The following terms and conditions explain the services (the “Services”) with which are provided to you when you book on to a ‘GapGuru’ Programme and what we expect from you as a selected Programme participant (“participant”). All references to “we”, “us” and “our” refer to GapGuru and its affiliates or partners. All references to “you” are to the participant.
By submitting an application and making a deposit payment for a programme with GapGuru Ltd, trading as ‘GapGuru’, you confirm that you accept and agree to the following terms and conditions.
1. Services Provided
Gap Guru agrees to provide the Services as set out in your programme itinerary. We reserve the right to make changes to the Services from time to time, subject to these terms and conditions.
Services include, but may not be limited to:
- Providing preparation documents including welcome pack, packing list, country information, briefing pack and health & safety manual;
- Arranging a pre-departure briefing remotely via video conference or via telephone;
- Arranging suitable accommodation and food, where applicable, for the duration of the programme (details are outlined in the ‘what’s included’ section on the website programme page and itinerary document);
- Arranging transfers to and from the airport, where participant flights are booked in accordance with flight instructions in welcome pack;
- Providing and maintaining a full international support structure;
- Providing 24-hour emergency support;
- Providing international travel assistance and advice.
We endeavour to ensure that all programmes run as scheduled and all services and accommodation are provided as confirmed. However, if for any reason outside of our control, an element of the programme is not available, alternative arrangements will be made to minimise the impact. We will inform you of any changes as soon as possible.
We reserve the right to change an element of the programme if it will be beneficial to the participant or in the interest of your safety
Refusal of Service
Challenges Abroad reserves the right to refuse to offer our Services to you, at any time, for any reason.
2.1 Documentation Required
You will provide us with appropriate evidence to verify information contained in your application for the provision of the Services. You may also be required to successfully complete an interview to assess your suitability and provide references as required.
Before your departure, we need evidence that you have the following:
- a valid passport and appropriate entry documents
- comprehensive travel insurance cover
- suitable travel arrangements from the U.K. to your overseas destination
- Health & Medical Forms and any required vaccinations
- Enhanced DBS check or equivalent
- Emergency Contact details
- Consent of parent/ guardian if under 18 at the time of travel
It is your responsibility to ensure you have any necessary visas and a valid passport for your programme. You must check to ensure that all necessary procedures are adhered to and that they reflect your travel arrangements. Any visa information provided by GapGuru is done in good faith and we cannot be held responsible for a country’s decision to change visa rules, deny a visa application, refuse entry, exit or the right of passage (national and local laws governing immigration). We do not accept any liability for any losses you may occur arising from any such action or for failure to have the correct travel documentation.
Visas are issued by the relevant High Commission or Embassy, at their discretion and GapGuru cannot be held responsible for the type, duration or endorsements or restrictions provided by the relevant authority.
2.1.2 Travel Insurance
You are required to secure appropriate comprehensive travel insurance cover to protect you against any losses caused by travel, loss or damage of baggage and or personal effects by any means, non-refundable airfare, emergency and medical evacuation and other medical expenses. It is strongly recommended that you purchase programme cancellation cover to protect yourself against any losses relating to your inability to travel for medical reasons, if someone in your family takes ill or dies suddenly. The policy must cover the entire duration of your GapGuru Programme. The details of your insurance policy must be provided 8 weeks prior to Programme commencement for your protection. It is strongly recommended that you buy your travel insurance policy as soon as you confirm your place on the programme.
It is your responsibility to book flights that arrive in time for the start of the programme as specified in the welcome pack. You must supply us with this information no later than 8 weeks prior to your programme commencing. Failure to do so may result in your booking being cancelled with no refund.
2.1.4 Health and Medical Forms and Inoculations
It is your responsibility to visit a healthcare professional and ensure you have any necessary vaccinations within the appropriate timeframe, and receive any medications required for the full duration of your GapGuru programme.
Our staff are not medical professionals, and the standards of medical care in countries where GapGuru operates are likely to be lower than you are used to. You, and your primary care physician, are responsible for ensuring you are able to manage your own mental and physical wellbeing, including administering medication, for the entirety of your programme.
