Terms and Conditions
Legal Terms and Conditions
Please read this document carefully as these Conditions are provided for your protection, as well as that of your Co-ordinators and ours. These Conditions outline the basis on which a Program will be arranged for you and the mutual obligations of you and XChange South Africa. By transacting with us via the website www.xchangesa.com, www.xchangesouthafrica.co.za & www.xchangesa.co.za, you agree to be bound by these terms. If you are uncertain as to your rights and obligations under this agreement, you are encouraged to obtain your own legal advice.
As a volunteer or intern visiting a foreign country, you have the responsibility of conforming to a higher standard of conduct than the casual traveler, as well as the laws of the country you are travelling to. XChange South Africa works hard to build trust, mutual respect, and long lasting relationships with the communities and organizations we work with. We expect our participants to adhere to the code of Conduct in order to ensure the successful continuation of the programs. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will lead to expulsion from the program.
Cultural Norms and Appropriate Behavior
You are expected to educate yourself on the basics of your destination and host culture before leaving for your program. The first step is to find a comprehensive guidebook that will provide you with general historical and cultural background. We also recommend deeper research through books, magazines, newsfeeds, websites, and people who have spent time in your destination. Our program specialists can be a valuable resource. You can always ask your assigned specialist for recommendations for further reading. You are also expected to read and understand all written materials provided by XChange South Africa . Once in-country, conduct yourself in a responsible and mature manner at all times. If you are unsure about acceptable behavior, ask your in-country coordinator, host family, or project supervisor for advice.
Familiarize yourself with the below information. Read the below information carefully.
1. Limited License notification
XChange South Africa grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable permission to access and use our Website, www.xchangesa.com; www.xchangesouthafrica.co.za & www.xchangesa.co.za in order to do your research, inquire about us, request and manage an international exchange or education program or volunteer work, strictly in accordance with our Legal Terms and Conditions.
2. Copyrights and Trademarks
Our Website as a whole is protected by copyright. All materials including images, video’s, designs, photographs and written and other materials that appear as part of our Website, are protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, and/or other intellectual property whether registered or unregistered (“Intellectual Property”) owned, controlled or licensed by XChange South Africa. Nothing on our Website, facebook page, Linked in or Google my Business should be regarded as granting any right or license to use any Intellectual Property displayed or used on our Website or the above social media platforms, without the prior written permission of the owner of this information.
3. Content Disclaimer
All postings on our website and other social media platforms are made only by the administrative team of XChange South Africa. It is done at our discretion and as far as we know and believed to be correct. Human errors may however occur e.g. information that is not up to date. (done unintentionally). Any posting done about XChange South Africa and not approved prior to the positing, is considered a breach of this agreement and may arise to legal action against you in a South African court.
4. Interpretation explained
In this document, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- ‘You‘ and ‘your‘ means the applicant who applies for a Program through us.
- ‘We‘, ‘us‘, ‘our‘ and XChange South Africa means the company called XChangeSA based in Cape Town, South Africa.
- ‘Program’ means a) the voluntary activity or internship project at the Organisation where you will be volunteering overseas and in which you are placed or b) the study abroad program to which you have applied or been placed.
- ‘Organisation’ means the specific Organisation or establishment or university where you do your volunteer work or internship or study program and includes the directors, managers, employees, representatives, faculty and all other people within their control at the Organization.
- ‘Coordinator(s)’ means the person(s), including the Program Director(s), or agency who, in the host country, organises and oversees the Programs.
- ‘Program Fee’ means the fee paid by you to us, XChange South Africa for providing service.
- ‘Emergency Contact(s)’ means the person(s) whose details you have provided to us to contact in case of medical emergency.
- ‘Conditions’ means these terms and conditions as set out below.
5. Participation agreement including assumption of risk and release from liability
Once you agreed or signed to participate in any of the programs of XChange South Africa, you, in consideration of being allowed to participate in the Program, hereby acknowledge and agree to the following:
- I shall be solely responsible and liable for paying all costs and expenses related to my participation in the Programs of XChange South Africa. Such services and products are subject only to the terms and conditions under which they are provided by all parties.
