Booking Conditions

  • Last Update: June 26th, 2020

These Booking Conditions are valid for all EF Gap Year Programs and are subject to change with or without notice.

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, extended stays, and premium destinations
  • EF’s policies for cancelling or modifying a Gap program
  • Release of Liability & Agreement

I (or parent/legal guardian if enrollee is under the age of 18 or a minor under any other applicable law) have completely read, understand, and agree to be bound by the incorporated EF Booking Conditions at https://efgapyear.com/get-help/terms-conditions/, which include a Release of Liability & Agreement, Rules of the Road, General Terms & Conditions, Payment Plan Terms & Conditions, Cancellation Policy, and Essential Eligibility Criteria.

I consent to EF’s processing of my personal data as set forth in EF’s Privacy Policy at https://efgapyear.com/get-help/privacy-policy/.

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) will be 18 years or older by program Departure Date. I am an enrollee for an EF Gap Year program (“EF Gap Year” or the “Program”). By signing I understand and agree to the following:

  • 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; 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; epidemics or the threat thereof; disease; 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 this releases EF from any liability that arises from  activities undertaken with no-EF sanctioned vendors and 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Traveler’s Health website at www.cdc.gov/travel and the State Department’s International Travel website at state.gov/travel.  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 commercially unreasonable or impracticable to conduct, or which become necessary or advisable so as to increase the quality of the Program.
  • EF shall have no liability or responsibility for me whatsoever when I am absent from EF-supervised activities or for non-EF supervised activities, which includes the Service learning, Internship, and EF Leadership Academy components of the Program, all free time, visits to friends or relatives, independent travel, or any optional periods or activities.
  • My Program begins with takeoff from the departure airport and ends upon completion of the flight back to the origination (or other arrival) airport. Please note Winter Break is not part of your program; however, should you choose to attend the College Application Seminar, it will be considered part of the program, whether it occurs during your Winter Break or after the completion of your Fall Semester Program.
  • 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 cancel my enrollment in the Program at its sole discretion. In such event, the cancellation policy and associated fees as outlined in the Booking Conditions 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 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 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 when 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 necessitate.
  • 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.
  • It is my responsibility to secure the necessary travel documents (e.g., passport and visa[s]) and all required vaccinations and associated health documents for all locations on my Program (including locations visited during transit) unless specifically arranged for the group by EF. Failure to do so does not constitute grounds for a refund except as provided in for in 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 a 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, 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, and any of my photographic, film, digital, or video content shared by me with EF through any format for future publicity or marketing without compensation to me and also may use my contact information for future EF promotions.
  • 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.

Failure to agree to the Booking Conditions will result in you forfeiting your travel, and you will be subject to the Cancellation Policy in the Booking Conditions.

RULES OF THE ROAD

You agree to abide by all Rules of the Road while enrolled in EF Gap Year or EF Gap Semester programs. 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 the Rules of the Road.

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
Successful completion of this program requires your engagement and active participation. This includes, but is not limited to, any scheduled excursions and events during the immersion tours, all scheduled classes at the language school, commitment to all service work with non-profit partners and their clients, and attending all scheduled business days during an internship. If you need to miss a scheduled event, you must inform an EF Gap Year representative as soon as possible. Repeated absences may result in dismissal from the program.

Being on time
With the exception of free days, most of this program is built around a schedule, and failure to respect that schedule will negatively impact your overall experience and that of your fellow participants. Arriving to all activities on time is a requirement – this includes but is not limited to, group activities on immersion tours or with a service partner, start times of your language classes, being punctual for internships or dinner with a host family. Repeated tardiness is unacceptable and may result in your removal from the program.

Leaving the program early
You are expected to complete the requirements of each module of the program. If you plan to travel or visit family/friends this is only allowed during free time and provided it does not interfere with your participation in any scheduled activities, classes, or internships. Leaving any portion of the program before it is completed is not permitted and may result in automatic withdrawal from any remaining portion of your EF Gap Year or Gap Semester.

Respectful behavior
In order to promote a positive environment for all, it is essential that every individual behave 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, 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 EF Gap Year Participants and EF Gap Year representatives and service providers (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.

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

Alcohol and drug use
If you are under 18 you may not consume alcohol during the program. Participants who are of legal drinking age according to local law may consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and in moderation (defined as 1-2 drinks) 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.

In order to respect our service learning partners and the communities they serve, consumption of alcoholic beverages of any kind is prohibited during your dates of service. This includes nights, weekends or “free” days during your engagement with any service organization. Failure to adhere to this rule may result in dismissal from the program.

Recreational drug use is strictly prohibited during the program, even in countries where drugs may be legal or socially acceptable. The use of any such drugs may result in immediate dismissal from the program.

