1. Enrolment & confirmation
By enrolling, you accept the contract and travel terms and conditions of ESL Education SA (ESL – Language studies abroad). Once we have received your enrolment via email or post, we will confirm your language stay within 7 days. If the course you have chosen is full, we will inform you as soon as possible and offer an alternative course. We recommend that you book your flight/train ticket once you have received your booking confirmation from our admissions centre. In the case of a late enrolment (less than 2 weeks prior to your departure), a last-minute fee of EUR/USD 30 is invoiced.
An enrolment fee of EUR/USD 60 is not included in the price of the course. The deposit amount of EUR/USD 300, as well as the insurance fee (if booked, see point 6) must be paid by credit card at the time of enrolment. Any flights booked by ESL must be paid for upon confirmation. An invoice will be sent to you for the remaining total balance, which must be paid 4 weeks prior to the course start at the latest. Accepted payment options include credit card or bank transfer. ESL – Language studies abroad may cancel your booking in the case of non-payment of the deposit or the remaining balance (according to the cancellation conditions mentioned in point 4). Your file will be sent to you after we have received your payment in full (approximately 10 days prior to your departure).
In the case of non-payment of the deposit and/or balance of your invoice, your booking will be cancelled by ESL – Language studies abroad (according to the conditions of cancellation mentioned in point 4). After receiving the full payment, your file will be sent to you (around 10 days prior to your departure). If you book through a consultancy agency, we are only bound to fulfil the contract once your payment has been transferred to us. If flights are booked through our agency, they must be paid upon confirmation of your flight ticket.
Young participants can book an unaccompanied minor service for their flights with the airline company. If booked, the partner schools welcoming the participant must be informed of this at the time of registration. Additional fees may be charged by the schools for this service (see price list in your destination under "options and extras").
3. Changes to booking
Prior to your departure
For every change to your booking made prior to your departure (e.g. change of course type, accommodation), we invoice an administration fee of a minimum of EUR/USD 30 and a maximum of EUR/USD 100. If you wish to amend the type of course or accommodation booked, reduce the length of your stay or postpone your stay, a fee of EUR/USD 100 will be charged. If you wish to change your arrival or departure date, add a service to your reservation or change the transfer booked, a fee of EUR/USD 30 will be charged. A change of school is considered as a cancellation in accordance with the conditions specified in point 4.
Following your departure
Following your departure, if you decide to shorten or change the course initially booked, you will not be entitled to a refund. If you would like to change your type of accommodation or make any other change, please contact our admissions department. Please note that change of booking fees may apply.
In the case of a change in booking after the ticket confirmation, tour operators' or airline companies' change fees will be invoiced to you in full.
Concerning Language studies abroad
a) A potential cancellation needs to reach us by registered letter. If the cancellation occurs more than 30 days prior to your departure, a fee of EUR/USD 160 (+ insurance fees) will be invoiced to you.
b) If your cancellation occurs less than 30 days prior to your departure, you will be charged cancellation fees of a minimum of EUR/USD 160 (+ insurance fees) or the following fees:
-from 29 to 15 days prior to the departure: 20%
-from 14 to 8 days prior to the departure: 40%
-from 7 to 1 day(s) prior to the departure: 80%
-From the first day of your stay or in the case of an early return, no refund will be granted.
In the case of a cancellation in booking after the ticket confirmation, tour operators' or airline companies' change fees will be invoiced to you in full.
5. Travel guarantee
ESL – Language studies abroad is a member of the Guarantee Fund of the Swiss travel industry. This Guarantee Fund will refund you the package cost of your language study stay in the case of failure or bankruptcy of the service provider prior to your departure. If bankruptcy were to occur following your departure, the Guarantee Fund would cover the return travel fees if the service provider does not fulfil its obligations.
All students partaking in a language stay with ESL – Language studies abroad should be covered by an insurance policy during their time abroad. If you are interested in contracting insurance through our trusted provider, who offers all types of insurance, please tell us at the time of enrolment. Available insurance policies include cancellation insurance: in the case of inability to travel prior to your departure (illness, accident, death of a relative, employment or loss of a job, stolen passport, etc.), you will not be charged any fees; assistance insurance (early return, hospital transport, repatriation, etc.); and accident and health insurance. It is also necessary to announce your departure abroad to your health insurance/social security provider (or additional mutual insurance company).
7. Conditions of admission into the destination country
All the conditions required by the trip abroad (obtaining a visa, valid insurance, customs formalities, etc.) are the responsibility of the client. We will provide the client with the information given by the embassies and help you in the steps towards obtaining a visa. You are responsible for complying with the entrance requirements for your destination country. If you fail to do so, the fees, especially the cancellation fees, will be at your own expense, except if due to incorrect information or to the non–transmission of information from ESL – Language studies abroad.