- I am in sufficient physical and mental health to participate in the Program and do not have any physical or mental conditions which could affect my ability to participate in the Program. I will ensure I have medical insurance coverage appropriate for my participation in the Program and have provided evidence of such insurance coverage to XChange South Africa on request prior to departure to South Africa should I be an international client. XChange South Africa may be asked to assist the client in obtaining a good, affordable medical cover for the client through one of their partners with a reputable track record.
- I understand that XChange South Africa does NOT provide any insurance coverage for my person or my property in connection with my participation in the Programs. I acknowledge that I am responsible for my safety and my own health care needs and for the protection of my person and property regardless where I travel to and from.
- It might be a legal requirement to obtain a police name clearance certificate to do an internship in South Africa. This is not our policy only, but also a requirement of our government and our Child Care Act which protects children. This merely means you do not have a criminal record and will be able to travel to our country.
I am fully informed or understand that all risks to person and property in connection with my participation in the change. Although rare, an organisation/company may withdraw an offer at last minute, meaning that we’ll have to find another opportunity for you or they may change the tasks listed slightly according to their new requirements. We accept no responsibility for the accuracy of information provided to us by host Organizations and forwarded by us to you or for changes regarding projects, responsibilities or Organisations. We take reasonable care for this not to happen at all cost, however, things do change in companies and we have no control over that.
- The Program Fee specifically covers the Services set out in point 1. You shall be solely responsible and liable for Program, including, but not limited to, property damage and loss, bodily injuries, sickness, disease and death is solely mine. I shall comply with all applicable laws and all policies of XChange South Africa and its partners while participating in the Program. If my participation in the Program is at any time deemed detrimental to the Program or its other participants, as determined by XChange South Africa in its sole discretion, I understand that (i) I may be sent home from the Program without XChange South Africa or its partners incurring any liability, (ii) I may incur liability to XChange South Africa under this Agreement, and
- I may be subject to further action by XChange South Africa or its partners.
- I fully and forever RELEASE, WAIVE AND DISCHARGE, and COVENANT NOT TO SUE XChange South Africa (including, but not limited to, its members, agents, employees and representatives), from and for any and all demands, claims, actions, suits, damages, losses, liabilities, costs and expenses (including, but not limited to, court costs and attorneys' fees), from any cause whatsoever (including, but not limited to travel delays, property damage and loss, bodily injuries, sickness, disease and death), directly or indirectly arising in connection with my participation in the Program, whether or not foreseeable or contributed to by the negligent.
This agreement applies to all applications made by you with us for a Program.
6. The Services and cost of the services we provide
- Depending on the type of Program you select, the services (the “Services”) that we provide to you are for volunteer and/or internship Programs, an advisory and logistical support service, provision of quality housing, airport pick-ups and prior to your arrival, our reasonable efforts to match your requirements for a project and make other logistical arrangements on your behalf to the best of our ability. There is a fee attached to the above services.
- Please bear in mind that we do not have any control over which placements are actually available, what the exact requirements of the Organisations may be, and whether they wish to accept you as a volunteer or intern. Given the lead times involved from the time you apply to the time you arrive at your host Organisation, projects and staff have may be adapted to the current needs and we, XChange South Africa may not always be informed of such changes.
- What we quote is the amounts you would be liable for. Our Services and responsibilities are limited to those set out in point 1.
- Application Process / Payments: Internship and Volunteer Programs [APPLIES TO INTERNSHIP AND VOLUNTEER PROGRAM APPLICANTS ONLY]
- In order to process your application for an Internship or Volunteer Program, you will be required to submit your application to us. It should include your resume, a photo of yourselves, a reference letter and to make a deposit (a portion of your Program Fee) should it be requested from you. You and your doctor may also be asked to provide additional information on your health. We may also carry out a background check. If in our opinion, or that of your Coordinator, the reference, health information or criminal check or any other information provided renders you unsuitable for our Program, we or your Coordinator are entitled to refuse to proceed further with your application.
- Each year, the Program Fee is valid until 30 November. Therefore, if you have enquired about Programs any time prior to 30 November, the cheaper price will remain valid. It does not mean fees will go up annually though.
- Upon confirmation of your placement, we will send you information, which will include confirmation of your placement and important local information to help you prepare for your trip.
