Terms of registration for German courses at Colón Language Center

General Terms and Conditions

7 May 2021

Jurisdiction

The following Terms and Conditions apply to all contractual relationships between Colón Language Center GmbH & Co KG and the Colón Kommunikations- und Mediengesellschaft für Fremdsprachen mbH (hereinafter referred to as Colón) and the course participant (also referred to as ‘client’) who engages the services of Colón. 

Registration

(1) Course offerings and quotations on the internet site as well as those in the current brochures are firm.  Registrations (bookings) can be effected either personally or by email or through the Colón Onlineshop and become binding with your registration.  The contract becomes valid when the registration or booking has been confirmed by Colón. These Terms and Conditions apply to all registration forms.

(2) When you register, you expressly agree to Colón initiating contract fulfilment as soon as the contract has been concluded and before any withdrawal periods expire.

Registration Confirmation

(1) Colón will check availability and send you a confirmation of your booking with information regarding terms of payment and inform you whether a down-payment (payment in advance) is necessary.

(2) Specifically to Courses of German as a Foreign Language: A down payment is required in order to book German courses.  The down payment includes the course fees for the first month or the entire course price if attendance is less than one month.  When booking courses which include  accommodation there will be an additional down payment of € 80.00.

Upon receipt of your down payment you will receive a binding confirmation of registration which will include details (if already given) of your accommodation and journey to your destination.

(3) If you fail to provide a down payment within the period designated in the terms of payment, Colón will have the right to withdraw from the contract and to give your accommodation and/or place in the course to another client.

(4) Language School Visa: Registering for a language course at Colón can, in connection with the fulfilment of other conditions, enable you to obtain a visa for attending a language course booked at Colón Language Center.  Further requirements could include proving that you have sufficient financial resources, health insurance cover, accommodation and the like. Colón provides no guarantee that you will receive a language-school visa from German authorities either in Germany or outside Germany.

Prices and Terms of Payment

(1) Prices apply as shown in our price lists on the day of booking.          

(2) Your registration obligates you to pay for the course (and if applicable accommodation) fees prior to the first day of the course/accommodation or after receipt of a bill. Later payments are only possible if you are paying on an installment plan and can in individual cases be agreed upon in writing.

(3) Payment in the Onlineshop can be effected by bank transfer or credit card.  Payment can also be made at the Colón Language Center by bank transfer, EC card, credit card or in cash.

(4) Fees may be increased during the course of the contract validity period. Notices will be posted informing clients of any increase in fees at least four weeks before the increase takes effect.  Changes in fees are generally made on a yearly basis.

General

(1) An hour of instruction is defined as being 45 minutes long.

(2) Colón Language Center cannot be held liable for any failure to reach a certain level of language ability. Guidelines made by Colón with respect to the length of instruction required to reach a certain level of language competence are based on years of experience and can deviate from the actual length of instruction necessary to achieve a certain level.

(3) In the case of cancellation of instruction hours, Colón offers substitution or alternative hours for those cancelled. If this is not possible in certain individual cases, Colón is obligated not only to notify the client immediately of the cancellation but also to reimburse any course fees that were paid in advance for instruction hours not given after the completion of a given course period.

(4) Colón is not obligated to start a course if there are too few registrants. School management reserves the right to cancel any course which has fewer than the minimum number of registered clients or to combine the course with another one or to transfer clients to another course.

(5) Clients do not have the right to demand one particular instructor to teach their course. Changing the instructor in a particular course can be an element of the Colón method and does not entitle the client to terminate or rescind their contract.

(6) Organizational arrangements can only be made with the personal in the Colón office and not with the teachers.

(7) Any change of residence is to be reported without delay to the Colón office. 

(8) Books and other learning material is generally not included in the course prices.

Course Length, Course Renewal and National Holidays     

(1) Your registration is valid for the time period indicated when you book. For German group-courses this generally occurs on a monthly basis.

(2) If no ending date is indicated in your registration, your contract will automatically be extended for an additional month. If you wish to stop attending your open-end course, please inform the Colón office in writing before the end of your personal booking month. Otherwise you will automatically be billed for another month. The Colón office must be informed in advance if you wish to attend a course on a weekly basis, otherwise this will not be accepted. The week you begin your course will be charged as a full week; billing on a day-to-day basis is not possible.

(3) Your actual attendance (or non-attendance) in the course has no bearing on your obligation to pay the course fees. The course fees agreed to in the registration must be paid regardless of any interruptions (breaks) or absences on your part.

(4) There will be no compensation for course hours you have missed or those caused by circumstances beyond the control of the school. This applies especially to public holidays, public events, works council meetings and 24 December and 31 December.  The school will be closed between 24 and 31 December.  For this period (which does not include public holidays, 24 December or 31 December) course fees will be refunded or deducted from your bill.

Contract Withdrawal, Cancellation (of Courses / Accommodation) and Course Postponement

(1)  Contract withdrawal or cancellation must be effected by written declaration. The date the written cancellation is received will apply.