8. Reserved rights of the organiser
ESL – Language studies abroad and our partner schools reserve the right to refuse an enrolment or expel a participant if their behaviour detracts from the smooth running of the programme, if it contradicts the rules of the establishment or if it breaks the laws of the host country. All fees, including the return journey, fines, etc. will be at the expense of the participant or of the parents. Course participants, or their legal guardian, are also responsible for any damages or losses caused during their stay.
Our partner schools generally ask parents or legal guardians of the participant to sign one or several release forms concerning the authorisations and the understanding of the rules in force. ESL – Language studies abroad will send you the respective forms. If the required documents are not signed and sent back within 10 days prior to the trip to ESL – Language studies abroad, the booked programme will be automatically cancelled (according to the cancellation conditions mentioned in point 4).
Junior programmes include a set of organised services (courses, activities, excursions, meals) for which participation is compulsory. Any absence will be noted by the partner school and reported to the parents/legal guardian. Repeated and unjustified absences are considered a breach of the school's rules and could lead to the expulsion of the participant.
9. Responsibility of the organiser
ESL - Language studies abroad cannot be held responsible for the impossibility of assuring the services initially planned by reason of failure of its service providers, conflicts, or serious problems outside of its control. ESL - Language studies abroad is responsible as a language travel agent for the authenticity of its brochure, the accuracy of its content, the conscientious choice of its service providers as well as the passing on of travel documents to the client. ESL - Language studies abroad cannot be held responsible for accidents which take place during the language stay or during the journey. The only responsible party that can become involved is the service provider (school). ESL - Language studies abroad assumes no responsibility for compensation requests linked to airline agreements. ESL - Language studies abroad cannot be held responsible for any potential changes to the programme (courses, classes, accommodation details, etc.) which its partner schools may be forced to make. ESL - Language studies abroad reserves the right to change, without prior notice, the content of its brochure as well as the chosen service providers.
10. Accommodation and host family
The contact details of the host family (name, telephone, full address) will be communicated to you by email around 7 days prior to your departure. It is possible that a last-minute change can take place for reasons beyond our control. Requests concerning the distance from the school, the presence of children and the presence of domestic animals are not guaranteed. If your child is on a special diet, follows medical treatment or suffers from any allergies, our Admissions Centre must be informed before the start of the programme so that the school can guarantee suitable accommodation.
11. Cancellation of a programme
The organiser may cancel a programme in the case of unforeseeable circumstances, by order of local authorities, a strike, natural disaster, unrest or other restrictive reasons. The total amount paid for the course will be immediately returned; however, in all cases, the organiser reserves the right to keep compensation for the services partially provided.
12. Price changes
ESL – Language studies abroad reserves the right to modify the prices in the case of unpredictable changes, such as monetary fluctuations, an increase in transport costs, the introduction or increase of state taxes like airport taxes or VAT. If the increase is more than 10% of the rate confirmed by ESL – Language studies abroad, you have the right to terminate your contract with ESL – Language studies abroad, without paying any charge, by registered post, within 10 days of receiving our confirmation.
13. Arrival and departure dates
The Junior programmes start and finish on fixed dates. In the case of an early arrival or a late departure, a charge for the extra nights as well as the airport transfer will be invoiced. Please note that a change of booking fee may be charged.
14. Bank holidays
If teaching does not take place on bank holidays and the classes are not made up by our partner schools, the missed hours will not be reimbursed.
Any complaint must be made directly to the school and during the duration of your stay. If your approach to the school is not effective, only then should you contact ESL – Language studies abroad. If the problem cannot be solved directly, you can demand a written report from the school and address it to us with your complaint, at the latest 30 days following your return. Any complaint made after this deadline is inadmissible.
16. Activity programme and optional activities
The activities presented in our brochure or online are given by way of example and may vary according to circumstances. Please note that 1-week programmes may not include weekend activities. A written release/authorisation from the legal guardian may be requested for special activities, including diving, surfing, sailing, horse riding, paragliding, canoeing, etc. If the required form is not issued at the latest 10 days before the start of the programme, ESL Language Studies reserves the right to cancel the activities in question. No refunds will be granted.
17. Promotional material
ESL – Language studies abroad reserves the right to keep and/or use pictures or photographs taken in its partner schools or during the language course for promotional purposes, with the agreement of the parents or legal guardians. In return, ESL – Language studies abroad agrees to respect the privacy of its participants in order to preserve the rights of its clients, in accordance with the current legislation.
18. Protection of personal data
ESL – Language studies abroad agrees to process your personal information in accordance with the current laws on the protection of privacy. Your personal information may be shared with the partners of ESL – Language studies abroad for the sole purpose of executing the contract. The data may also be used in order to contact and inform you about the programmes and services provided by ESL – Language studies abroad. You have the right to object to the use of your personal information for marketing purposes, on request and free of charge, and you have the right to object to and rectify your personal information. Minors must be represented by their parents or legal representatives. To exercise your rights, you can contact ESL – Language studies abroad, Grand-Rue 50, PO Box 1204, CH-1820 Montreux.
19. Responsible organisations
Organisations of our respective partner schools.