- You must pay the balance of the Program Fee within 60 (sixty) days of the time that you approve your internship or volunteer program. If your arrival is within two months of your invoice date, then payment is due upon receipt. We accept payments via bank transfers or via Exchange4Free. *(invoice will be sent with information about this method.)
- Payment for accommodation booked through us is due only on arrival in the host country.
- If you wish to make any changes to your placement once it has been confirmed, we will use our reasonable efforts to make the changes, provided we receive your request in writing and there is sufficient time to do so.
- We reserve the right to postpone the start date of your Program or cancel your participation if you do not complete all of your required forms or if you fail to pay your full Program Fee by the deadline as set out on your invoice. The final deadline for receipt of all required forms is 30 (thirty) days for a last minute booking or 60 days (sixty) in case of an earlier booking, before the start date of your Internship or Volunteer Program.
- You are required to be present from the program start date and to attend the first day of the program orientation. Any exceptions must be approved by us, the company concerned and by your institution of learning.
7. Cancellation Policy: Internship and Volunteer Programs [APPLIES TO INTERNSHIP AND VOLUNTEER PROGRAM APPLICANTS ONLY]
- Cancellation only takes effect when we receive written notice from you. In case you need to cancel your trip, we recommend purchasing “cancel for any reason” insurance. Please note that trip cancellation insurance often needs to be purchased within 21 days of paying the Program Fee deposit.
- Provided that you do not receive an offer in your first or second choice field, your program fee deposit is 100% refundable. Your first or second choice field is defined as the first and second offers for Internships or Volunteer fields either listed on your application form or otherwise subsequently revised in writing by mutual agreement.
Should you withdraw your application or otherwise not reply to communication from us, your deposit is not refundable for any reason. It remains your responsibility to ensure that you receive emails from us as we answer all mails virtually immediately; please check all email addresses supplied by you to us regularly (including junk mail folders) during the application process. Further note if you apply within 45 days of your initial arrival date or if you are located in the destination country to which you are applying, the deposit is not refundable for any reason.
- The Deposit, and all subsequent Payments, are not refundable if you withdraw from the program for any reason other than XChangeSA being unable to place you by the placement deadline or that your internship company cancelled your placement. Should the cancellation happens, 50% of your program fee, minus the deposit, can be refunded. This includes withdrawal for medical, personal, family, academic, financial and all other reasons. or should the internship or volunteer organisation cancels your program. .
- If you cancel less than 90 (ninety) days prior to the start date of your Program or after your start date, you will not be entitled to any refund of your total program fee.
- Should you cancel your Internship or volunteer program after changing the start date, cancellation fees will be calculated with reference to the original start date of your Program.
- Should you pay in a foreign currency and later receive a refund, due to currency exchange rates, you will only receive the amount back based on what you paid and/or was received by the company. You agree not to hold us responsible for exchange rate fluctuations and / or bank fees related to refunds.
- You remain liable to pay the program fee once placed and when you cancel your trip. We would agree to 50% of the outstanding fee in such a case. Your deposit is however not refundable.
- We are entitled to cancel your application at any time in the event that you:
- fail to complete the application process by the prescribed deadlines; or
- fail, in our opinion, to demonstrate sufficient interest in or have the necessary attributes to succeed in your chosen Program;
- have a criminal conviction for a serious offence or you do not provide a Police Name Clearance certificate required.
- we discover that you lied or withheld important information that would have an effect on your volunteer or internship work to us during your application process.
- For Internship and Volunteer Programs, depending on program location, you may book your accommodation through us and we will endeavour to find the type of accommodation you selected on your application form. After your arrival, your Coordinator will assist you with any issues related to your accommodation that may arise.
- For Internship Programs and Volunteer Programs, unless otherwise indicated, rental contracts run from the first day of each month to the last day of each month, without regard to arrival or departure dates. You will pay prorate the amount for that month. Payments are calculated in a simple but acceptable format based on an average of 30 days in a month or based on the requirements of the owner of the house concerned. You however will not pay for a full month if you do not arrive in the beginning of a month.
- You must report any damage to your accommodation (whether caused by you or otherwise) to your Coordinator at the time the damage occurs. Failure to report damage could mean the loss of part or all of your housing deposit. If the cost of the damage exceeds the amount of your housing deposit, you are liable to pay the difference.