You are required to declare any specialised health, medical or dietary requirements at the time of booking. You must also complete a GapGuru medical declaration form. Where any participant declares an illness or pre-existing condition, a fit for travel form will be provided to be completed by a primary care physician, no later than 8 weeks prior to your programme commencing. Failure to disclose any known medical conditions, physical or psychological, is grounds for cancellation of your programme without refund.
GapGuru reserves the right to reject or cancel a booking on the grounds of comments or advice from your primary care physician, or from consultation with our own medical and mental health professionals regarding your physical and mental fitness to undertake this programme. Any additional medical documentation we require will be at your own expense.
2.1.5 Working with Children Check (Enhanced DBS)
You must supply a DBS Check (or equivalent). Details on how to complete this process will be supplied with your Welcome Pack. You agree that your participation on a GapGuru programme is subject to the outcome of this check.
2.1.6 Emergency Contact
You must supply us with the emergency contact details of a close friend or family member when completing your booking form. We reserve the right to contact this person should we deem it necessary.
2.1.7 Under 18’s
If you are under 18, and will be travelling unaccompanied, your legal guardian must print and sign the documentation provided, including these Terms and Conditions and enter into this agreement on your behalf, in order to confirm your place on your programme.
GapGuru will also provide a consent and release form, which all of your legal guardians must sign and notarize, at least 8 weeks prior to departure.
3. Programme Fees and Payments
The fees for the Services (the “Fees”) and the agreed payment dates are set out in our schedule of costs/ Invoice.
We require an initial registration fee of £250 when you book a GapGuru Programme. This enables us to process your booking and schedule a place for you on one of our placements overseas. This registration fee is non-refundable, unless we are unable to fulfil the placement offer. If you are applying for a scholarship and are unsuccessful, your registration fee will be refunded.
You are required to pay a 20 % deposit upon confirmation of your placement within the number of days specified in your “Confirmation Pack”. Failure to do so may mean that you lose your place at the project of your choice.
You are required to settle the full balance of the invoice as per the agreed payment schedule, but no later than 8 weeks before departure.
Your participation on the Programme is dependent upon full payment no later than 8 weeks prior to programme commencement. If you fail to make the balance payment by the date specified in your programme invoice, it is at the discretion of GapGuru to provide you with the following options:
- Ask you to pay the deficit amount within a specified period of time
- Transfer your programme to a later commencement date to allow you more time to make up the deficit funds
- Any other arrangement can be made at our discretion
If none of these options are available, then we will consider this a cancellation by you and will be subject to the ‘Cancellations and Refunds’ clause below.
If you are concerned about meeting the balance payment by the specified date you must contact GapGuru as soon as possible.
We reserve the right, by giving notice to you any time before departure, to increase the Fees to reflect
- increases in costs to us, caused by factors outside our control
- changes in dates or specifications requested by you
- delays caused by any instructions from you
- your failure to give us adequate information or instructions.
You are entitled, within five days of receiving our advice of such a Fees increase, to cancel by means of a registered letter that part of the Services to which the increase applies.
Any changes to the Programme instigated by you require approval by GapGuru and will attract an Administration Fee of £ 35, in addition to third party costs.
4. Cancellation and refunds
4.1 If GapGuru cancels a Programme
GapGuru reserves the right to cancel a programme if, in its sole discretion, it believes that circumstances warrant it. This includes cancellation because of Force Majeure (as outlined below).
You agree that you will take out travel insurance that may cover cancellations in some but not all circumstances.
In the cases where there is a cancellation, GapGuru’s first recourse will be to place you on an alternative programme. GapGuru will use reasonable efforts to match any alternative Programme in accordance with your preferences. In the event that we are unable to provide you with a suitable alternative, you will be entitled to a refund of your programme fee that has been paid, unless the cancellation was because of Force Majeure reasons. In all cases what is defined as a ‘suitable alternative’ will be at the sole discretion of GapGuru.
All programmes and extension trips are subject to a minimum number of participants. Flights should be held on a flexible basis until a departure is guaranteed. You will be advised when a trip is guaranteed. Should a trip not reach minimum participants you will be advised of this 10 weeks prior to departure. In this instance we will:
- Suggest an alternative programme or departure for you to transfer your booking to; or
- Offer the option, if it is possible, for you to travel alone or in a smaller group – cost may vary
In a situation where neither of the above options are possible and the trip is cancelled due to minimum numbers not having been met (not including any circumstance outlined above) GapGuru will provide a full refund of the programme fee that has been paid. If a refund is applicable, payment will be processed 8-12 weeks following written notification.
