Terms and Conditions of Participation
Program fees are listed in U.S. dollars and are based on a person sharing a room with another. The main delegation program cost is based on a set minimum of number of Participants, as are any guest and extension program costs. These minimum numbers must be met in order for the programs to operate. While we do our best to maintain the listed program fee, because our program fees are set well in advance, we reserve the right to change costs due to extraordinary circumstances beyond our control.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- Comprehensive educational program by delegate leader and professional on-site guides
- Accommodations and meals as outlined in the itinerary
- All ground transportation within the schedule of activities unless otherwise indicated
- All cultural activities as specified in the schedule of activities
- Entrance fees
- Gratuities to porters, drivers, and guides
- Baggage handling for one checked piece and one carry-on piece per person
- Comprehensive pre-departure information about the destination and what to expect on the exchange
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
- U.S. domestic airfare to and from the participant’s home city
- International airfare (unless specifically stated in the preliminary schedule of activities or program outline)
- Airport transfers and baggage handling from the participant’s home to the delegation convene location and return.
- Hotel accommodations for nights not included in the schedule of activities
- Passport, visa, airport departure and excess baggage fees
- Travel cancellation insurance
- Meals not specified in the itinerary; food and beverages that are not part of the included meals
- Personal items such as telephone, fax, and internet charges, laundry, room service, alcoholic or other beverages not specified as included
- Gratuities for the Delegation Manager
- Gratuities for non-group services
- Expenses resulting from delays due to bad weather, road conditions, sickness, government action, and flight delays
- Expenses incurred in making individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the exchange
CHANGES TO THE ITINERARY AND PROGRAM
While every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned, the nature of travel is unpredictable, and we must be prepared for changes. Cultural Vistas reserves the right to cancel, terminate, or alter the Program in any way, including itinerary, activities, and excursions, at any time and for any reason, with or without notice. In the event of termination or cancellation, Cultural Vistas shall notify any affected Participant as soon as reasonably possible. Rest assured should any changes be needed; we commit to delivering an experience as outstanding as the one originally planned.
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. If you must cancel your participation in a delegation, travel cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Cultural Vistas does not provide travel cancellation insurance, so participants may obtain coverage through a company of their choice. All Cultural Vistas programs include emergency evacuation insurance as part of the Program Fee.
PAYMENTS, CANCELLATIONS, AND REFUNDS
A $500 deposit is due at the time of application. Cancellations made within 30 days of acceptance into the delegation will receive a full refund of the program deposit. Cancellations made after 30 days’ acceptance into the program and greater than 90 days before the delegation convene date will forfeit the program deposit. The balance is due 30 days before the delegation convene date. Delegates enrolling under 30 days prior to the delegation convene date may be asked to make full payment as a condition of acceptance on the program.
All cancellations must be received in writing (email). Per-person cancellation fees are based on the date of the cancellation notice.
IF YOU CANCEL…
YOUR PENALTY IS:
|30 days after acceptance to the delegation||$500|
|90 – 61 days prior to the delegation convene date||50% of Program Cost|
|60 – 31 days prior to the delegation convene date||75% of Program Cost|
|30 days or less prior to the delegation convene date||100% of Program Cost|
Cancellation of program by Cultural Vistas
Full Refund to You
Please Note: Please do not Book your flights until you have been advised the program has reached the minimum number of participants. If you choose to make your flight arrangements prior to this notice, Cultural Vistas does not accept liability for any airline or train cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable airline or train ticket to the tour departure city and return.
A limited number of single rooms are available at extra cost on a first-come, first-served basis, but availability cannot be guaranteed. Please understand that, in some hotels, single rooms are very small. The premium you pay is for privacy, not spaciousness. If you would like a roommate, we will do our best to find you one.
Independent travel is defined as travel conducted by a Participant within or outside of the Program country, which is not part of the official itinerary, such as travel before or after the program or during periods of free time.