- Should you break the conduct rules of the building where you reside, you will be asked to vacate your accommodation immediately and your remaining rent and housing deposit will not be refunded. If you are not familiar with the conduct rules of your building, it is your responsibility to obtain a copy from your Coordinator.
- Subletting is not permitted in any accommodation supplied by us.
- Smoking or the use of drugs is not permitted in any accommodation supplied by us. If you or your guests smoke in your accommodation, or use drugs, you will be asked to vacate your accommodation immediately and your remaining rent and housing deposit will not be refunded.
- Unless otherwise indicated, for your safety and for the safety of other participants, you are not permitted to have overnight guests without prior permission from your country Coordinator. Should you violate this rule, you will be asked to vacate your accommodation immediately and your remaining rent and housing deposit will not be refunded. If having overnight guests is important to you, check the housing rules specific to your chosen accommodation prior to confirming housing.
- Unless otherwise indicated, all accommodation arranged by us is co-ed, meaning that male and female participants may share the same apartment or house. Shared bedrooms within houses and apartments are same gender only.
- For your safety, comfort and to maintain accommodation managed by us, we may need to enter your accommodation from time to time. While we will endeavour to notify you in advance, such notification may not always be possible. By agreeing to reside in accommodation provided by us, you agree to provide such access. This includes the services of a cleaning team who service housing regularly to maintain standards.
- We strongly suggest you insure personal belongings when travelling. This includes items such as laptop computers and other valuable items, prior to your departure. You agree not to hold us liable for any loss you may incur for any reason.
- We have additional house rules, simplified payment instructions and general rules related to accommodation. It is your responsibility to obtain these rules from your Coordinator and to abide by them. We usually send copies to everyone prior to their arrival. It is usually displayed in houses as well.
- You are responsible for arranging and pay for your own travel (including your airfare) to the airport closest to your Program site, and for your return journey at the end of your Program.
- We or your partners cannot meet, reimburse or otherwise be responsible for any flight, travel or other costs or expenses of any nature (including, for example, any charges made by airlines etc for cancelling, changing or transferring flights or other arrangements) which are incurred or arise as a result of your Program not proceeding or being cancelled, curtailed, withdrawn or changed due to any circumstances whatsoever.
- We usually include an airport pick-up, but not a return trip to the airport.
10. General expenses / costs
- You are responsible for all of your personal expenses for the duration of your stay in the country and Program, including but not limited to, the cost of transport from your accommodation to the company, organisation or university on a daily basis. Note that the cost of group activities is not included in the Program Fee. In addition to the services we provide, from time to time, we sponsor events, get discounts for events to cover some or all costs. Should you not attend a sponsored event, the cost of the event will not be paid to you.
- For Internship and Volunteer Programs, you agree that you will not request any payment from the Organisation, unless your visa type permits payment. In the event that you are given any payment, you are responsible for paying any local taxes and ensure that you comply with any relevant local laws and comply with the terms of your visa. If you breach the terms of your visa by receiving payment for your Program, which is not permitted, your Program may be terminated and you may be deported from the country in which you are placed or even risk a fine or imprisonment. Accepting such payments may also affect your insurance coverage. For these reasons we recommend strongly against accepting any such payments unless you are sure that your visa covers you. If you do decide to accept payment from the Organisation, you do so entirely at your own risk.
11. Airport Pick-up
Provided that there are no changes to your arrival that makes it impossible to be at the airport, programs include the service of an airport pick up. For changes within 24 hours of your arrival time, we will make best efforts to be there on your arrival.
- Health Insurance, Vaccinations & Medical issues
- For Internship and Volunteer Programs, prior to your arrival, you must ensure that you have health insurance coverage for the period of your trip that is usable in South Africa. To ensure that you have appropriate coverage, we recommend that you purchase your health insurance through our partner in South Africa, however, you may purchase insurance through any other provider in your country, as long as it offers cover in South Africa. This is a visa requirement as well to travel to South Africa.
- It is your responsibility to consult a medical doctor and / or the consulate of the Program country to receive information about the necessary inoculations and treatments in respect of South Africa prior to your arrival. For example, depending on your itinerary, some countries require proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination prior to entry.
