’s policies for canceling or modifying a Gap program
  • Release of Liability & Agreement

EF Gap Year Programs are operated outside of the United States by EF Education First International, Ltd., Switzerland. EF Institute for Cultural Exchange, Inc. is an affiliate of EF Education First International Ltd. and acts only as a marketing services provider for that company and is herein referred together with EF Education First International Ltd. as “EF”.

Booking Conditions

The following are the general Booking Conditions for anyone participating in an EF Gap Year program.

If you have questions or concerns regarding any or all of these conditions, you should contact us at info@efgapyear.com.

RELEASE OF LIABILITY & AGREEMENT

I (or parent or guardian if enrollee is under the age of 18 or a minor under any other applicable law) have read, understand, and agree to be bound by the following terms in exchange for enrollment on an EF Gap Year program (“EF Gap Year” or the “Program”).

  • I am or will be 18 years or older by the time of my Program’s Departure Date.
  • I acknowledge and understand that my Program is operated outside of the U.S. by EF Education First International, Ltd., Switzerland, and that EF Institute for Cultural Exchange, Inc. acts only as a marketing service provider for that company.
  • EF Institute for Cultural Exchange, Inc., EF Education First International, Ltd., and their affiliated companies, related foundations and charitable organizations, partners, and any companies acting on their behalf, along with their officers, directors, employees, independent contractors, agents, and authorized representatives (collectively referred herein as “EF”) do not own or operate the entities which provide goods or services for my Program other than the EF Language Schools and the Hult Ashridge campus, including, for example, hotels; arrangements for, ownership of, or control over houses, homestays, apartments, or other lodging facilities; tour directors; airline, vessel, bus or other transportation companies; local ground operators; visa processing services; providers or organizers of additional excursions; or food service or entertainment providers. I acknowledge that all such persons and entities are independent contractors and not employees of or employed by EF, including specifically the Tour Director assigned to a tour, any organization providing service-learning or volunteering opportunities, and internship providers and associated employers.
  • Without limitation, EF is not responsible for any injury, loss or damage to person or property, death, delay or inconvenience in connection with the provision of any goods or services occasioned by or resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God; force majeure; acts of government; acts of war (declared or undeclared) or civil unrest; insurrection or revolt; strikes or other labor activities; public health issues or emergencies; epidemics, pandemics, plagues outbreaks of infectious disease, mass-illness; criminal, terrorist or threatened terrorist activities of any kind; overbooking or downgrading of accommodations; structural or other defective conditions in houses, homestays, apartments or other lodging facilities (or in any heating, plumbing, electrical or structural problem therein); mechanical or other failure of airplanes or other means of transportation or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely; dangers associated with or bites from animals, insects or pests; sanitation problems; food poisoning; lack of access to or quality of medical care; difficulty in evacuation in case of a medical or other emergency; financial failure or other defaults by suppliers; dangers associated with water-based activities; or any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any third party, or for any other cause beyond the direct control of EF.
  • I agree to release EF Education First International, Ltd.; EF Institute for Cultural Exchange Inc.; EF Education First, AG; Hult International Business School Inc.; the Ashridge (Bonar Law Memorial) Trust, and all parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, related foundations, and charitable organizations, along with each of their directors, shareholders, officers, employees, insurers, volunteers, sponsors, contractors, agents, independent Tour Directors and authorized representatives (the “Released Parties”) from, and covenant not to sue the Released Parties for, any and all claims, of any nature related in any manner to my participation in an EF Gap Year Program, including but not limited to, claims for negligence; breach of contract; breach of express or implied warranties; negligent or wrongful death; or any statutorily based claim. I hereby unconditionally and unequivocally waive any and all claims and demands for all damages, losses, costs and expenses of any nature whatsoever (including attorneys’ fees) on account of or arising out of any and all personal injury, death, bodily injury, mental anguish, emotional distress, property or other damage that I may suffer from any cause whatsoever related in any way to my participation in any EF Gap Year Program.
  • I agree that this Release of Liability applies to and binds myself and my minor child enrolling on the Program (if applicable), along with my personal representatives, executors, heirs, and family.
  • I acknowledge and agree that the following activities are not offered as part of my Program and that this releases EF from any liability that arises from activities undertaken with non-EF sanctioned vendors and/or not offered by EF during my Program including, but not limited to, parasailing, paragliding, parachuting, skydiving, scuba (unless certified), and the use of motorbikes, mopeds, scooters, quads, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
  • I understand that travel in other nations is not similar to travel within the United States. Programs outside the United States can involve inconvenience and risk, including, but not limited to, forces of nature; geographic and climatic conditions; different hygienic standards; infrastructure problems (including road maintenance, transportation delays and accommodation condition); civil unrest; vandalism; crime; political instability; and terrorism. Medical services or facilities may not be readily available or available at all during all or part of a Program and, if available, may not be equal to standards in my home country. I specifically understand that a service-learning program and other volunteering opportunities is a physically demanding excursion in a developing country, and I knowingly assume the risks of such an excursion. I further understand that different parts of the work present unique health, disease, and safety concerns, and I agree to review any specific risks related to my destinations by visiting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Traveler’s Health website at cdc.gov/travel and the State Department’s International Travel website at travel.state.gov. I assume all risk of bodily injury, death, emotional trauma, property damage, inconvenience and/or loss resulting from negligence or any other acts of any and all persons or entities, however caused, including, but not limited to, those risks mentioned above. It is my intention fully to assume all of the risks of international travel and participation in the Program and to release the Released Parties from any and all liabilities to the maximum extent permitted by law.