(2) If a course participant provides no substitute participant who can assume the participant’s contract, the following conditions for cancellation (of a German course) will apply:

If you cancel before the onset of the 4th calendar week prior to the course starting date, 50 % of the course fees for one month (or the fees paid) will be due as a cancellation fee. 

If you cancel within the last 28 days before the course starting date, 100% of the course fees for one month (or the paid fees) will be due as a cancellation fee.

Once the course has begun, cancellation is no longer possible and course fees will not be refunded.

(3) Cancellation of reserved accommodation is only possible by notifying us in writing. As long as the client provides no substitute participant who assumes the booked accommodation, your down payment of € 80.00 will be retained as a processing fee if you cancel at any time up to your arrival day.  If you cancel your accommodation after your arrival day, contract withdrawal is no longer possible and any fees paid for accommodation will not be refunded.

(4) If you register for a course within the last 4 weeks before the course begins, no withdrawal from the contract is possible and the conditions describe above will apply.

(5) Course Postponement: If you must postpone your course start to a later date or if you do not receive a visa in time for the start of the course you planned to attend, please inform us in writing in advance. Any change to your booking (i.e. course postponement) will cost €80.00. Once the course has started, a postponement is no longer possible. Credit vouchers are valid for one year and cannot be transferred or refunded.

Online Courses and Data protection

(1) In response to the current crisis situation we are offering our students courses online in place of regular classroom training.  To facilitate the online instruction we have set up a platform which works with Skype, Zoom and Facetime.

We have made certain that these providers are signers of the “Privacy Shield” Agreement and that the use of their services is conform to data protection regulations and therefore permissible.

(2) Online courses will use platforms such as Zoom, Skype (Microsoft) and Facetime (Apple). Although  all three platforms process personal data, they are subject to the provisions of the “Privacy Shield Agreement” and therefore offer the same data protection as European platforms.

The legal basis for the use of Zoom, Skype and Facetime is article 6 paragraph 1 lit.b) DSGVO (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)) for the fulfilment of the training contract.

Individual Instruction/Private Lessons

(1) Course fees are to be paid before lessons begin. 

(2) Lessons are to be taken within one year from the beginning of the course.

(3) There will be no refund for any lessons not taken by the client.

(4) If a client is unable to attend a lesson, it can be postponed or cancelled if the client notifies the Colón office by 4 pm on the workday before the planned lesson. For a lesson planned on a Monday, cancellation must be made at the latest by 1 pm the previous Friday. You must notify the Colón Office (info(at)colon.de) of your cancellation, not the teacher.

(5) Language Examinations

(1) Your examination registration is binding and payment must be made when you register.

(2) If you do not show up for your exam, the examination fees will not be refunded.  It is possible, however, to provide a substitute examinee at latest one day before your exam by providing a written explanation.

(3) In case of illness a doctor’s attestation must be provided to Colón within three days after the exam. The examination fees less a €60.00 processing fee will be credited to you.

(4) For telc examinations the telc terms and conditions apply.  Please note: The corrections of telc examinations usually take ca. 4-6 weeks. We will contact you as soon as the test results are available.

Accommodation and Transfer

(1) The reservation of the accommodation/transfer is effected in your name; the costs for the accommodation/transfer are to be paid in advance.

(2) You must pay for any damage you may do to anything in your place of accommodation.

(3) You are obligated to observe the house rules valid at your accommodation.

Insurance Cover

We recommend that you obtain the following insurance cover for your stay in Germany: health and accident insurance and personal liability insurance. If you have health insurance in your own country, please enquire if it also covers you in Germany.  If you have no health insurance, we recommend obtaining insurance from HanseMerkur Reiseversicherung AG (HanseMerkur Reiseversicherung AG, Neue Rabenstr. 28, 20354 Hamburg).  See our website  www.colon.de for the corresponding  link (www.colon.de/versicherung.html). For further information contact HanseMerkur Reiseversicherung AG direct:  Tel: +49-(0)-40-4119-1100.

Exclusion of Liability/Disclaimer

(1) In the case of illnesses, accidents and other losses, i.e. theft or damage to your property during school activities, Colón (or your accommodation) can be held liable only in the case of gross negligence or of clearly attributable intent.

(2) Neither Colón nor your accommodation can be held liable for any accidents or other damage occurring whilst you are underway to or from any school activities. 

(3) While present at the school, participants under 18 years of age are under the supervision of Colón instructors and if booked, of their host family. Minors can, for limited time periods, be left unsupervised; for example during breaks, after their lessons, when their host parents are still at work and when they are on their way to or from school. They may also travel alone by public transport to and from school. House rules at the school and at the host families are to be observed. In Germany the youth protection laws apply to all youths under the age of 18. https://www.bmfsfj.de/bmfsfj/service/publikationen/jugendschutz---verstaendlich-erklaert/86302?view=DEFAULT.