- In addition, you must bring with you any necessary/recommended medication, medical equipment or a script from your doctor to get more of a prescribed medication in South Africa.
- You should also take reasonable steps to keep yourself in good health by taking any such medication and not participating in any high-risk activities that may compromise your health for the duration of your Program.
- By entering into an agreement with XChange South Africa you hereby give us permission to contact your Emergency Contacts case of medical emergency (as defined by us).
- We will make best efforts to provide you with information to assist you in obtaining a visa to allow you entry into the country of your Program. However, as rules change frequently and can vary from consulate to consulate, you are entirely responsible for ensuring that you have obtained a visa that is appropriate for you in the circumstances and for the costs of obtaining and/or extending such a visa. XChange South Africa will only be able to advise you to the best of our abilities and knowledge. The onus still rests on the Department of Home Affairs in the country if you will be granted a visa or an extension of a visa.
- You will not be entitled to any refund of any payments you have made to us in the event that your Program has to be cancelled or significantly curtailed should you not receive a visa or due to the immigration authorities not accepting your visa.
13. Force Majeure (Events beyond our control)
We, XChange South Africa, your Coordinator / Program Director, or any partner Organisations / University shall not be in breach of our obligations under this agreement or be responsible for any delay in the carrying out of such obligations, and will not make refunds or will not be responsible for any costs or expenses you incur, if such breach is as a consequence of war or threat of war, terrorist activity or threat of such activity, riots or civil strife, industrial action, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, health risks and epidemics and other circumstances beyond our control.
General Obligations to XChange South Africa and the program:
- You must comply with any reasonable request by the Organisation, University or Company, organisation or University where you are located.
- For Internship and Volunteer Programs, you may not enter into any direct negotiations or contractual arrangement for any form of employment with the Organisation during your placement. You will take care of and be responsible for any materials provided to you for your use by the Organisation or company. You are responsible for any damage to or loss of such materials.
- You are responsible for any damage caused by you or any of your guests at the premises of your accommodation.
- You are expected to adhere to our Program code of conduct. This covers, but is not limited to:
- respecting the culture and beliefs of others, working responsibly at the Organisation, adhering to the rules and regulations set out by them or the Program.
- adhering to the dress code requirements of the Organisation;
- respecting the accommodation; and not consuming drugs or participating in illegal activities.
- You represent and warrant that you are in sufficient physical and mental health to participate in the Program and do not have any physical or mental conditions that could affect your ability to participate in the Program.
We and your Coordinator / Program Director have the unilateral right to terminate, without prior warning, this Agreement by written notice (“Unilateral Termination”) if:
- you have violated any of the Conditions of this Agreement; or
- we have not received payment within 14 (fourteen) days of stated deadlines; or
- you have acted in any way to damage our reputation; or
- for Internship and Volunteer Programs, the Organisation and/or your Coordinator / Program Director finds that you are not fulfilling your obligations; or that your behavior in our reasonable opinion, or that of the Organisation or University, or that of your Coordinator / Program Director, is considered to be causing danger, distress or significant difficulties for anyone at the Organisation or University or for your Coordinator / Program Director or fellow volunteers; or you have continually refused to carry out the reasonable requests given by the Organisation, company, the University, or by your Coordinator / Program Director; or
- for Internship and Volunteer Programs, you abandoned your placement by failing to give the Organisation sufficient notice; or
In the event of Unilateral Termination:
- You will be required to leave your Organisation immediately; and
- If you are staying in accommodation supplied by us, you will be required to leave your accommodation immediately. In this case, you will not receive any refunds, including your housing deposit.
- We and the Coordinator / Program Director accept no responsibility for any costs, expenses or losses suffered as a result of Unilateral Termination. You will not receive a refund of any payments you have made or receive any other compensation.
- We or your Coordinator / Program Director accept no responsibility for any costs, expenses or losses suffered as a result of termination by you for personal reasons once you have started your Program. You will not receive a refund of any payments you have made or receive any other compensation.
Security and Government Advice:
It is your responsibility to obtain and, if necessary, clarify information in relation to the political and security situation in respect of the country of your Program, and to take any reasonable action that may be required.
In order to facilitate your Program, it may be necessary, from time to time, for us to release or transfer your personal information, including but not limited to, medical information, background check information and details of any convictions, to Coordinators. By signing this Agreement you grant us permission to release or transfer your personal information to such Coordinators.