In all cases of cancellation by GapGuru, we will not refund you for any expenses incurred by you related to your programme, including, but not limited to, airfare, visa expenses, insurance, documentation and equipment purchases. Please note this list is not exhaustive.
4.2 When you choose to cancel your programme
If you cancel prior to your departure, in addition to your registration fee, you will be liable for the following fees:
Notice of Termination (weeks before departure)
Fees due to GapGuru
More than 8 weeks
20% of Invoice amount + any third party costs
50% of Invoice amount + any third party costs
Less than 4 weeks
100% of Invoice amount
Participation on your programme is dependent upon making the balance payment by the date specified in your programme invoice. If you fail to make this payment in the specified time frame, GapGuru reserves the right to treat this as a cancellation unless discretionary options are offered. If your booking is considered a cancellation by GapGuru, you must not retain any donations received and pay these to the Charity.
In the event that a participant chooses to leave a programme early, whatsoever the reason, no fees will be refunded.
4.3 Transferring to another programme
Participants may transfer their programme to another start date or location at no additional cost. The intended transfer must be to either a date, location or programme type as available on the website.
To be eligible for a transfer participants must request a transfer from GapGuru, in writing, no later than 8 weeks prior to their programme commencement. Transfers requested less than 8 weeks prior to programme commencement will be granted at GapGuru’s discretion and may incur a fee.
5. On your GapGuru Programme
5.1 Health and safety
You are required to declare any specialised health, medical or dietary requirements at the time of your booking confirmation.
Where any participant declares an illness or pre-existing condition, a fit for travel form will be provided to be completed by a primary care physician, no later than 8 weeks prior to your programme commencing. Failure to disclose any known medical conditions, physical or psychological, is grounds for cancellation of your programme without refund.
Travelling before, during and after your programme is entirely at your own risk. Choosing to operate any motorised vehicles, obtaining the necessary license, permission and insurance is your responsibility.
You must always respect and follow the health and safety procedures as set out by GapGuru in the host country. You will receive a health and safety briefing outlining these procedures during your programme orientation. You understand that disobeying health and safety instructions could result in disciplinary action.
In the event you break any local laws, we will bear no liability and will not be required to mediate on your behalf with local authorities.
GapGuru reserves the right to make decisions on your emergency medical care deemed essential by the most qualified in-country staff member in the event you are not able to do so and GapGuru will not be held liable for the outcome of such care.
We do not accept responsibility for any loss or injury (including, without limitation, loss of personal property, illness, death or personal injury) suffered by you, which is caused by a third party who is unconnected to GapGuru, or results from any programme or component of travel which has not been arranged by us.
Whilst GapGuru recognises that it has a duty of care to ensure participants are safe, participants take part in all programmes at their own risk. We cannot accept responsibility for your health & safety whilst in the host country or for any loss or damage to property or any third parties property or persons howsoever caused.
Notwithstanding this, GapGuru does not seek to exclude or limit any liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence on its part or for any other loss or damage for which it is legally prohibited to exclude or restrict liability.
5.2 Project Placements
If you experience any problems with your project or placement or wish to leave the project before the agreed finish date, you must discuss this with your Local Representative and placement organisation and notify us in writing. If you leave the project without the express consent of GapGuru, you will cease to be under the auspices of GapGuru, in which case your visa may become invalid. In this circumstance, no fees will be refunded.
5.3 Code of Conduct
We require all participants, prior to departure, to sign a participant Code of Conduct. This sets out how we expect you to conduct yourself whilst in Country; your responsibilities to your community project and the FutureSense Foundation overseas hub where you will be based.
You agree to abide by the participant Code of Conduct . Any breach of this Code of Conduct will result in disciplinary action.
First offences will usually result in a verbal warning where appropriate. Repeated offences after the first warning could lead to a final written warning. Any further offences will result in dismissal.
GapGuru reserves the right to issue a warning of any kind, including dismissal from the programme, regardless of whether any warnings have been given. All disciplinary action will be documented and take place in front of a witness, where appropriate.