  • I further agree to release the Released Parties from any and all decisions to cancel, modify or delay the Program as a result of unforeseeable events that are beyond the reasonable control of EF Gap Year, that make the Program impossible or impracticable to conduct, or which become necessary or advisable for my safety or for the quality of the Program experience.
  • EF shall have no liability or responsibility for me whatsoever when I am absent from EF-arranged activities or for non-EF arranged activities, which includes all free time, visits to friends or relatives, independent travel, any time where I am at any self-arranged accommodations, or any optional periods or activities.
  • My Program begins with takeoff from the departure airport or arrival at the program orientation and ends upon completion of the flight back to the origination (or other arrival) airport.
  • The air carrier’s liability for loss of or damage to baggage or property, or for death or injury to person, is subject to and limited by the airlines’ contract of carriage, its tariff, the Montreal Convention or Warsaw Convention and their amendments or both.
  • EF reserves the right to refuse or revoke my enrollment in the Program for failure to meet the Essential Expectation Criteria, violations of the Rules of the Road, inaccuracies or omissions on my enrollment application, or for any other reason as determined solely by EF. In such event, the Standard Cancellation Policy will apply.
  • I agree to abide by EF’s regulations and the directions of any EF staff, Tour Director, or other provider during my Program. These regulations include but are not limited to prohibitions on the possession and/or usage of illegal drugs, overindulgent alcohol consumption, disruptive actions to the others associated with the Program, damage to property, or causing or threatening to cause physical harm to myself or another person. I understand and agree that EF may dismiss me from the Program at any time and at my sole expense for the failure to follow such rules or directions or for any other reason that EF deems in its sole discretion requires my dismissal from the Program. I understand that in the event I am dismissed from the Program for any reason, I waive the right to a refund of any part of my Program cost, and that EF may then send me home at my own expense. EF is not responsible for arranging my transport home.
  • I agree to abide by all local laws, regulations, and governmental advisories for all locations of my Program while abroad, including those concerning drugs and alcohol. I understand that if I abuse or disobey such laws, even unintentionally, I waive my right to a refund of any part of the Program cost, and EF may send me home at my own expense. I also understand that should local authorities be involved, I will be subject to the laws of the country I am visiting. Actions resulting in incarceration will result in immediate termination from the Program, and I agree to waive the right to a refund of any portion of my Program cost. EF is not responsible for any legal fees or arrangements for legal counsel.
  • If I become ill or incapacitated, EF, its employees, Tour Directors, and providers may take any action they deem necessary for my safety and well-being, including securing medical treatment and transporting me home at my own expense. EF retains the right, in its sole discretion, to contact the Emergency Contact listed on my enrollment form with regard to health issues or any matter whatsoever that relates to my Program. These rights transcend any and all privacy regulations that may apply. In the event of a medical emergency, EF will attempt to cause appropriate treatment to be administered, and I authorize EF to do so. EF, however, makes no warranty that it will be able to cause effective (or any) emergency treatment to be administered or to be timely administered, and EF will not be responsible for monitoring any health care that I may need.
  • I understand and agree to abide by the Program schedule. Failure to be on time for a scheduled departure may result in the group departing without me, and I will have to make my own arrangements at my own expense to reconvene with the group. EF is not responsible for arranging such transportation.
  • EF has the right to make changes in Program itineraries and departure dates, and to modify transportation arrangements, including the use of substitute airlines. In the event of such changes, refunds will be given only in accordance with the provisions of the Booking Conditions.
  • EF is not responsible for loss of passports, airline tickets, or other documents, or for loss of or damage to luggage or any other passenger belongings. In the case of a lost paper airline ticket or missing EF booked flight, I acknowledge that I am solely responsible for meeting the airline’s requirements (both logistical and financial) for ticket replacement.
  • I will be required to pay for any phone calls or incidental personal expenses that I incur at hotels or other accommodations, as well as for any damage I cause to hotel rooms, buses, or other property.
  • I understand and acknowledge that this Program has been designed for persons aged 18 to 22, as reflected in the pacing, content, accommodations, and other aspects of the tour. By participating in the Program, I represent that I am in the requisite physical and mental condition to participate. I further understand that this program is not a therapeutic or rehabilitation program (including for court-mandated adjudication).
  • These Booking Conditions constitute the entire agreement between EF and me with reference to the subject matter herein, and I do not rely upon any promises, inducements or agreements not herein, including but not limited to any oral statements made to me by any agents or employees of EF and any marketing materials. This agreement may be amended or modified only in writing signed by EF. The waiver by EF of any provision of this agreement shall in no way affect the remaining provisions of this agreement, and this agreement shall be interpreted as if such clause or provision were not contained herein.
  • This agreement and performance hereunder shall be governed in all respects, by the substantive laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In the event of any claim, dispute or proceeding arising out of my relationship with EF, or any claim which arises between the Parties, whether or not related to this agreement or the literature for the trip or the trip itself, it shall be resolved exclusively in courts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and/or the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
  • EF or its representatives, agents, or consultants may use any photographic, film, digital, or video likeness taken of me; any of my comments while on an EF Gap Year Program; any of my photographic, film, digital, or video content shared by me with EF through any format; and use my contact information for future publicity or marketing without compensation to me.
  • I have read and agreed to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy outlined at http://efgapyear.com/help-center-privacy-policy/, and I consent to EF’s processing of my personal data.
RULES OF THE ROAD

You agree to abide by EF Gap Year’s Rules of the Road – our program rules and regulations – while enrolled in an EF Gap Year program. Failure to follow these rules may result in dismissal from the program, returning home at your own expense and forfeiture of any refund. EF Gap Year reserves the right to make any and all decisions with regard to disciplinary action (see below).