Use of Photos and Comments:
You hereby grant us permission to use photos or images or comments made by you for promotional/marketing purposes, including photos submitted to us by you without obtaining your further specific permission or making any payment to you. Such use may include mention of your name, age, university, town/city/area of residence. Marketing purposes may include but are not limited to brochures, our website, and social media.
Waiver and Release:
- For the purposes of this Agreement, the term “Released Parties” means and refers individually and collectively to the Organisation, us, our members, our employees, our representatives, and the Coordinators / Program Directors and our international agents.
- You hereby indemnify the Released Parties against any and all liability, loss, costs or damages (including consequential damages and pure economic loss) that may be incurred by the Released Parties as a result of claims or charges made against the Released Parties, whether at the instance of a third party or yourself, related to any injury, illness, loss, damage, harm or death of a third party or yourself may suffer arising out of your participation on the Program and/or arising out of your participation in any Program-related or non-Program-related activity.
This agreement and the rights and obligations of the parties are governed by the laws of the South Africa.
- In the event that any provision of this agreement or the application thereof to any party or circumstance shall be finally determined by the court of proper jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable to any extent, the remainder of this agreement and the application of such provision to parties or circumstances other than those to which it is held invalid or unenforceable, shall not be affected thereby, and each provision of this agreement shall be valid and enforced to the fullest extent permitted by law to the extent consistent with the Parties’ intent as expressed in this agreement.
- We may assign this agreement or any of its rights or delegate our obligations to any third party without your express written consent. You may not assign this agreement or any of its rights or delegate its obligations without the prior written consent of us. This agreement is binding upon and enforceable by each party’s permitted successors and assignee's.
- The waiver of a breach of any term or condition of this agreement will not constitute the waiver of any other breach of the same or any other term. To be enforceable, a waiver must be in writing signed by a duly authorised representative of the waiving party.
- This agreement and any form referenced herein constitutes the entire agreement between us, XChange South Africa and you with respect to the subject matter contained and supersedes all inquiries, proposals, agreements, negotiations and commitments, whether written or oral prior to the effective date. This agreement may not be amended or modified except by written document signed by both parties.
- You hereby confirm that you have read and fully understand this agreement, intend that this agreement be legally binding upon and enforceable against you and your family, estate, heirs and legal representatives, intend that this agreement benefit us, and confirm that you are at least eighteen (18) years old, or a parent or legal guardian of an applicant under 18, fully competent, and entering into this agreement voluntarily of your own judgement.
- In the event that a participant is dissatisfied with a placement, with accommodations or any other program issues, the participant must first communicate these to the in-country coordinator of XChange South Africa.
- When appropriate, fair or possible, the coordinator will attempt to rectify the situation. Complaints must first be reported or attempted to get resolved in South Africa.
- No complaint or request for anything will be considered unless the above procedure is followed. Complaints from parties other than the participant will not be considered.
- This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between XChange South Africa and the undersigned client and supersedes any prior or contemporaneous agreements, understandings and negotiations, regarding this subject matter. This agreement (i) may not be amended, by course of conduct or otherwise, and (ii) may not be assigned, in whole or in part, except in writing duly executed by me and XChange SA. This agreement shall be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of the Republic of South Africa, without regard to any conflicts or choice of law principles, and shall be as broad and inclusive as permitted by such laws. If any provision of this agreement is held unenforceable by a court, such unenforceability shall not affect any other provision, and this agreement shall be construed as if such provision, to the extent of such unenforceability, had not been incorporated herein.
- I have read and fully understand this agreement, (ii) intend that this agreement be legally binding upon and enforceable against me and my family, estate, heirs and legal representatives, (iii) intend that this agreement benefit XChange SA, (iv) have read the code of conduct and agree to abide by the standards set in the code of conduct, and (v) confirm that I am at least eighteen years old, fully competent, and entering into this agreement voluntarily of my own judgement.
YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A LEGAL DOCUMENT. YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD THIS AGREEMENT AND ALL OF ITS TERMS. YOU EXECUTE THIS AGREEMENT VOLUNTARILY AND WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE OF ITS MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE.