Gap Year, Terms and conditions
Gap Year

Terms and conditions

Long term study in immersion: Terms and conditions

Click here 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). The enrolment form can be filled out by hand and sent via email or done directly online. Once we have received your enrolment, 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. In the case of a late enrolment (less than 2 weeks prior to your departure), a last-minute fee of EUR 30 is invoiced. The total cost of your booking is calculated in the original currency and converted into EUR the day your invoice is issued (approx. 6 weeks prior to your departure). We apply an exchange rate based on the interbank rate of the day plus a small supplement in order to cover exchange risks. Should you choose to make payment in original foreign currency, you must specify this at the time of 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.

2. Payment

After receiving enrolment confirmation, you must pay a deposit of EUR 300, and the final balance is due no later than 4 weeks prior to the course start date.  If, however, the enrolment is made less than 8 weeks prior to the course start, you must pay a deposit of EUR 300 by credit card at the time of enrolment, and payment of the outstanding balance is due upon receipt of the invoice.
 
Credit card transaction costs for payment of the deposit (EUR 300) will be waived, while for any other credit card payments, an additional fee of 1.88% of the total amount will be charged.

The flights must be paid for once your plane ticket has been confirmed. The total payment must 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 containing all your course and accommodation information will be sent to you following receipt of the full payment (usually 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 (e.g. change of course type, accommodation), we invoice an administration fee of a minimum of EUR 30 and a maximum of EUR 100. 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.

4. Cancellation

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.

Concerning accommodation
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.

6. Insurance

ELVIA cancellation/assistance insurance
ELVIA cancellation travel insurance may be taken out for all of our language studies abroad with our partner Allianz Global Assistance. In the case of incapacity to travel (illness, accident, death of a relative, employment or loss of a job, stolen passport, etc.) occuring prior to your departure, this insurance covers you personally against cancellation fees. This insurance also covers assistance (early return, hospital transport, repatriation, etc.) for the first 3 months of your stay. If the planned stay is longer than 3 months, it is possible to extend the assistance coverage. By opting for this insurance during your enrolment, you accept the Allianz Global Assistance insurance terms and conditions. Contractual clauses are available on request or on our website.

MONDIAL ASSISTANCE

Accident/health insurance
You are obliged to be covered against the risks of illness and accidents abroad. It is necessary to announce your departure abroad to your health insurance/social security provider (or additional mutual insurance company).

Accident/health Insurance (Globe Partner contract)
You are obliged to be covered against the risks of illness and accidents abroad. ESL – Language Studies Abroad can offer you medical insurance coverage thanks to the "Globe Partner" contract (terms and conditions available on request). Please note, however, that for stays of a maximum of 12 weeks within the European Union, you may be covered by your own health insurance policy. We strongly recommend that you contact them directly and ask for a European health insurance card.
 
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 of the conditions imposed 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, in particular the cancellation fees, will be at your own expense, except if due to false 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 his/her 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 of the fees, including the return journey, fines, etc. will be at the expense of the participant. Course 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 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. The passenger is notified that 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 reservds 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 such as 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.

12. Complaints

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

Not all of the course material is necessarily included in the price of the stay. It should be paid for on-site and the exact cost varies depending on the progression of your language level and duration of stay according to the chosen programme (specific courses, exam preparation courses), or according to the personal needs of the students. To give an estimate, the price of course material may vary between EUR 20 and EUR 100.

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 30 days following payment of your invoice, you find a lower price with another language travel agency than that paid to ESL – Language Studies Abroad, we commit to refunding you the difference. The offer must be published in an official brochure or website in the destination country’s currency, and the dates and benefits (identical school and accommodation) must be the same. 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
Grand-Rue 50
PO Box 1204
CH-1820 Montreux
 
T: +41 (0) 21 962 88 80
F: +41 (0) 21 962 88 81
E: info@esl.ch

5 REASONS TO CHOOSE ESL – LANGUAGE STUDIES ABROAD

  1. Star Agency Europe
  2. ESL – LANGUAGE STUDIES ABROAD IS EUROPE’S STAR AGENCY  

    ESL – Language studies abroad won Star Agency Western Europe for the fifth time at the 2016 ST Star Awards. 

  3. BEST PRICE GUARANTEE 

    If you find our programmes cheaper with another language travel agency, you will be refunded 100% of the price difference.

  4. FREE AND PERSONALISED SERVICE 

    We offer you free and personal advice before, during and after your language course abroad.