In addition to the Rules of the Road, each separate module of the program will have additional specific rules. These will be outlined in a safety briefing at the beginning of each module or by staff on location

Participation and Punctuality

Successful completion of this program requires your engagement and active participation. This includes attending and being on time to any scheduled excursions and events, all scheduled classes at the language school, committing to all service work with non-profit partners and their clients, and showing up for all scheduled business days during an internship. It is crucial that you hold yourself accountable for being on time – this might include group activities on an immersion tour or with a service partner, start times of your language classes, being on time for an internship or for scheduled dinner with a host family. Repeated absences or tardiness is unacceptable and may result in your removal from the program. If you are sick, have signs of becoming sick, or have a physical ailment that might prevent you from participating in an activity, you must inform an EF Gap Year representative.

Communication

Participants are expected to maintain communication with EF Staff, host families, Tour Directors, Language School staff, and any other partners they interact with on program. This includes responding to any outreach within a reasonable time frame (within 24 hours). Communication must always be done in a respectful manner and considerate of time zone differences.

Respect for others

In order to promote a positive environment for all, it is essential that every individual behaves in a respectful manner, whether that be with fellow participants, EF Gap Year staff, school faculty and administrators, host families, non-profit partners, or others you engage with during your program.

Discrimination, intolerance, harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, use of hateful language or slurs, acts of violence, or any behavior that deliberately disrupts a positive group environment or puts the health/safety of any participant (including yourself) at risk may result in immediate dismissal from the program.

Relationships

Romantic relationships between Gap Year Participants and staff (including suppliers, tour directors, host family members, and EF Gap Year employees) are prohibited.

Smoking

Smoking (including vaping or “juuling”) is not permitted on buses, during meals, in hotel rooms (or similar accommodations), or in any other shared, enclosed space. Respectful smoking etiquette is expected, including being mindful of those in your vicinity and disposing of your cigarettes properly.

Prohibited items or activities

Hitchhiking, scuba diving, bungee jumping, skydiving, and the use of motorized vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs, or quads is strictly prohibited. Other prohibited activities may exist in specific destinations and these will be communicated by staff on location. For the safety and well-being of all participants, no firearms or other weapons are permitted on the program except as required by law.

Alcohol and drug use

Participants who are of legal drinking age according to local law may consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and in moderation but should not be intoxicated or conduct themselves in an inappropriate manner. Excessive drinking by any participant, or any inappropriate behavior related to alcohol, will not be tolerated and may result in dismissal from the program. This includes any scenario that includes destruction of property, physical altercations, missing parts of program, and/or hospitalizations.

In order to respect the communities we visit, we expect everyone to be respectful when consuming alcoholic beverages.

The use of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited during the program. The use of any such drugs may result in immediate dismissal from the program.

Disciplinary action

As stated above, your failure to follow any of the rules outlined above may result in dismissal from the program at any time and your immediate return home at your own expense with forfeiture of any refund. EF Gap Year reserves the right to decide the severity of any violation as well as take any and/or all of the disciplinary actions outlined below—or any other action(s) we deem appropriate—to ensure the safety, well-being, and educational experience of all participants concerned.

Verbal warning
(Minor violations)

Call the student(s) to discuss their behavior. Review how it violates the Rules of the Road. Agree verbally on an action plan to avoid future violations.

Written warning
(Moderate and/or repeated violations)

Send a formal warning letter to student(s), copying their parent(s), outlining how their behavior (or continued behavior) violates the Rules of the Road and how any further violations will result in immediate dismissal from the program. Stipulate any action plan(s) that must be followed to remain on the program Obtain signatures of agreement from both the student(s) and their parents.

Immediate dismissal
(Severe and/or repeated violations)

Call student(s) and their parent to explain how their behavior has violated the Rules of the Road and inform them of the expulsion. Discuss travel arrangements to return home to be made on behalf of the student(s) at their own expense and no program refund. EF will book appropriate ground transport and flights and escort the student(s) to the airport.

Participant assent

I have completely read, understand, and agree to be bound by the “EF Gap Year Rules of the Road” while enrolled in EF Gap Year or Gap Semester programs.

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

 

PRICING

The program’s base price includes:

  • Program price based on standard rooming occupancy
  • EF Gap Year Advisor support
  • Departure fees and surcharges
  • Airfare and transportation as specified
  • Accommodations as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Tour Director support during related portions of the program
  • Sightseeing tours, internship, service learning and language study placements as specified
  • 24-hour global emergency support

What’s not included in the base price

  • Global Travel Protection Plan*
  • Most lunches and many dinners, depending on the program module (see individual module descriptions at efgapyear.com for details)
  • Airfare supplement for gateway origination outside of the US East Coast
  • Transportation to free-time activities
  • Any applicable baggage-handling fees imposed by the airlines
  • Expenses caused by airline rescheduling, cancellations or delays caused by the airlines, bad weather or events beyond EF’s control (see “Flight delays & cancellations”)
  • Passport, visa, other travel documents, testing, and reciprocity fees
  • Optional global mobile phone service package
  • Optional excursions

*Participants are required to maintain adequate insurance coverage for the duration of their program.  Please see the Global Travel Protection Plan section below for more information.

Please note: Government taxes and fees with respect to air travel, including the September 11th Security Fee, and port taxes are part of the program price. All prices are in U.S. dollars. For the most up-to-date pricing, please contact your EF Gap Year Consultant. While EF Gap Year makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of its publications, it cannot be held responsible for typographical or printing errors (including prices).

ENROLLMENT

Enrollment conditions

To enroll in an EF Gap Year program, you must first speak with an EF Gap Year Consultant, submit a completed enrollment application and pay a deposit. The amount of deposit required is determined by the program type as detailed below. If the enrollment deposit is made within 150 days prior to Departure Date, there may be a travel supplement added to the program fee.

Program type Required Deposit
Gap Year Program  $2500
Gap Semester Programs  $1500
Short-term programs  $750

Enrollment is complete only after EF Gap Year receives a completed enrollment application, EF Gap Year’s Booking Conditions have been signed, and the applicant has paid the required enrollment deposit. The enrollment deposit payment is automatically applied towards the total program fee, and EF Gap Year’s payment plan and cancellation policies apply immediately.

