to read our terms and conditions for Higher Education programmes
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. We’ll inform you quickly and propose an alternative course if the one you have chosen is full. We recommend that you to book your flight/train ticket once you have received your booking confirmation from our admissions centre. In the case of a late enrolment, 2 weeks (or less) prior to your departure, a last-minute fee of EUR 30 is invoiced. The total amount in foreign currency, relative to your trip, is converted into euros the day your invoice is issued (approx. 6 weeks prior to your departure). The choice of payment in foreign currency needs to be specified at the time of the initial booking. International banking fees amounting to EUR 10 will be charged for any money transfer made by ESL – Language Studies Abroad to its partner schools.
The deposit amount of EUR 300, as well as the insurance fee (if booked, see point 6), are to be paid following the reception of the enrolment confirmation. The balance is due at the latest 4 weeks prior to the course start. If the booking is made less than 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the course, a deposit amount of EUR 300 is requested at the time of enrolment, to be paid by credit card. Payment of the outstanding balance is due upon receipt of the invoice. Transaction costs for payment of the deposit amount (EUR 300) by credit card are waived. For any other payment by credit card, additional fees equivalent to 0.3% of the total amount are charged. The flights must be paid for upon confirmation. The total payment needs to reach us prior to your departure. In the case of non-payment of the deposit and/or balance, your booking may be cancelled by ESL – Language studies abroad (according to the conditions of cancellation mentioned in point 4). Your file is sent to you following reception of the full payment (around 10 days prior to your departure).
3. Changes to booking
Prior to your departure
For every change in booking taking place prior to your departure, we invoice a levy of a minimum EUR 30 and a maximum EUR 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 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 30 euros will be charged. A change of school is considered as a cancellation in accordance with the conditions specified in point 4.
Following your departure
Shortening the course originally booked is considered a cancellation and does not entitle you to a refund. Please contact the school directly if you are leaving the school prematurely, wish to change your accommodation option or would like to request any other change. If the change requested is the result of a complaint, please refer to point 12.
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 300 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 300 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 days 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.
Cancellation due to visa denial
If you are forced to cancel your course due to visa denial after a timely visa application, all payments and deposits will be returned except a EUR 300 cancellation fee. You will need to present a document demonstrating the visa denial at least 2 weeks prior to your departure date. If we have not received such a document at least 2 weeks prior to your departure, cancellation fees in accordance with the conditions specified in point 4b will apply.
Student residences/apartments/studios/hotel rooms are subject to the terms and conditions of cancellation of the various local service providers used by our partner schools, and the cancellation fees are generally higher than for host families. Detailed terms and conditions of cancellation are available on request.
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 fee; 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).
Free ESL exam cancellation insurance
If you have to sit an exam for which a negative result would influence your departure, it is possible to take out our free exam cancellation insurance. Should the case arise, we request that you produce an official document as proof of the above-mentioned situation. You will get a full refund. We ask you to please note that the plane ticket is separate and is not part of this cancellation insurance. This insurance is valid up to 10 days prior to departure.
7. Conditions of admission into destination country
All the conditions imposed by your trip abroad (obtaining a visa, valid insurance, customs formalities, etc.) are your responsibility. You are responsible for respecting all the major instructions concerning your journey. If you fail to do so, the fees, in particular the cancellation fees, will be at your charge, except if it is due to incorrect 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 to expel a participant if their behaviour detracts from the smooth running of the programme, if it contravenes the rules of the establishment or if it breaks the law of the host country. All fees, including the return journey, fines, etc. are at the expense of the participant or of the parents. The participants, or their legal guardian, are also responsible for any damages or losses caused during their stay.
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 the service providers as well as the passing on of travel documents to the point of sale/client. ESL – Language studies abroad can in no case be held responsible in the case of an accident in the place of the stay or during the journey. Only the responsibility of the service provider (school, airline company...) can become involved. ESL – Language studies abroad assumes no responsibility for compensation requests linked to airline agreements. The passenger is notified that ESL – Language studies abroad does not organise airline journeys and only intervenes in the matter as an intermediary. In this regard, we attract your attention to the terms and conditions of the partner travel agency. ESL – Language studies abroad cannot be held responsible for any eventual 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. 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.
11. 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 the 10 days following our confirmation.
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.
13. Course material
The course material is not systematically included in the price of the stay. In this case, it is to be paid on-site and varies depending on the development of your language level (duration of stay), according to the chosen programme (specific courses, exam preparation courses), or according to the personal needs of the students (support, one-to-one classes).
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.
15. Course changes
According to the number of participants, their language level or the season, our partner schools are sometimes obliged to replace booked group courses by one-to-one classes (of fewer lessons). These changes do not give way to any refund.
16. Promotional material
ESL – Language Studies Abroad reserves the right to keep and/or use, for promotional purposes, the images and photographs which were taken within its partner schools or within the framework of a language study trip abroad in agreement with the participants. In return, ESL – Language Studies Abroad commits itself to confidentiality and discretion, in order to preserve the rights of its clients, in accordance with the current legislation.
17. Lowest price guarantee
If, within the 30 days following the payment of your invoice, you find exactly the same programme including the same benefits for the same dates (identical school and accommodation) offered by another language travel organisation in your country and at a published rate in an official brochure and in the currency of the concerned country which is at a lower price than that paid to ESL - Language studies abroad, we commit ourselves to refunding you the difference. This guarantee excludes promotional offers or personalised price quotes of other language travel organisations as well as the following services: plane tickets, insurance policies, hotels, etc.
18. Place of jurisdiction
Only the rulings of Swiss law are applicable in subsequent relations between you and ESL – Language Studies Abroad. The place of jurisdiction is Montreux.
ESL Education SA
PO Box 1204
T: +41 (0) 21 962 88 80
F: +41 (0) 21 962 88 81