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

PRICING

The program’s base price includes:

  • Program price based on standard rooming occupancy
  • $500 nonrefundable application fee
  • 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

 

The $500 nonrefundable application fee includes:

  • Processing services by EF Gap Year staff to review your application and secure your place in the program
  • Preliminary reservations with suppliers

 

What’s not included in the basic 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
  • Premium city costs
  • 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 and reciprocity fees
  • Optional global mobile phone service package
  • Optional College Application Seminar
  • 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 Advisor. 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 reserve a place in an EF Gap Year program, you must first speak with an EF Gap Year Consultant.  A completed enrollment application and a $500 nonrefundable application fee is then required within 10 days to secure a 30-minute interview with EF Gap Year; otherwise you may lose your reserved spot for an interview.

Applicants will receive a final decision within 5 days of the interview. If you choose to withdraw your application during this 5-day window before the final decision is sent, the $500 application fee will be refunded in full.  If you are not accepted into the program following your interview, the $500 application fee will be refunded in full. If you are accepted into the program following your interview, the $500 application fee is automatically applied to the total program fee and EF Gap Year’s payment plan and cancellation policies apply immediately.

A 10% deposit of the total program fee must be paid within 15 days of acceptance to secure your spot on the program. (see “Standard Payment Policy” and “Standard Cancellation Policy”).

To lock in the program fee, the 10% deposit must be paid more than 150 days prior to Departure Date.   If the 10% deposit is made within 150 days prior to Departure Date, there may be a travel variance supplement added to the program fee.

Gap Year students: You may modify the destination choices of your Language Study, Service Learning, and Internship program modules until 90 days prior to Gap Year program start date with no penalty. Gap Semester students: You may modify your choice of Customized program Modules (Language Study, Service learning, or Internship) as well as your choice of destinations for each of those modules up to 90 days prior to departure with no penalty. Any change is 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. After departure, any requested change will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and an on-program change fee of $2,500 is required along with the adjusted program fee. EF Gap Year’s Booking Conditions will apply to all modified programs.

Students must sign EF Gap Year’s Booking Conditions within 15 days of acceptance into the program—otherwise their reserved places in the program are subject to cancellation.

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 accuracy. 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. If you need to make any changes to this information, it is your responsibility to notify EF within 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.

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 documents.

 

GLOBAL TRAVEL PROTECTION

Global Travel Protection Plan
All EF Gap Year participants are required to maintain adequate insurance throughout the term of their program.  EF Gap Year offers a specially designed Travel Protection Plan for its program participants that meets all of the program’s requirements and recommendations. Note that the cost of this Travel Protection Plan is not included in the Gap Year or Gap Semester base price, but rather is an additional charge.  The Travel Protection Plan becomes non-refundable after any of the following occur: 10 days after receipt, when you depart on your tour or when you file a claim. To review the full coverage terms please visit: http://sis-inc.biz/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 EF Gap Year’s Global Travel Protection Plan, you will need to provide proof of adequate insurance coverage 30 days after enrollment.

Participants who purchase the Travel Protection Plan have the opportunity to cancel the trip until 60 days prior to departure due to reasons not covered by the insurance underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company and receive the value of the application fee ($500) in the form of a future travel voucher, valid for 12 months from the date of cancellation and applicable towards an EF Gap year rebooking or an EF Ultimate Break Tour or a EF International Language Campuses.  If transferring voucher to EF Ultimate Break or an EF International Language Campus, the participant is responsible for finding the Tour or program and final placement is based on availability. The participant must notify EF Gap Year prior to booking another program, to allow voucher redemption.

 

ROOMING
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.

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. 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 with 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.

ITINERARY MODIFICATIONS AND UNEXPECTED EVENTS
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 operate efficiently, 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.

EF also retains the right to modify, delay, or cancel all or a portion of a program itinerary as a result of unforeseeable events that are beyond EF Gap Year’s reasonable control, including but not limited to acts of God, war (whether declared or undeclared), terrorist activities or threats of terrorist activities, instability in a destination country, incidents of violence, public health issues or quarantine or threats of public health issues, substantial currency fluctuations, strikes, government restrictions, fire or severe weather conditions, or any other reason that makes it impossible or commercially unreasonable in the sole opinion of EF Gap Year to conduct the program as originally contracted. Modifications, delay in performance, or cancellations by EF Gap Year for causes described in this section shall not be a violation of its obligations to any participant.

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

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
Travel documents, including travel itineraries, hotel accommodations, and a copy of the flight itinerary, are available approximately 14 days prior to start of module. If your mailing address changes or if you want your final documents sent to a different address, you must notify EF Gap Year prior to 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 responsible for obtaining any travel documents and verifying entry requirements necessary for each country of travel on your selected program itinerary, including any required visa or vaccinations, as EF Gap Year is not responsible for providing this information or documentation. 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. You are responsible for any expenses incurred as a result of delays or itinerary changes related to your lack of appropriate travel documents and are therefore ineligible for any refund from EF Gap Year. 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: www. travel.state.gov.

LOST BELONGINGS
EF is not responsible for loss of passports, airline tickets 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 to 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 reserving your tour so your 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.

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 case of an emergency.

The possession and intake of any prescription medication is solely the responsibility of the student.