An onboarding call will be scheduled with a Gap Year after enrollment is complete. If the Gap Year Advisor determines that the applicant does not meet the Essential Eligibility Criteria as detailed on the EF Gap Year website, EF Gap Year reserves the right to cancel the enrollment and refund the deposit and any other payment, less any unrecoverable fees already incurred in connection with their Program.

Gap Year students may modify the destination choices of the Language Study, Service Learning, and Internship program modules until 90 days prior to Gap Year program start date with no additional cost.

Gap Semester students may modify the choice of Customized program Modules (Language Study, Service learning, or Internship) as well as the choice of destinations for each of those modules up to 90 days prior to departure with no additional cost.

All changes are subject to availability. If you wish to modify your itinerary within 90 days prior to departure, a late change fee of $1,500 is required along with the adjusted program fee. EF Gap Year’s Booking Conditions will apply to all modified programs. No program changes are permitted after the Program has begun.

Due to TSA security requirements, you must provide EF Gap Year with your complete first, middle, and last names and date of birth as they appear (or will appear) on your passport; this information will be used to reserve your flights and it is your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the provided information. If you have not yet applied for a passport, you should provide your full name and date of birth as they appear on your birth certificate and you should apply for your passport immediately. If you need to make any changes to this information, it is your responsibility to notify EF before 90 days prior to departure. Failure to do so may result in additional airline fees, and you may be denied boarding at the airport if the name on your e-ticket does not precisely match your passport, and all additional costs associated with this will be borne by the program participant or their parents/guardian, including new airline tickets if needed.

Participants must be at least 18 years old at the time of departure to participate in the Program. You must also have a high school diploma or GED. If, during the application process prior to departure, you are under the age of 18 or are considered a minor under any other relevant law, a parent or legal guardian must co-sign all of your enrollment documents.

PROGRAM INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

 All EF Gap Year participants are required to maintain adequate insurance throughout the term of their program.

Required coverage:

  • Accident and Sickness – $50,000
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment – $50,000
  • Medical Evacuation and Repatriation – $50,000
  • Non-Medical Evacuation – $100,000

Highly recommended coverage:

  • Cancellation for Valid Reason – $22,000 (Gap Semester) / $39,500 (Gap Year)
  • Trip Interruption – $33,000 (Gap Semester) / $59,250 (Gap Year)
  • Travel Delay – $2,500

Global Travel Protection Plan

EF Gap Year offers a specially designed Global Travel Protection Plan for its program participants provided by the third-party licensed insurance provider Specialty Insurance Solutions that meets all of the program’s requirements and recommendations. Note that the cost of this Global Travel Protection Plan is not included in the Gap Year base price, but rather is an optional, additional charge.  The cost of the Global Travel Protection Plan becomes non-refundable after any of the following occur: (i) 10 days after receipt; (ii) when you depart on your Program, (iii) or when you file a claim. To review the full coverage terms, conditions, and exclusions please visit: sis-inc.biz/tours/efgapyear/

The Global Travel Protection Plan contains insurance underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company and non-insurance benefits provided by EF Gap Year. If you choose not to purchase the Global Travel Protection Plan, you will need to provide proof of adequate insurance coverage 30 days after enrollment.

ROOMING

Program prices are based on the accommodations outlined in the “Program Components” section below. Wherever possible, students will be placed in rooms according to the gender with which they identify.

FLIGHT ROUTINGS

In order to provide you with the lowest possible prices, EF Gap Year negotiates special rates with major air carriers. Due to the nature of EF Gap Year’s contracts, air arrangements may be subject to change and to certain constraints including, but not limited to, the availability of certain routings, travel times, and direct or non-stop flights. Seating on flights is entirely within the control of the airline, and EF Gap Year is not responsible for seating or changes to assigned seats. Our contracts do not allow upgrades or the accrual of frequent flyer miles.

Occasionally, due to specific programs or flight routings, an overnight stay is required en route. If this is the case, EF Gap Year will make arrangements for hotel accommodations, and a confirmation of the relevant hotel information will be included in your final travel documents (see “Final Travel Documents” section).

Flight itineraries are subject to change up to departure due to schedule, equipment, or routing changes by airlines, and EF Gap Year cannot be held responsible for these changes or additional associated costs.

Participants requesting special travel arrangements to change their travel dates to accommodate additional independent travel, will be charged a $150 service fee plus any difference in airfare. Such requests must be made at least two weeks in advance of the original travel date.

BAGGAGE

Each airline has its own baggage allowance policy, and some airlines may impose additional charges for checked baggage. If you exceed baggage allowances or choose to check a bag on an airline that doesn’t include baggage in its fares, you are responsible for any additional fees. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. For the domestic portion of air travel to orientation, no checked baggage fee is included, and participants can expect to be charged $35-50 per checked bag.

FLIGHT DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS

EF Gap Year cannot be held responsible for any flight delays or cancellations caused by reasons beyond EF Gap Year’s control including, but not limited to, weather, mechanical issues, or personnel strike.   Visit https://efgapyear.com/travel-protection/ for benefits offered in the optional Global Travel Protection Plan. In the event of a flight delay, you must work directly with the airline to be rebooked. Once your new flight is confirmed, you must then notify EF Gap Year of your new arrival time. If you are arriving later than your original scheduled flight, you may not be met by an EF Gap Year representative at the airport. In this case, you will need to arrange your own transportation from the airport to your hotel. Persons missing program portions or components (including, but not limited to, meals, excursions, or sightseeing tours) due to flight delays or cancellations will not be refunded by EF Gap Year.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

Travel documents, including travel itineraries, hotel accommodations, and a copy of the flight itinerary, are available approximately 14 days prior to the start of each module. If your mailing address changes or if you want your final documents sent to a different address, you must notify EF Gap Year at least 30 days before departure. Otherwise, you will be responsible for any additional mailing costs.