Participants traveling independently before the program begins or following the close of a program, including for domestic travel home, assume total responsibility for themselves. Cultural Vistas and its employees assume no liability for individuals once they are separated from the program or on independent excursions or travel. Participants hereby assume any and all risks, known or unknown, and all costs and liability of any kind whatsoever for any independent travel during a Program.
PASSPORT AND VISA REGULATIONS
The Participant must be prepared to present valid, numbered, positive identification matching the name on the passenger manifest when boarding aircraft or other means of transportation. A passport or valid travel identity document must be shown, as required, for international and domestic travel. It is the responsibility of the Participant to ensure that the passport is valid for up to six months prior to the start date of the Program.
The Participant is responsible for complying with all visa procedures and deadlines. The Participant acknowledges that visa and passport decisions are made at the discretion of the issuing government. A Participant’s inability to obtain the necessary passport or visas may result in withdrawal of an offer of acceptance and forfeiture of a space on the Program.
To enjoy their travels to the fullest, all Participants should be in good physical and mental health. Any physical condition requiring special attention, diets, or treatment must be reported in writing when the deposit is paid. We reserve the right to decline to accept or retain any person as a Participant should such a person’s health, mental condition, physical infirmity, or attitude jeopardize the operation of the professional exchange program or the enjoyment of other Participants. All health information is protected and treated as confidential.
This policy applies to any Participants whose engagement with Cultural Vistas involves “in-person” activities, such as traveling domestically or internationally; meeting within groups; attending or speaking at conferences, seminars, or events; completing practical training or community service; organizing events in their communities; attending higher education or language courses; living in accommodations with shared spaces; participating in interviews; etc. – collectively the “Program Activities”. The Participant acknowledges that this agreement does not create an employment relationship with Cultural Vistas.
Since travel and assembling with other individuals while engaging in Cultural Vistas Program Activities includes inherent risks, including the risk of infection and spreading disease, each participant is required to take all precautions against the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus while participating in Cultural Vistas Program Activities. This includes adhering to all laws and recommendations by public health officials in the country/location of the Program Activities as well as to adequate and legal recommendations by host institutions (such as host companies, host families etc.), and Cultural Vistas staff, including but not limited to wearing a medical grade mask of the N95/KN95/FFP2 standard and following minimum distancing requirements.
As part of this effort to reduce transmission, as of March 1, 2022 and until the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is no longer considered a pandemic in the countries/locations of the Program Activities by both the national and local government of those countries/locations and the World Health Organization, Cultural Vistas has implemented the following policy: As a condition to become and continue to be a Participant in any Cultural Vistas’ Program Activities, Cultural Vistas requires all individuals in this program to ensure that they maintain a valid status as being fully vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to the regulations of and with one of the vaccines approved by the national and local health authority in the countries/locations in which they are completing their Cultural Vistas Program Activities. Alternately, if accepted by the national and local health authorities of the countries/locations in which the Participant is completing their Cultural Vistas Program Activities as a replacement for vaccination status, an official proof of valid status as fully “recovered” from a SARS-CoV-2 infection may serve in place of the proof of full vaccination status.
Unless otherwise exempted by law, the Participant must produce proof of vaccination status or recovery status upon request by Cultural Vistas staff or other implementing partners, in each case subject to applicable data protection laws. Without proof of a valid status as being fully vaccinated or fully recovered, participation in Cultural Vistas Program Activities is not permitted, subject to applicable law. Should the Participant choose not to maintain sufficient vaccination status throughout the Program Activities or if the recovered status expires without being replaced by a fully vaccinated status, and a host institution or program partner crucial to the implementation of the program reasonably requires proof of a sufficient status for successful implementation of the program, Cultural Vistas may, upon conferring with program funders and partners, exclude the participant from taking part in the Program Activities or parts thereof. Any costs incurred on the part of the Participant as a result of this exclusion will be the Participant’s sole responsibility, and a refund of any program fees or deposits paid or due to Cultural Vistas cannot be issued in this case. Cultural Vistas’ liability for any culpable breach of applicable law shall remain unaffected.