(4) In the case of any violations committed by youths against the youth protection laws or house rules, Colón reserves the right to expel the offender immediately from the accommodation and the school. In this case there will be no refunds for any missed lessons, no refunds of accommodation costs or exceptional travel costs. Parents registering students under the age of 18 expressly agree that neither Colón nor the host families take responsibility for the supervision of minors.

House Rules

(1) We request that you watch out for your belongings and valuables as neither the school nor the host families can be held liable for lost or stolen items.

(2) Smoking and the consumption of alcoholic beverages are not allowed on our premises. Photos, screenshots, audio and video recordings are prohibited! You are obligated to handle the devices, furniture and facilities with care and to observe the house rules and fire protection codes of the school and host families – as well as the smoking prohibitions.

(3) Colón is entitled to ban immediately from the school premises anyone who violates the house rules.  In such a case there will be no refunds of any fees. 

(4) Colón will not tolerate any insults or discriminatory remarks towards teaching or office staff or any other course participants or visitors to our premises. Any violations will likewise result in immediate ban from the premises.

Termination of contract due to improper conduct

(1) Colón can terminate a contract without further notice when a course participant continues to display disruptive behavior despite having received previous warnings form the school or if the participant acts contrary to the terms of the contract to such an extent that immediate termination is justified. Termination is certainly possible especially in the case that the participant violates rules that they are aware of, for example those pertaining to the use of alcohol, drugs or weapons or the house rules of the host family or school.

(2) Termination of contract is normally preceded by a warning unless the infraction is so serious that immediate termination of the contract is warranted to ensure the interests and safety of others. This applies especially in the case where the participant poses a considerable risk or threat to himself or or to other course participants.

(3) Should Colón terminate a contract, it reserves the right to retain all course/accommodation fees as per the registration. Any refunds for any unused services will be made on a voluntary basis.

Privacy and Data Protection

The client agrees that their personal data will be stored by Colón Language Center (Colón Fremdsprachen-Institut GmbH & Co KG) and the Mediengesellschaft für Fremdsprachen mbH (which together comprise an organizational unit) for internal administrative purposes and course planning. The entire Data Protection Declaration can be found at www.colon.de7datenschutzerklaerung/.

Cancellation Policy

The right to cancellation for user distance contracts and for contracts concluded away from business premises (off-premises contracts)

You have the right to cancel a contract concluded online, by fax or email within 14 days without indicating a reason for your cancellation.

The cancellation period is fourteen days from the date of conclusion of the contract.  In order to cancel your contract, you must notify Colón Language Center (Colonnaden 96, 20354 Hamburg, Fax: 040-346854, email: info(at)colon.de) by sending a clear intention of your cancellation by posted letter, telefax or email.

Consequences of Cancellation

If you cancel your contract, we are obliged to refund all payments we have received from you (except for any costs already incurred).  In the case that you have requested that our services begin during the withdrawal period, you are obliged to pay us an amount that is appropriate to those services received up to the point of time you notify us that you are making use of your right to cancel your contract. This appropriate amount is to be in proportion to the services you have used as compared to the entire service as laid out in the contract you are cancelling.

The right to cancellation is valid in accordance with paragraph 312g of the BGB (Bundesgesetzbuch - German Civil Code) only for customers (clients) and not for companies (businesses, entrepreneurs, employers) or language-study travel agencies.

Furthermore the above-mentioned right of cancellation for customers (users) is valid only in the case of contracts concluded off premises and within the framework of a so-called distance contract, i.e. contracts by which an entrepreneur or a person acting on behalf of or in the name of such a person and the customer who use exclusively a remote means of communication to negotiate and conclude the contract.  The above-mentioned right of cancellation does not however apply if the contract was not concluded within the framework of a distribution system or service system set up for doing distance selling.

Sample form of cancellation

Send to:

Colón Language Center

Colonnaden 96

D-20354 Hamburg

Fax: +49 40 346854

Email: info(at)colon.de

This is to inform you that we/I * are cancelling the contract concluded by us/me* for the purchase of the following goods/services*

ordered on*/received on* .

Name of customer

Address of customer

Signature of customer (only applicable if cancelling by letter or on paper)

Date

*Delete as appropriate

Final Provisions

(1) Any changes or additions to a contract must be made in text form.

(2) Colón Language Center is an educational institution certified by ‘Weiterbildung Hamburg e.V. ‘ (registered Organization for Continuing Education Hamburg).  Through regular auditing and ongoing refinement, ‘Weiterbildung Hamburg e.V.’ ensures Colón’s quality standards.

(3) Protection Service for participants available through ‘Weiterbildung Hamburg e.V.’  By displaying its certification seal,  Weiterbildung Hamburg guarantees a protection service for course participants. Should discrepancies arise between the educational facility and the course participant, conflict  moderation will be provided for at no cost.

(4) In the case of disputes arising from differing interpretations of any provision in a translated version of the  General Terms and Conditions, the German version of the Terms and Conditions will  apply.

(5) The lessons agreed on serve to provide vocational training or to duly prepare a legal person under public law for an examination. 

(6) Place of performance and jurisdiction is Hamburg, Germany.