DIETARY RESTRICTIONS
EF recognizes that some participants may have dietary restrictions or severe food allergies. 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 EF residence halls. 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 with share a hotel or hostel room or 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.
  • Overnight trains provide couchette sleeping berths or recliners. The couchettes contain up to six fold-out beds that come down from the wall; these compartments may not be exclusive to EF participants and may be mixed gender. Private bathrooms are not available on overnight trains.

Meals

  • Breakfast is included. Select dinners are also included – these are 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 from 8:00 to 20:00. EF language lessons have duration of at least 40 minutes and are often held in blocks of 2 x 40 minutes. Students are required to have an 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 to 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 travelling 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 (https://my.ef.com/Layouts/ExternalPages/Privacy_policy.aspx).

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
Accommodation differs by host country; students may stay in a hotel, hostel, service project center, or a homestay shared with other volunteers. Accommodations may not have 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 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 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 full business day, and complete all tasks assigned to them. Failure to do so, may result in dismissal form 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.

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 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

This agreement’s 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.

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

As an active member of USTOA, EF Gap Year 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 Gap Year 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

Percentages listed below are of the total program fee, including the initial deposit.

For the avoidance of doubt, payment dates correlate to the 5 month period prior to travel year departure date (e.g., Gap Year and Fall Semester 2021 departures will commence payment schedule no later than 1 May 2021).

Program: Gap Year / Gap Fall Semester

Departure: September

Payment due by % of program fee due
Upon program booking 10%
1-May 15%
1-Jun 25%
1-Jul 25%
1-Aug 25%

 

 

Program: Gap Spring Semester

Departure: January

Payment due by % of program fee due
Upon program booking 10%
1-Sep 15%
1-Oct 25%
1-Nov 25%
1-Dec 25%

 

Program: Costa Rica Immersion

Departure: October

Payment due by % of program fee due
Upon program booking 10%
1-Jun 15%
1-Jul 25%
1-Aug 25%
1-Sept 25%

 

 

Payment Process

Participants have the option to pay in full upon enrollment or pay via an Automatic or Manual Payment Plan.

 

AUTOMATIC PAYMENT PLAN

  • 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 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 PLAN

  • 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.

 

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.
CANCELLATION POLICY

Standard cancellation policy

Cancellation is defined as your decision to leave the program prior to its departure. The cancellation schedule outlined below takes into consideration the costs EF incurs long before groups ever depart. 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 penalties 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.

There is a cancellation fee of $150 if you book our optional College Application Seminar and then cancel it any time after your departure on the program.

Percentages listed below are of the total program fee.  For the avoidance of doubt, dates correlate to the 5 month period prior to travel year departure date.  Non-refundable service fees and charges include but are not limited to: application fee, 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.

 

Program: Gap Year / Gap Fall Semester

Departure: September

Cancel by Refund
1-May 100%
1-Jun 90%
1-Jul 50%
1-Aug 40%

 

 

 

Program: Gap Spring Semester

Departure: January

Cancel by Refund
1-Sep 100%
1-Oct 90%
1-Nov 50%
1-Dec 40%

 

Program: Costa Rica Immersion

Departure: October

Cancel by Refund
15-Jul 100%
1-Aug 50%
1-Sept 40%

 

At its sole discretion, EF reserves the right to cancel your enrollment in the program at any time prior to departure. In such cases refunds would be assessed according to rates in the Standard cancellation policy above.

 

Standard interruption policy

Interruption is defined as your decision to leave the program after it has begun. 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 reason for departure. Students whose program is terminated due to violation of EF’s written disciplinary and/or attendance policies or local, state or federal laws will not be eligible for any refund.

Percentages listed below are of the total program fee. Non-refundable service fees and charges include but are not limited to: application fee, 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 dates / year during which participants are on program.

 

Program: Gap Year

Departure: September

Interrupt by Refund
30-Sep 40%
31-Oct 30%
31-Dec 20%

 

 

Program: Gap Fall Semester

Departure: September

Interrupt by Refund
30-Sep 30%
31-Oct 20%

 

 

Program: Gap Spring Semester

Departure Date: January

Interrupt by Refund
31-Jan 30%
29-Feb 20%

 

 

Program: Costa Rica Immersion

Departure: October

Interrupt by Refund
31-Oct 30%
30-Nov 20%

 

Refund process

If a participant is eligible for a refund, it will either be mailed via check or credited back to the card used to make the original payment (if this is within six months of the last payment made). Please allow six weeks for a refund to be processed. For credit and debit card payment, refunds can only be made back to the same card used previously, and only up to the amount previously paid on that specific card. There will be a non-refundable $35 stop-payment fee for lost refund checks.

Non-refundable service fees and charges include but are not limited to: application fee, 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.

ESSENTIAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC)

EF Gap Year is an 8, 12 or 25-week experiential education program for young adults age 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.

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.

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 judgement 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 ability to self-administer ongoing medical treatment while away from home support system.
  5. Manage known medical conditions. 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 program.
  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 code of conduct and obey all local, national and international laws.

 

Failure to comply with this 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.