PASSPORTS, VISAS, VACCINATIONS AND OTHER TRAVEL OR ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

You are solely responsible for obtaining prior to departure a valid passport, applicable visas, and any other travel documents, as well as verifying and satisfying entry requirements necessary for each country of travel on your selected program itinerary. This may include required medical documents, testing, or proof of vaccinations (including any requirement to provide proof of full and up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations.) U.S. persons are required to have a passport for all trips outside of the U.S., which must be valid for at least six months beyond the completion date of the program. Entry laws differ with respect to participants’ citizenship. Non-U.S. citizens will need to contact the embassy or consulate of their destination countries to ensure they meet specific entry requirements. EF Gap Year recommends that you apply for any necessary visas with a visa service. For more information on countries requiring visas for U.S. persons, please refer to the U.S. Department of State website: travel.state.gov.  If a student is unable to obtain these travel documents or meet any applicable entry requirement, EF Gap Year’s Standard Cancellation Policy will apply (see “Cancellations and Modifications” section) and students will be solely responsible for any incurred expenses.

LOST BELONGINGS

EF is not responsible for loss of passports, visas, airline tickets, vaccination cards, or other documents, or for loss of or damage to luggage or any other belongings. The participant is solely responsible for all logistical and financial requirements necessary to replace lost belongings and personal documents.

HEALTH AND CAPABILITIES

The pacing and physical requirements of EF Gap Year programs vary by itinerary. You are responsible for selecting a program that is suitable for your physical capabilities. Certain programs require considerable physical exertion. For example, many historic sites are only accessible on foot and involve stairs, rough trails, or inclines. Service-learning may involve lifting or other manual labor and have little or no access to some amenities. Internship host organizations, overseas accommodations, and modes of transportation are not bound by the same accessibility laws that apply in the United States, and therefore may not be up to the same standard of accessibility. Please work with your EF Gap Year Consultant to understand the essential program requirements and travel expectations of your planned itinerary.

All EF Gap Year programs require participants to manage new and at times stressful or challenging situations which are inherent to international travel. You are responsible for understanding and evaluating whether you are equipped to participate in your selected EF Gap Year program.

Any disabilities or limitations must be disclosed prior to completing enrollment on your Program so your EF Gap Year Consultant can help determine the appropriateness of the selected itinerary. EF Gap Year Consultants are available to discuss any specific accommodations you might require and whether such requests can be reasonably arranged. EF reserves the right to decline any participant whose condition, in our opinion, or in the opinion of a third-party providing services on the program, may affect the health, safety, or program experience of other travelers.

Prior to departure, every student must give their emergency contact a signed medical history form. Students must also carry a medical history form with them at all times, in case the information needs to be presented to a medical practitioner in the event of an emergency. The possession and intake of any prescription medication is solely the responsibility of the student.

In light of COVID-19, travelers must take additional personal responsibility for their well-being. This begins with packing any personal protective equipment and sanitizers required; adopting physical distancing and hygiene practices throughout pre-program travel arrangements, and following all health instructions whether physical signage or requests from the Tour Director or EF staff once on the program.

DIETARY RESTRICTIONS

EF recognizes that some participants may have dietary restrictions or severe food allergies. It is the participant’s sole responsibility to manage known allergy and dietary restrictions and, if needed, to carry two epinephrine pens, as well as clear instructions for their use, at all times. Please make your EF Gap Consultant aware of your needs when you are registering for the program, and we will do our best to ensure that our suppliers are informed of your dietary requirements. EF cannot guarantee that all requests will be accommodated. Participants with dietary restrictions are responsible for making their own arrangements for all in-flight meals.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

Orientation

Accommodation
Students will stay in hotels. Students will room with up to 3 other EF Gap Year students of the same gender.

Meals
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included.

Immersion Tours

Accommodation

  • Students will share a hotel or hostel room, or apartment with shared bathroom with 1-5 students of the same gender.
  • Hotel rooms in Europe are typically smaller and less standardized than those in the U.S. In Europe, it is standard policy that hotel rooms are not available for check-in before mid-afternoon. Please note that accommodations abroad may not have amenities such as elevators, air conditioning, or WiFi.

Meals

  • Breakfast is included. Select dinners are also included – typically one per major city visited.

Language study

Accommodation
EF Homestay: Students will stay with pre-screened local hosts, and may share a room with another student of the same gender attending the EF Language Campus, but not necessarily a fellow Gap Year participant.

EF Residence: Students may stay at an international student residence for a supplemental cost, which varies by campus; please talk to your EF Gap Consultant for details.

Meals
EF Homestay: Breakfast and dinner is provided Monday-Friday. All meals are provided on weekends, except during optional excursions.

EF Residence: Meal plans vary by campus; please talk to your EF Gap Consultant for details.

Class schedules and attendance
Classes are offered at all EF International Language Campuses in a block schedule of 5 days on Monday to Saturdays between 8AM to 8PM. EF language lessons have a duration of at least 40 minutes and are often held in blocks of 2 x 40 minutes. Students are required to have 80% attendance at the lessons to receive the course certificate.

Public holidays
In the event of a public holiday, EF International Language Campuses will be closed and lessons on those dates will not be rescheduled.

Course levels
Prior to or upon arrival at the EF International Language Campus, students will take a level placement test to assess language proficiency. The results will be used to place students in the correct course level.

When an EF International Language Campus has a class of five students or fewer, EF reserves the right to combine students of different levels into the same class.