We reserve the right to dismiss from the programme any participant who is deemed to be a danger to themselves or others or whose conduct is deemed to be detrimental to the programme. In the event of this case, we cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred by the participant and no fees will be refunded.
The following non-exhaustive list details actions that are grounds for immediate dismissal:
- Possession, use or supply of illicit drugs
- Breaking local laws,
- Taking alcohol/being intoxicated while on project or interacting with GapGuru or FutureSense Programme partners
- Disobeying health and safety instructions resulting in the injury or harm of yourself or others
- Gross misconduct which could injure or harm others, disrupt programme activities or jeopardise relations between GapGuru and the host community
- We deem it is in the best interests of your health and safety or of the programme in general
In the event of dismissal for any reason, we cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred by the participant and no fees will be refunded. If the participants is in receipt of a scholarship funded place then the scholarship would need to be repaid in full.
5.4 Child protection
You agree to read and abide by our Child Protection Policy and Social Media Policy. If at any time you fail to follow either policy, you understand that you may be dismissed from your programme and further appropriate action taken.
Any problems/complaints should be resolved by prior discussions with your Local Representative whilst in country or after your travels with the operations team in the UK. If you feel that your problem has not been adequately dealt with, you may send a written complaint to our Newbury office in UK. Letters of complaint will normally be acknowledged within 3 working days, and a response sent as soon as relevant details of the complaint have been procured.
7. Personal Risk
You accept that you will be subjected to various emotional, physical and psychological demands by participating on a GapGuru programme. You are aware and accept that the standard of living in the relevant country, including food, hygiene and accommodation, may be below the general standards of your own country.
Travelling before, during and after your programme is entirely at your own risk. You accept the responsibilities and risks associated with your choice to travel, temporarily reside in and provide volunteers services in a foreign country. Some risks that may arise include, but are not limited to:
- Hazards of travelling in remote areas;
- Travel by automobile, van, bus, airplane, boat, train or any other means of conveyance;
- The forces of nature;
- Civil disturbances;
- National or international conflicts;
- Interacting with dangerous wildlife;
- Personal injury or illness from the local environment;
- Accident or illness in remote locations without immediate evacuation or medical facilities; or
- Negligent acts of third parties.
You confirm and agree to all of the following:
- You understand these and other risks inherent in such a programme;
- You also confirm that your participation is completely voluntary;
- You assume all risk associated with your project work;
- You agree to indemnify us against any claims of any kind that arise from your participation.
The participant hereby grants a royalty free, non-exclusive license in favour of GapGuru in respect of all images captured or of any correspondence received by us from you during or after the placement (in whatever format) .Such license shall be granted in perpetuity and shall confer the right on GapGuru to reproduce all or any of such images or correspondence in whole or in part for use in any advertisement or promotional material of GapGuru as we see fit.
You agree to allow us to transfer any personal data held by us about you to our overseas hubs and relevant partners. We will access your personal data fairly and lawfully in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 2018 for the sole purpose of continuing to provide the Services to you.
GapGuru shall be permitted to assign fully its rights and obligations in respect of our agreement with you and to subcontract any of our obligations. The participant shall not assign any of its rights or obligations under our agreement without the prior written consent of GapGuru.
Any advice or recommendation given by GapGuru or its employees or agents to the participant that is not confirmed in writing by GapGuru is followed or acted upon entirely at the participant’s own risk. GapGuru is not therefore liable for any such advice or recommendation which is not so confirmed.
These conditions shall not confer any benefit or right of action on any third party and the provisions of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 and any subsequent or supplementary or modifying legislation are hereby excluded to the fullest extent possible by law.
Neither party shall be liable to the other for any delay or non-performance of its obligations in respect of our agreement arising from any cause beyond its reasonable control including, without limitation, any industrial dispute, act of God, governmental act, war, fire, flood, explosion, civil commotion, or pandemic. The affected party so delaying shall promptly notify the other party in writing of the cause and the likely duration of the cause.
Where force majeure results in cancellation of your programme, your programme fees will be non-refundable. We will always do our best to find a suitable alternative programme for you in any such event.
10. Governing Law
If any provision of these conditions is held by any competent authority to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part the validity of all other provisions of these conditions and the remainder of the provisions in question shall not be affected and shall remain in force.
These terms and conditions shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and any dispute arising shall be determined by the Courts within that jurisdiction.