A “host institution or program partner crucial to the implementation of the program” can include but is not limited to meeting partners, accommodations, host families, host companies, or government agencies overseeing immigration requirements in the host country. If the conditions to be considered fully vaccinated or fully recovered change during the course of the Cultural Vistas Program Activities, the Participant will ensure that their status as fully vaccinated or fully recovered remains up-to-date for the duration of the Program Activities (including for example obtaining additional “booster” vaccinations, obtaining current/updated documentation, etc. within a reasonable and prompt timeframe, as determined by Cultural Vistas).
HEALTH GUIDELINES, TRAVEL ALERTS, TRAVEL WARNINGS, COMPLIANCE
In signing this form, the Participant agrees that he/she has read or will read any U.S. Department of State (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html) and Centers for Disease Control (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) Travel Advisories relevant to the Program Country, and are responsible for complying with any recommended or required immunizations, precautions, and procedures set forth therein, or in other guidance provided by Cultural Vistas, or its contracted third party travel security providers, as applicable.
CONSENT TO SHARE OR RELEASE INFORMATION
The Participant hereby consents to the reasonable sharing or disclosure of the Participant’s personal information, medical information, and other information within Cultural Vistas and externally for the purpose of administering the Program, participation in the Program, and for all purposes consistent with the sound management and operation of the Program, including providing contact information to your delegation members, responding to any incidents involving the Participant and/or related to health, safety, behavior, or conduct of the Participant and/or the Delegation. Cultural Vistas will make efforts to keep such information confidential to the extent possible consistent with the above and will endeavor to seek specific or advance authorization with respect to specific incidents when reasonable under the circumstances, but the Participant agrees that Cultural Vistas is not obligated to obtain advance authorization beyond the consent contained herein.
PHOTO AND LIKENESS AUTHORIZATION AND RELEASE
Cultural Vistas may make available a photo sharing site for the delegation members to share photos. If you should choose to add your photos to this site, you are authorizing use of the photos, by Cultural Vistas, delegation participant, the sponsoring association and meeting host organizations. As a member of the delegation, Participants may be in group or individual photos documenting the delegation. Participants agree that Cultural Vistas, their delegation members, the sponsoring associations, or meeting host organizations, may use any or all photos for the purpose of promoting Cultural Vistas, the association, or the meeting host organizations, including marketing materials, program publications, and social media communications. Delegation members may use the photos for presentation or documentation of the delegation activities.
RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER
This Association’s delegation is managed by Cultural Vistas, an educational nonprofit organization working as an independent contractor. Cultural Vistas acts only as an agent for the respective third-party suppliers of goods and services (e.g., hotels, airlines, railroads, bus companies, local tours, etc.) by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services.
Neither the Association nor Cultural Vistas controls, owns, or operates these suppliers. The suppliers are independent contractors. Neither the Association nor Cultural Vistas shall be held liable for personal injury, death, loss, baggage claims, damage, accident, delay, and/or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers, their employees, agents, or representatives. Neither the Association nor Cultural Vistas shall be held responsible for losses or delays arising from sickness, pilferage, acts of terrorism, weather conditions, and/or acts of God. All such losses or expenses shall be borne by the program Participant.
The Association and Cultural Vistas reserve the right to cancel any trip prior to departure, in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation. The Association and Cultural Vistas also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the delegation trip announced, to decline to accept any person as a Participant in a tour, or to require any Participant to withdraw from the tour at any time, when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety, or general welfare of the tour group, or the individual Participant, subject only to the requirement that the recoverable portion of the total amount paid that corresponds to the cost of unused services and accommodations be refunded, if any. Participants are encouraged to purchase airline tickets no sooner than 60 days before the tour begins to avoid airline cancellation penalties if a tour is canceled or otherwise modified subsequent to the Participant’s purchase of those tickets.