My EF web service and iLab lessons
All students receive an online account for My EF. EF does not accept any responsibility for correspondence, photos, and other media sent via My EF.  Parents or legal guardians of students traveling with EF Gap Year give their consent for the student to use the My EF web service. Use of the My EF web service is subject to the My EF Privacy Policy

Students enrolled in non-English courses will have access to iLab during their course, pending agreement to its privacy and data use policies. Exceptions to this are EF International Language Campuses in Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul, where iLab lessons are replaced by teacher-led lessons.

Service-learning

Accommodation
Accommodations differ by host country; students may stay in a hotel, hostel, service project center, or a homestay shared with other volunteers. Accommodations may not include access to hot water, air conditioning, and other amenities depending on the host country. Please talk to your EF Gap Consultant for details.

Meals
Approximately 80% of all meals are included.

Internship

Accommodation
Students will stay in single or twin rooms in student apartments or residence halls. Typically this will be with up to 4 other students per apartment. (Owing to local conditions, in some cities, students may share an apartment with more than 4 other students.) Please also note that you may be sharing an apartment with other interns, students or young professionals in the city who are not part of an EF Gap Year program.

Meals
All student apartments come with basic kitchens, and students will be responsible for their own meals.

Internship conduct
As with any program, participants are expected to conduct themselves professionally and attend their internship 5 days a week for the full business day, and complete all tasks assigned to them. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the Internship by the Host Organization. This may also result in termination from the EF Gap year Program if warranted. On a case-by-case basis and subject to availability, EF Gap Year will work to find an alternate internship opportunity for the remainder of the module.

EF Leadership Academy

Accommodation
Students will stay in residence halls of the Leadership Academy facility or a nearby hotel. Students will room based on double occupancy with others of the same gender.

Meals
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included.

CANCELLATIONS, INTERRUPTIONS & MODIFICATIONS

Standard Cancellation Policy

EF’s Standard Cancellation Policies apply when your enrollment is canceled prior to the commencement of the Program and take into consideration the costs EF incurs long before a Program begins.  Notice of cancellation will only be accepted from the traveler (or their parent/guardian, if the traveler is a minor at time of cancellation). The date of cancellation will be determined by the date on which EF receives notice.

In the event that you have to cancel your program on the day of departure, you must notify EF Gap Year prior to checking in to your first flight. Any costs for supplemental services/guarantees (including, but not limited to, flights or hotels) resulting from cancellations made at your request will be your responsibility, and all service fees are non-refundable. Substitution of participants is not permitted.

Percentages listed below are of the total program fee.  Non-refundable Fees include: Global Travel Protection Plan (after the 10-day review period), name change fees, declined credit/debit card fees, late payment fees, returned check fees, and stop payment fees.

Cancellation Date

Refund Available

Within 30 days of enrollment and 120 days or more before departure

Full refund less Non-Refundable Fees

30 days after enrollment and 120 days or more before departure

Full refund less Non-Refundable Fees and a $400 Cancellation Fee

119- 90 days before departure

Full refund less Non-Refundable Fees and 10% of the Program Fee

89 – 45 days before departure

Full refund less Non-Refundable Fees and 40% of the Program Fee

44 – 0 days before departure

Full refund less Non-Refundable Fees and 50% of the Program Fee

 

Standard Interruption Policy

EF’s Standard Interruption Policy applies in the event your participation in the Program ends prior to Program completion. The participant is responsible for any additional costs incurred by interrupting the Program including, but not limited to, the return flight and other transportation costs due to the interruption unless covered by the Global Travel Protection Plan. (Please review policy for full details of which instances and circumstances are covered).

To be considered for refund eligibility, the participant must make a refund request in writing to EF Gap Year within 30 days of date of leaving the program and include a detailed reason for the program interruption. Students whose program is terminated due to a violation of EF’s disciplinary and/or attendance policies or local, state, or federal laws will not be eligible for any refund.

Percentages listed below are of the base program fee. Refunds are only applicable to the base program fee and exclude any non-refundable service fees and charges. Non-refundable service fees and charges include but are not limited to: Global Travel Protection Plan (after the 10-day review period), name change fees, declined credit/debit card fees, late payment fees, returned check fees, and stop payment fees. For the avoidance of doubt, refund amounts correlate to the number of days a student has been on the program.

Refund Amount
(% of program fee)

Year Program
(program days completed)
Semester Program
(program days completed)
40% 0-30 days 0-15 days
30% 31-60 days 16-30 days
20% 61-90 days 31-45 days


Programs under 8 weeks in duration are not eligible for a tour interruption refund.

Cancellations or Modifications

EF shall not be liable to any participant for the need to cancel, modify, or postpone the Program, any module, or Program itinerary as a result of events that are beyond EF’s reasonable control.  These matters include such “acts of God” or force majeure events as actual or threats of: epidemics or pandemics, or other public health issues or emergencies (such as but not limited to the current COVID-19 pandemic); severe weather events or natural disasters such as but not limited to hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, fires, floods, volcanic activity, or landslides; war (whether declared or undeclared); terrorist activities; instability in a destination location; incidents of violence, riot, sabotage, civil commotion, or nationalization; strikes or labor disputes or lockouts; government orders, sanctions, actual or potential quarantines, or other restrictions affecting travel in, to, or around a location; disruption to transportation; chemical or radioactive contamination; or any other reason that makes it actually or potentially impossible or illegal for EF to conduct the tour as originally contracted.  Cancellation, modification, or postponement by EF for causes described in this section shall not be a violation of its obligations to any traveler and will not be deemed a “failure” to provide travel services.

