Terms and Conditions
(version: October 2021)
Unless otherwise agreed, these Terms & Conditions (TCs) apply to all programs provided by the Global Engagement Institute (“GEI”). They are amended from time to time due to changing circumstances; the TCs at the time of booking a program are the TCs that are valid. By making a booking, you confirm that you and all participants associated with you under the booking have read the TCs and have agreed to be bound by them, and that you have the authority to accept them on behalf of all participants associated with you under the booking. In these TCs, “you” therefore means you and all participants associated with you under the booking.
1. Description of the program
You will attend a global engagement program as described in the program description(s), particularly the program itinerary. Program activities include those that are planned and scheduled, as well as those occurring during free, independent or unstructured time (collectively referred to in these TCs as “activities”).
2. Beginning and ending point of the program
GEI responsibilities commence with the arrival of participants at the international airport of the (first) program destination. Likewise, GEI responsibilities terminate with the departure of participants from the international airport of the (last) program destination.
3. Your responsibilities
a) Transportation to and from
You are responsible for arranging for the departure and travel to and from the origin airport to the designated meeting location overseas. GEI is not financially responsible for any extra costs incurred by trip cancellations or delays prior to arriving to, or after departing from, the designated meeting location overseas. GEI is also not financially responsible for extra costs incurred by participants who have to stay in country after the program ending point for any reason. You should carry a credit card or other means to pay for expenses arising from trip cancellations or delays and unexpected flight costs related to changes or purchases of any new tickets.
b) Passport and visa requirements
You are responsible to ensure that your passport is valid to travel to the program destination(s) and to obtain the relevant visa(s). While GEI may in some cases facilitate visa applications, it cannot be held responsible if a visa application is denied or if a visa is not obtained in due time.
c) Screening and healthcare
You are solely responsible for ensuring that you are in good health, both physically and psychologically, and that you do not suffer from any condition that could negatively impact the program and/or compromise the well-being of you or other participants on the program. GEI reserves the right to dismiss a participant from the program on these grounds either during the program or before the program begins.
You are also responsible to seek your physician’s advice on vaccinations and medical precautions.
You must immediately report any accidents, incidents, illnesses, injuries or health issues of any kind that occur with you or other participants during the program to GEI staff.
d) COVID-19 vaccination requirement
At GEI, we value the health and safety of all members of our worldwide community as paramount. This not only includes program participants, but also staff, instructors, host community partners, and logistics, activity, and excursion partners. We find that it is vital that we try to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and its variants between and within the communities in which we live and work.
It goes without saying that we have strong prevention measures in place. But vaccination is an important additional element of our health and safety strategy in order to significantly increase protection for all members of the GEI community. As a result, we have made it a requirement for all members of our worldwide community who have access to an approved vaccine – especially including all program participants – to be fully vaccinated no later than January 1, 2022.
To report your vaccination status, you must provide us a copy of your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, or other acceptable form of proof before the start of your program. If you are receiving a two-dose vaccine (e.g., Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca), the card or form of written proof should indicate that you have received both doses.
We will only accept exemption or accommodation from the vaccination requirement upon request for documented medical or deeply held religious reasons, or for any reasons protected by your home country’s law. In such a case, please contact us so that we can provide you with a COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request Form that you need to complete. We shall review your request for exemption or accommodation, taking into consideration the particulars of the spread of the disease and the conditions of vaccination status of the host location. In any case, we may not be able to accommodate such requests, especially if country laws, policies, and public health regulations supersede our own GEI requirements.
Unless an insurance is officially provided by GEI as part of the program services and fees, you should get appropriate insurance covering the type of activities that you will be doing during the program. The insurance should fully cover medical incidents or injuries, death, repatriation, unforeseen delays, cancellations, baggage losses, and loss of, damage to, or theft of personal property. Activities with greater risks should also be covered.
GEI will not be held liable for any costs arising from the failure to take an appropriate insurance.
You agree to make all program payments to GEI as described in section 5a below.
g) Additional costs and lost, stolen, or damaged personal property
You agree that GEI will not be responsible for costs associated with any damage to GEI’s or a supplier’s equipment or property, your early departure, medical treatment, airline cancellation or change fees, or other costs that fall within your responsibility. You are required to pay these additional costs.
You agree further that GEI will not be responsible for any of your lost, stolen or damaged personal property.
GEI will not refund or reduce fees for a participant’s late or non-arrival, early withdrawal or dismissal for any cause.
h) Emergency procedures
You will provide GEI with emergency contacts whom GEI shall inform in case an emergency occurs on the program.
i) Other responsibilities
You shall comply with all of your other obligations under these TCs, and any applicable federal, state or other (U.S. or foreign) laws.
4. GEI responsibilities and services provided
a) Lodging and meals
Lodging and meals during the program will be as described in the program itinerary.