The Association and Cultural Vistas reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour Participants. Dates, schedules, program details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication, are subject to change and revision.
The Association and Cultural Vistas shall not be liable for the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets to the tour departure city and return. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the Participant. Participants are encouraged to purchase travel insurance to cover trip cancellations. It is understood that air, ship, or train tickets when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and carrier concerned.
All services are subject to the laws of the country in which they are rendered.
ASSUMPTION OF RISK
The Participant understands that participation in the Tour is wholly voluntary. Although Cultural Vistas has made reasonable efforts to assure participants’ health and safety while participating in the Tour, there are unavoidable, unpredictable or inherent risks in travel overseas, including, but not limited to, (a) those identified in these Conditions and the references herein, and (b) those associated with strikes, civil unrest, terrorism, military or paramilitary action, wars, insurrections and other armed conflicts, criminal activity and violence, force majeure, weather conditions, public health risks, governmental actions or omissions, acts of God, industrial or commercial accidents, motor vehicle accidents, food safety risks, allergic reactions, insect-borne or water-borne illnesses, and all other possibly dangerous conditions or unanticipated circumstances beyond the sole control of Cultural Vistas.
In signing this form, the Participant acknowledges that he/she has considered and is aware of and understands the risks and dangers of all travel and activities associated with participation in the Tour, including dangers to Participant’s health and personal safety posed by the risks described.
Participant hereby assumes, knowingly and voluntarily, each of the risks described above and all other risks that could arise out of or occur during the Program and Participant’s travel to, from, in, or around Participant’s Program country, or in any way related to Participant’s participation in the Program.
ILLEGAL CONDUCT AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR
The Participant will be subject to the laws of the country in which the Program takes place. If a Participant breaks a law, including but not limited to, theft, battery, or illicit drug use, such conduct shall be grounds for immediate dismissal from the Program and the Participant will be required to make all further arrangements at his/her own expense. In no event shall Cultural Vistas or the Association be responsible for legal fees or other costs incurred by any Participant in connection with any illegal behavior.
RELEASE AND INDEMNIFICATION
In signing this form, the Participant, individually and on behalf of his/her heirs, successors, assigns, and personal representatives, hereby releases and forever discharges Cultural Vistas, the Association, and their employees, agents, officers, trustees, and representatives (in their official and individual capacities) (the “Representatives”) from any and all liability whatsoever for any and all damages, losses, costs, or injuries (including death) Participant sustains to person or property or both (“Losses”), including but not limited to any claims, demands, actions, causes of action, fines, judgments, damages, expenses, and costs, including attorney’s fees and costs, which arise out of, result from, occur during, or are connected in any manner with Participant’s participation in the Program, any activities, or excursions, irrespective of whether they are sponsored, supervised, or controlled by Cultural Vistas, except for such Losses as may be caused by the gross negligence or gross and willful misconduct of the Representatives. Participant also agrees to fully indemnify and hold harmless the Representatives from and against any Losses.
These Conditions represent the complete understanding with Cultural Vistas concerning Cultural Vistas’ responsibility and liability for the Participant’s participation in the Program. These Conditions must be read and signed without alteration by the Participant before being allowed to participate in the Program. Should any provision or aspect of these Conditions be found unenforceable, all remaining provisions of the Conditions will remain in full force and effect. These conditions may be executed in two or more counterparts, each of which shall be an original and all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument. Should there be any dispute concerning the Participant’s participation in the Program that would require the adjudication of a court of law, such dispute or lawsuit must be filed only in a court in New York, NY or in the United States District Court for the District of New York, to the exclusion of any other court or jurisdiction.
After reading the Terms and Conditions completely and carefully, I accept the Terms and Conditions of Participating in a Cultural Vistas Citizen Ambassador Program as demonstrated by my submission of the application form.