Program Itinerary Modifications

If improvements can be made to your program itinerary or unforeseen circumstances necessitate changes, EF reserves the right to amend your itinerary prior to your departure and while on the Program. Reasons that may necessitate an itinerary change prior to departure may include but are not limited to: a program module in a destination reaching maximum capacity, a program module in a destination not attracting sufficient interest to be practicable to operate, or the discontinuation of a program module in a destination due to health, safety, or other unexpected reasons.  Reasons that may necessitate an itinerary change while on the program may include but are not limited to: local or national holidays, special events, severe weather, or other unexpected conditions. EF will make every effort to minimize inconvenience for our participants; however, such circumstances may require adjustments such as changing the destination countries or cities on your program itinerary, altering your length of stay in a city or country, or using an alternate airport. Other possible changes include departure, arrival or return dates. On certain days, especially holidays and special events, some program inclusions—such as (but not limited to) historical sites, museums, castles, churches, and shops—may be closed or allow limited access. If we are unable to adjust the itinerary to accommodate for local access restrictions to attractions, we will substitute different inclusions. On such occasions, and whenever possible, itinerary adjustments will be made by EF Gap Year to minimize participant inconvenience. The Standard Cancellation or Interruption Policy will apply should you choose not to travel on a modified program.

Refund Process

When applicable, refunds will be issued only upon request and after a participant’s check(s) has (have) been on the account for 21 days. Refunds will be issued in the name which appears on the EF Gap Year account. All refunds are sent four to six weeks after the request has been processed. There will be a Non-Refundable Fee of $35 to stop payment on lost checks.

Non-refundable service fees and charges include but are not limited to: Global Travel Protection Plan (after the 10-day review period), name change fees, declined credit/debit card fees, late payment fees, returned check fees, and stop payment fees.

PERSONAL DATA

EF will process your personal data in compliance with applicable data protection legislation for the purposes of completing your enrollment, customer service, the purchase of an offered Global Travel Protection Plan, and providing you with the products and services related to your tour.  This may entail sharing your personal data with corporate affiliates, claims handlers, insurance providers, and other business partners both within and outside the U.S., including to and within the EEA/Switzerland.  We have put appropriate safeguards in place for such transfers of your personal data, including the standard data protection clauses adopted by the European Commission.  EF may also use your personal data, combined with data from third parties, to market products and services based on your interests, including by email and SMS/text. You may contact EF at any time to unsubscribe from any direct marketing purposes.

We will only keep your personal data for as long as it is necessary for the purposes for which it has been collected or in accordance with time limits stipulated by law and good market practice unless further retention is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation or for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims. We will keep your personal data for marketing purposes until you withdraw your consent.

If you have questions or requests related to the processing or use of your personal data, would like to have a copy of the information EF holds about you, or have inaccurate personal data corrected or erased, please contact us by phone at 1 800-726-9746 or by email at info@efgapyear.com.

OTHER TERMS AND PROVISIONS

The terms and provisions of these Booking Conditions supersede any other warranties, representations, terms, or conditions unless they are expressly stated within a Booking Conditions Addendum or in a letter signed by an EF Gap Year officer. EF Gap Year makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of its publications, but it cannot be held responsible for typographical or printing errors, including, but not limited to, prices. EF Gap Year programs are not for resale, and participants must enroll directly with EF Gap Year.

By enrolling on an EF Gap Year program, you acknowledge that EF may change the Booking Condition terms from time to time and those changes become effective immediately.  Notice will be provided to you in the event of a material change.  A student’s continued use of EF’s services following such notice constitutes acceptance and agreement to be bound by such changes.  Students agree that the current version of the Booking Conditions in effect at the time of travel or cancellation applies to their tour program.

The tour operator for your trip is EF Education First International, Ltd.,  Selnaustrasse 30, CH-8001, Zurich, Switzerland, organization number CHE109.874.655, VAT number CHE- 116.325.678 MWST. EF Institute for Cultural Exchange, Inc. is an affiliate of EF Education First International, Ltd. and acts only as a marketing services provider for that company. EF Institute for Cultural Exchange Inc. is not an agent of EF Education First International, Ltd. and does not provide any goods or services for your trip. The services provided are tax-exempt with credit in accordance with Swiss Federal Law with regard to VAT Article #23.

THE UNITED STATES TOUR OPERATORS ASSOCIATION $1 MILLION TRAVELERS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

EF Gap Year shares the coverage available under the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program with affiliates of EF Institute for Cultural Exchange, Inc. who, as an Active Member of USTOA, is required to post $1 million with USTOA to be used to reimburse, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the USTOA $1 million Travelers Assistance Program, the advance payments of EF Gap Year customers in the unlikely event of EF Gap Year bankruptcy, insolvency, or cessation of business. Further, you should understand that the $1 million posted by EF Institute for Cultural Exchange, Inc. and shared among its affiliates may be sufficient to provide only a partial recovery of the advance payments received by EF Gap Year. More details of the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program may be obtained by writing to USTOA at 345 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1801, New York, New York 10001, or by email to information@ustoa.com or by visiting USTOA.com.

MEMBERSHIPS

EF Gap Year is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Eastern Massachusetts.

PAYMENT PLAN TERMS & CONDITIONS

Payment Policy

Should you choose the Monthly Payment Plan, 4 Installment Plan, or Pay in Full, the following Terms & Conditions apply.

Monthly Payment Plan

  • Customers who choose the Monthly Payment Plan must pay a minimum of 10% of their balance as a deposit. The remaining balance will be divided equally among the remaining months between enrollment and departure dates.
  • Customers who choose the Monthly Payment Plan will be enrolled in Automatic Payments.
  • Customers who choose the Monthly Payment Plan will have their payments automatically processed on the 1st every month, per the Automatic Payment terms detailed below.
  • Should the customer opt to withdraw from the Monthly Payment Plan or is withdrawn by EF, the traveler will be enrolled in the 4 Installment Plan.