  5. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION 

    In 2017, 96% of our students would recommend ESL – Language studies abroad to their friends and relatives. 

  6. CERTIFIED QUALITY 

    ESL – Language studies abroad is accredited by quality control bodies in the tourism and education industries.  

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TESTIMONIALS

After spending 3 months of pure happiness, it’s sad that I have to leave this incredible place with the head full of good memories and magical experiences like Niagara Falls, basketball game, visits in downtown, ice skating and celebrations far from our families like Christmas organized by the school. In addition to that I enjoyed participating in the after school clubs allowing me to learn even more and have a great time. Thanks to this experience I met incredible people (Brazilians, Asians, Russians, Mexicans, etc.) from all over the world that I want and will visit. The supervisors are excellent and always listen to my requests. I definitely recommend to everybody to live the same experience as me but all good things have an end and now it’s my time.

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Sirine Tounsi

In October 2017, I decided to go to Toronto for 2 months. I had just finished my studies, and I had always dreamt about going to Canada. I wanted to improve my English, so I decided to take an 8-week intensive course at OHC – a school I highly recommend. I became friend with students from all over the world and with very nice teachers. I was surprised to see how fast I improved; I passed 2 levels in 8 weeks! In order to be in total immersion, I chose to live with a host family. If you don’t like rules, I suggest staying in a student residence – you’ll have more freedom. I loved the style of the city (I’m Parisian, so everything looked very different). Toronto has the advantage of being close to French-speaking Québec and to the US – you should visit New York, as I did! If I could do it all over again, I would! Thank you ESL for making my dream come true in a few days only.

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Sara Mateos Arévalo

My name is Sara and I decided to take a course in Lyon to improve my level of French. I had started to take French classes again in Barcelona and I thought it would be a good idea to give them a boost.

I wasn’t very clear on my destination, but I finally chose Lyon because it’s a city that has everything but it’s not as big as Paris. And, as the language travel advisor that I am, and knowing the academic quality of the Alpadia school, I thought it would be a good option.

After having been there, I can say that Lyon is an ideal destination for linguistic immersion. As a city, it has everything: shops, good public transport, restaurants, bars, tourism, parks, etc. What’s more, you’re constantly surrounded by events, culture and French cuisine, and it’s a city where a lot of French natives live. That’s why you can also learn about its customs and lifestyle in addition to the language.

The first day when I arrived to my host family’s home, it was a little difficult for me to speak even though I understood Sylvie (the woman who was hosting me) very well. In the mornings, she was already working, but I enjoyed waking up and having a leisurely breakfast. In the afternoons after the activities, I went home and she was preparing dinner. I sat in the kitchen with her while she taught me French recipes. Every night we cooked a different dish, and she even taught me how to make French crêpes! I stayed in her daughter’s room who was studying in Toulouse. To this day, we still write to each other.

With regard to the school, the first day they had me arrive half an hour early to show us new students the school, city, etc. and introduce us to each other. We had 4 and a half hours of class, but the time flew by, as the teaching method that they use is very dynamic and you have two different teachers. My morning teacher made the classes very exciting and helped us improve our weaknesses. The afternoon teacher, on the other hand, gave us a topic to debate and she made us talk a lot while she provided us with useful, daily vocabulary.

There were only 6 students in class, perfect for learning more easily. At school there was a great atmosphere with a good group of students open to meeting new people and making plans after class. I felt like a part of the group from day one. The mix of nationalities was very good with few Spanish-speaking students. In the whole school, there were only two Spanish and two Mexican students, although we weren’t in the same class. Almost all of them were Swiss (from different regions), and there were students of all ages (18-22, 25-28 and 40+).

Every afternoon, the school offered an activity for whoever wanted to participate (movie, visits around Lyon, wine tasting, etc.). At the beginning of the week, they posted a schedule of the week’s activities on the bulletin board. You just needed to sign up and show up at the meeting point at the time specified (even though almost all of us went there together directly from school). The activity I liked the most was wine tasting because we went to a really authentic wine cellar where they gave us different wines and cheeses. For me, this was a very French experience!

To sum up, I’d like to say that for me, it was a great decision to take an intensive course and stay with a host family, since I learned a ton and at the end of my stay, I noticed that I really improved my fluency when speaking French. The truth is that I had a great experience and I would have liked to be able to stay for another week.

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THE ESL COMMUNITY

Check out our blogs, social network pages and various online platforms to read travel stories, articles and reviews from our students on language courses abroad.

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