GEI will select a minimum of 1 designated staff member to attend the program. GEI will be responsible for hiring, screening and selecting its staff member/s, including conducting appropriate staff background checks.
c) Program activities
GEI will arrange for scheduled program activities, as described in the program itinerary.
d) Use of external contractors
GEI will arrange for all external contractors used during the program for transportation and for arranged program activities.
e) Medical and emergency response
GEI will provide or arrange for first aid and/or emergency care for injury or illness occurring during the program, including arranging for emergency evacuation or transportation. As described in section 3e above, you agree that GEI is not responsible for the provision of emergency medical insurance for participants, unless officially part of the program services and fees. Such insurance needs to be obtained by you and all other participants directly. As a result, GEI will not be financially responsible for first aid and/or emergency care responses.
f) Force majeure
GEI will not be held responsible in case of force majeure. Force majeure shall be understood to mean unpredictable events of an extraordinary nature beyond the control of GEI and/or of its suppliers. These events can include, but are not limited to war, threat of war, civil strife, terrorist activity and its consequences or the threat of such activity, riot, the act of any government or other national or local authority, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, chemical or biological disaster, and all similar events outside of the control of GEI and/or of its suppliers.
5. Program costs, payment, refund, and cancellation
a) Program costs and payment
The program itinerary provides details about the program costs.
Unless otherwise stated, you are required to make an immediate and non-refundable deposit payment at the time of the booking confirmation. In the event that GEI has to cancel a program prior to the start due to insufficient demand, the deposit payment will be returned in full.
Unless otherwise stated, you are further required to make the remaining payment not later than 60 days before the start of the program.
Unless otherwise stated, the payment options include an online credit card payment via the services of PayPal on the GEI website and a bank transfer to GEI’s USD bank account in the USA. Participants who reside in the USA may also deposit their payment directly into GEI’s bank account at a Citibank branch near to them (or by sending a check to our Citibank branch in Englewood, NJ). At this point, GEI cannot accept checks that are mailed to its office(s).
b) Cancellation by you
If you desire to cancel the program or any previously confirmed services or participants, the following cancellation policy and schedule apply, unless otherwise agreed:
For faculty-led and custom programs, including individual participants of such programs:
- 45 or more days prior to the start of the program: All payments are refundable to the extent that paid supplier deposits are refundable, less a 20% cancellation fee.
- 44-15 days prior to the start of the program: All payments are refundable to the extent that paid supplier deposits are refundable, less a 25% cancellation fee.
- 14 or less days prior to the start of the program: All payments are refundable to the extent that paid supplier deposits are refundable, less a 30% cancellation fee.
For individuals on GEI programs:
- 45 or more days prior to the start of the program: Price is refundable, less the deposit payment.
- 44-15 days prior to the start of the program: 50% of price is refundable.
- 14 or less days prior to the start of the program: 0% of price is refundable.
c) Cancellation by GEI
GEI reserves the right to cancel the program or change its nature, for any reason, before its start. Such reasons include, among others, incidents of natural disasters, health emergencies, or political, environmental or social instability at the destination. GEI is not responsible for costs incurred by you, including airfare and airfare fees, in preparing for a program that is altered or cancelled.
6. Independent contractor status / no agency relationship
GEI has secured the services of independent subcontractors (to provide some services and to conduct some of the activities that participants may engage in). Although GEI has made efforts to select responsible subcontractors, these subcontractors are not employees or agents of GEI, and GEI is not responsible for the actions of its subcontractors.
7. Agreement to indemnify and defend
You agree to indemnify (indemnify meaning reimburse by payment or otherwise), defend and hold harmless the Global Engagement Institute and its owners, officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively “GEI”), with respect to any and all claims (including claims of negligence), liabilities, losses, suits and expenses, including court costs and reasonable attorney fees, made or brought by anyone, for any injury, damage, death or other loss to the extent arising out of or related to: 1) your obligations and responsibilities under these TCs, and/or 2) your negligence or other wrongful act/s or omission/s. You further agree to release any claim/s you may have against GEI and agree you will not make a claim or file a lawsuit against GEI arising out of or related to any of the circumstances identified in this section 7 above.
b) GEI (in the case of faculty-led and custom programs)
GEI agrees to indemnify you (indemnify meaning reimburse by payment or otherwise), defend you and hold you harmless, with respect to any and all claims (including claims of negligence), liabilities, losses, suits and expenses, including court costs and reasonable attorney fees, made or brought by anyone, for any injury, damage, death or other loss to the extent arising out of or related to: 1) GEI’s obligations, responsibilities and services provided under these TCs, and/or 2) GEI, including its staff or representatives’ negligence or other wrongful act/s or omission/s.
8. Applicable law
New York substantive law (without regard to its ‘conflict of law’ rules) shall govern these TCs, any dispute between you and GEI and all other aspects of the relationship, and any mediation, suit or other proceeding arising out of or relating to these TCs or otherwise, must be filed or entered into only in New York. These TCs are intended to be interpreted and enforced to the fullest extent allowed by law.
9. Complete text and severability
If any provision of these TCs is deemed unenforceable, the remaining provisions shall continue in full force and effect.