4 Installment Plan

  • Customers who choose the 4 Installment Plan must pay a minimum required deposit as detailed in the Enrollment Conditions section.
  • The remaining balance will be divided equally among 4 installments on due dates per the charts below.
  • Customers who choose the 4 Installment Plan have the option to pay via Automatic or Manual Payments, per the terms detailed below.
Payment Due date
1st installment 120 days prior to departure
2nd installment 90 days prior to departure
3rd installment 60 days prior to departure
4th installment 30 days prior to departure


Payment in Full Upon Enrollment

  • Full payment can be made by check, ATM/debit card (card must display the Visa or MasterCard logo) or credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) at time of enrollment. Should any additional items be added to the cost of program, those payments are due in full at time of purchase.

PAYMENT TYPES

Automatic Payment

  • Customer is enrolled in the Automatic Payment Plan unless the customer chooses to opt out.
  • Customer must select a payment option of either credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or an ATM/debit card (card must display the Visa or MasterCard logo).
  • To proceed with the payment plan, the customer must provide an electronic signature confirming that they are the authorized user of the credit/debit card provided.
  • Due to weekends and holidays, EF reserves the right to debit the customer’s account up to three days after the scheduled payment date.
  • If the customer makes adjustments to their program that result in changes to cost of program, the addition or reduction in charges will be redistributed over the remaining payment schedule.
  • After the final installment payment is made, should any additional items be added to the cost of program, those payments are due in full at the time of purchase (i.e., an added international phone plan purchased through EF Gap Year). Such payments will no longer be automatically deducted.
  • A non-refundable $35 fee will be assessed each time a payment is returned or declined. In these cases, the plan will be recalculated to have the missed payment redistributed across the remaining schedule. EF reserves the right to withdraw travelers from the plan for returns or declines over two consecutive payments. Should the final payment be returned or declined, travelers will automatically be withdrawn from the plan.
  • If the customer opts to withdraw from the Automatic Payment Plan or is withdrawn by EF, the traveler will be enrolled in the Manual Payment Plan, and will be subject to the $95 late fee if payment is not made on schedule.

Manual Payment

  • Payment can be made by check, ATM/debit cards (displaying the Visa or MasterCard logo) or credit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo.
  • A non-refundable late fee of $95 will be assessed for any missed payment.
  • A non-refundable $35 fee will be assessed each time a payment is returned or declined.
  • Participants are responsible for making on-time payments per the schedule above. Failure to make payments on time may result in program cancellation.
  • All payment due dates refer to the dates by which each payment must be received by EF.
  • EF reserves the right to cancel the participant’s reservation if any payment is past due in which case the Standard Cancellation Policy will apply.
  • A customized payment schedule may be available. For more information, please call 1-800-726-9746 and speak with an EF Gap Consultant.
ESSENTIAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (EEC)

 

Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC) for all EF Gap Year Students

EF Gap Year provides experiential education programs for young adults aged 18 to 22. On the program, students travel to up to 10 countries around the world while studying a foreign language, volunteering, and interning abroad.

Successful students are active experiential learners who create growth goals for themselves for enhancing their personal development and intercultural knowledge and then commit to making progress on-program through cultural immersion and hands-on learning.

The health and well-being of our students and promoting student growth are our highest priorities. Our programs can present physical and mental challenges due to their fast-paced nature, which may be outside our travelers’ familiar comfort zones.  This program requires students to be fully committed to and capable of working hard, taking responsibility for themselves, and working effectively within their cohort. This program is not a therapeutic or rehabilitation program (including for court-mandated adjudication) and is not suitable for students that require professional help in these areas.

Successful program participants will be able to meet the Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC) for EF Gap Year programs. If you are unable to meet certain criteria, please contact us to discuss further.

Each EF Gap Year participant must be able to:

  1. Maintain a positive attitude and exhibit a willingness to try new things in a foreign environment and culture.
  2. Travel independently including from your home to scheduled programming and between program components, independently manage daily personal care, and cope with various environmental challenges (heat, cold, altitude, insects, changes in diet). Many program activities require participants to walk unassisted for several miles, be able to lift 40 lbs and follow detailed instructions to avoid hazards. In some cases, participants may choose to opt-out of activities in consultation with program staff and parents.
  3. Effectively communicate to staff if you are under stress and need assistance. Be able to exercise independent judgment in the absence of direct supervision.
  4. Practice self-management techniques in relation to mental health and self-care while abroad. Techniques include the ability to proactively seek help from staff, utilize de-stressing habits such as journaling, exercise, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, proper sleep routines, peer support, and the ability to self-administer ongoing medical treatment while away from home support system.
  5. Carry a copy (copies) of your medical and mental health history from your health care provider(s) at all times and leave a copy (copies) with your designated emergency contacts. Take responsibility for your own self-care and manage any known medical and mental health conditions with a robust support and communication plan between you and your physician(s). If taking prescription medications, be able to independently manage storage, dosage, and administration, and bring a sufficient amount of medication to last for the duration of the EF Gap program or have a plan for how to restock while abroad. Avoid weening or eliminating prescription medication while on the program, unless instructed by your health care provider.
  6. Understand and follow instructions and acknowledge risks and hazards flagged by staff during the program and comply with recommended preventative measures. Students should also exercise good judgment and maintain situational awareness appropriate to circumstances.
  7. Show respect through speech and actions for the new culture and customs that you will encounter while abroad.
  8. Contribute to a safe learning environment—no verbal or physical abuse or inappropriate behavior is tolerated for any reason.
  9. Effectively communicate ideas and concerns on an individual and group level.
  10. Abide by our Rules of the Road and obey all local, national and international laws.

Failure to comply with these EEC may lead to disciplinary action, early dismissal or medical evacuation from the program or any combination of these.  Associated costs will be borne by the program participant or their parents/guardian.