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 can be handwritten/sent by fax (enrolment form), made by telephone/orally or through our website. Once we have received your enrolment, we will confirm your language stay within 7 days. We inform you quickly and propose an alternative course if the courses you have chosen are full. 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). We apply an exchange rate based on the inflated interbank rate of the day in order to cover exchange risks. 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.

2. Payment

The deposit amount of EUR 300 is 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 amounting to 1.88% of the amount are charged.

The flights must be paid for once your plane ticket has been confirmed. 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. A change of school is considered as a cancellation in accordance with the conditions specified in point 4.

Following your departure
Following your departure, any change in the initial arrangement does not bring about a reopening of your file. Contact the school directly if you are leaving the school prematurely, wish to change your accommodation option or want to ask for any other change. If the change is with regard to a complaint, refer to point 12.

4. Cancellation

Concerning language studies abroad
a) An eventual 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 is 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 1st day of your stay or in the case of an early return, no refund is granted.

Cancellation due to Visa Denial
If you are forced to cancel the course due to visa denial after a timely visa application, all payments and deposits will be returned subject to a EUR 300 cancellation fee. You will need to present a document demonstrating the visa denial at least 2 weeks prior to your departure. 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 4 b will apply.

Concerning flights
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, except if you have an insurance which partly covers cancellation fees (cf. point 6).

Concerning accommodation
The residences/apartments/studios/hotel rooms are subject to the terms and conditions of cancellation of the various local service providers and the cancellation fees are generally higher than for host families. Detailed terms and conditions of cancellation on request.

5. Travel guarantee

ESL – Language Studies Abroad is a member of the Guarantee Fund of the Swiss travel industry. This Guarantee Fund refunds you the package costs of your language study stay, in the case of failure or insolvency of the service provider prior to your departure. If the insolvency were to occur following your departure, the Guarantee Fund would take charge of the return travel fees, insofar as the service provider does not fulfil its obligations.

6. Insurance

ELVIA cancellation/assistance insurance
An ELVIA cancellation fees-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 close one, 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 guarantees (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 cover. 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.


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 organisation (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 such a medical assistance cover thanks to the "Globe Partner" contract (terms and conditions available on request).
Please note however that for every stay of a maximum of 12 weeks within the European Community, you may be covered by your own Health Insurance fund. We strongly recommend that you directly contact them 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 your trip abroad (obtaining a visa, valid insurance, customs formalities, etc.) are your responsibility. We provide you with the information given by the embassies and help you in the steps towards obtaining a visa. You are responsible for respecting all of 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 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 to expel a participant if his/her 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 of the 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 responsibilty 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 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, the authorities' order, a strike, unrest or other restrictive reasons. The total amount paid for the course is immediately returned, however, in all cases,  the organiser may keep a 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.

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, contact ESL Education SA. 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

All of 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). To give you an idea, the price of course material varies between EUR 20 and EUR 100.

14. Bank holidays

If teaching does not take place on bank holidays and if the classes are not made up for by our partner schools, the missed hours are not 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 and goods of its clients, in accordance with the legislation in force.

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. Responsible organisations

Organisations of our respective partner schools.

19. Place of jurisdiction

Only the disposals 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


  1. Star Agency Europe

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


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


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


    In 2016, 97% of our students would recommend ESL – Language studies abroad to their friends and relatives. 


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


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Hannelore V.

Bournemouth is a pleasant city with a nice beach, lots of sports facilities and beautiful gardens. My two-weeks stay was a great experience. I took classes at Kings. This school has a very good reputation and its teaching staff is very professional and friendly. Here I was able to practise my English with native speakers. I find it important to use my English in real-life situations since the language is becoming increasingly important internationally and in interdisciplinary contexts. I stayed with a British host family, something I really recommend. In retrospect, I would even recommend attending a summer school at a younger age, for instance, during one's last high-school year. ESL really helped me along in my decision-making and I gained great confidence in this organization. I had a most unforgettable experience and would not hesitate repeating it!

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Irene Moreno Ibáñez

This has been such an incredible new experience for me… it’s surpassed my expectations and I’m hardly ever home! I’m really liking the course at St. Giles International. My teacher is pretty energetic which is really nice because it livens up the class and helps you feel less embarrassed to speak up.

New York offers so many cultural and entertainment options. I participate in as many of the activities organised by the school as I can; for example, we went to the Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets baseball game, and I thought it was something interesting and different.

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Guillermo Perdiguero Ruiz

I wanted to study here at Kings to improve not only my level of general English, but also my knowledge of legal English. Holding a degree both in business administration and management and in law, I believe that studying here is an opportunity to further my legal career.

On one hand, during the classes we learned a considerable amount of new terms and vocabulary, which are clearly important from many points of view: from the perspective of someone seeking to pass a specific exam or to someone who simply wishes to improve their CV or learn general English for daily life.

On the other hand, the shared apartments that belong to Kings are just a few minutes away and the perfect convenience for someone interested in studying here. In addition to its privileged nearby location and having every necessary service, the living spaces are new and perfectly equipped for daily use.

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