General Terms and Conditions
Foreign language courses
- In the case of group lessons, the school guarantees your course dates if a minimum of 4 participants is reached (in the case of German intensive courses: 5 participants). If the minimum required number of participants is not reached in time, the agreed-upon start date of the course (and accordingly, the end date) can be postponed up to four weeks.
- Changes to the course dates will be communicated to the participants at least two business days in advance.
- The lesson plan for private students will be agreed up in consultation with the Secretariat. The office must be notified of cancellations or changes to the agreed-upon class schedule at least 24 hours in advance.
- Classes will not be held on official holidays of the State of Berlin nor in the period between December 24th and January 1st each year. Unless otherwise agreed-upon, classes will be held on business days.
- Classes that were been scheduled but weren’t attended, must be paid for in any case.
- The contract automatically ends with the specified end of classes. If an early termination to the instruction is agreed upon, the minimum four weeks of notice begins on the date the school receives written notification.
- Participation in the lessons occurs at your own risk. The school is not liable for theft, accidents, other damage, or for lessons canceled as the result of force majeure.
- Course fees are payable in advance, at the latest on the first day of the course. The fee for courses with daily lessons is due in its entirety in advance, and no later than on the first day of class. Fees for evening classes may either be paid prior to the course start in full, or in two equal installments, one prior to the start of the course, and the second at the beginning of the eighth week of classes.
- In the case of cancelation, the following fees will apply:
- Cancellation more than 56 days before start of program: 90% refund
- Cancellation 55 to 30 days before start of program: 80% refund
- Cancellation 29 to 20 days before start of program: 70% refund
- Cancellation 19 to 15 days before start of program: 50% refund
- Cancellation less than 15 days before start of program: 0% refund
- Cancellation due to Visa-denial/refusal: 100% refund
minus administrative fee (ca. 200€) – Confirmation of visa denial/refusal issued by German embassy/consulate has to be submitted.
- Cancellation due to serious illness, accident or death: 100% refund
minus administrative fee (ca. 200€) – a medical certificate / certificate of death issued by the attending physician has to be submitted in a notarized translation into German.
- The place of jurisdiction is Berlin.
Registration and Confirmation
Every registration received by mail, e-mail, fax or telephone at the BWK BildungsWerk in Kreuzberg GmbH (hereinafter referred to as BWK) will be considered valid. Registration will be confirmed within ten working days of receipt. The contract is considered concluded and final as soon as BWK has confirmed the registration. This is then legally enforceable. If the registered person is of legal age, s/he is considered the contracting party. If the registered person is a minor, the legal guardian is considered the contracting party. In this case, s/he must sign the contract and provide her/his exact address. The person contractually registered to a language course will be considered a participant, and will be hereinafter be referred to as such. The person who signs the contract (the student herself/himself or in the case of a minor, the legal representative) will be considered the contracting party and will be referred to as such hereinafter.
Information provided at the time of registration
The contracting party expressly declares that the information submitted during the registration for the language course is accurate and true. Any incorrect information provided or any omission of information may, at any time, and without further formalities, lead to expulsion from the course (for example, a “complete beginner” who has exaggerated his/her skill level in order to begin a course at a time other than the official dates given for “complete beginners”). In such a case, the payment of the language course is non-refundable, not even in part.
BWK charges €75 for each registration. These fees are non-refundable. This fee is waived for courses that are 12 weeks or longer.
Fee for changes to the contract
If the participant requests a change of course type or another type of accommodation after their registration has been confirmed by BWK, a change fee of €55 applies. This fee must be paid at the time of the application for the change. If the participant decides to extend his/her language course at the same center, no additional fees will be charged.
Terms of payment
As soon as the participant has received the registration confirmation, the following fees are to be paid immediately: -a deposit in the amount of €390; -for our 10-month package bookings, 100% of the bill; -for bookings under 12 weeks, the registration fee in the amount of €75; – (not included in the price of the language course) – the fees for health insurance (if selected) -the remaining total balance is due no later than four weeks before the course starts. If registration occurs less than four weeks before the beginning of the course, the full amount must be paid upon receipt of invoice. The course and the accommodation will not be viewed as paid if the invoiced amount has not been credited to the account specified by BWK in the registration confirmation.
If the payment due dates indicated by BWK in the confirmation are not met, the contracting party will be placed in default. In this case, BWK reserves the right to refuse the participant course attendance. The BWK does not accept any claims in this case.
Proof of payment
Prior to, or at the start of the course, a participant may be asked to present a document as proof that s/he has paid the course and/or accommodation in full. If the participant is unable to present such a document, both the course and the accommodation services may be denied to the participant. In the case of late registration, BWK will ask for such proof prior to sending the pre-arrival documents.Cancelation prior to the start of the course:
The contracting party may withdraw from the contract at any time prior to the start of the language course. If this is the case, the BWK is due adequate compensation. The amount of compensation depends on the remaining length of time between the moment of receipt of the notice of termination at BWK and the course starting date. The amount of compensation due is calculated according to this principle, as follows:
- >56 days or more prior to the start of the course: 90% of the full invoiced amount
- From 55 to 30 days prior to the start of the course: 80% of the full invoiced amount
- From 29 to 20 days prior to the start of the course: 70% of the full invoiced amount
- From 19 to 15 days prior to the start of the course: 50% of the full invoiced amount
- <15 days or less prior to the start of the course: 0% of the full invoiced amount
- Failure to appear for the course, or cancelation after the start of the course: 100% of the full invoiced amount. The €75 registration fee remains due (for bookings up to 12 weeks). The amount payable for cancellation must be paid within ten days of the receipt of the cancellation invoice. If the participant is denied a visa and the original document from the German Embassy denying the application is presented, the BWK will refund the entire amount paid, minus a €150 handling charge.
Passports and Visas
The participant is responsible for upholding the security, visa and health requirements for entry into and stay in Germany. Under no circumstances can the BWK be found liable for a refusal of entry or stay in Germany to a participant. The information for each of the security, visa and health requirements are available at the German Embassy or Consulate in the participant’s country of residence. In the case of a prohibition of entry or stay in Germany due to the fault of the participant, no reimbursement will be given, not even partial. The BWK will provide an invitation letter for the visa application upon receipt of payment in full for the language course.
Accident and Health Insurance
The participant is responsible for having a valid health and accident insurance for the entire duration of his/her stay in Germany. If s/he does not have such coverage, the BWK can offer an appropriate insurance policy that covers these risks. This cost of this insurance will be invoiced together with the booked package and will only cover accidents and illnesses.
Damages Caused by the Participants/ Liability
Prior to their arrival at BWK, each participant must set up insurance coverage (liability insurance, which provides in case of damage in Germany), which covers any damages that s/he may cause during his/her stay. Even in the cases that the participant has not deemed it necessary to take out such insurance s/he is liable for all damages which s/he may inflict upon BWK, BWK’s business partners, or third parties, except in cases where BWK’s liability can be clearly demonstrated.
Obligations of the Participants
The participant is required to attend the course and to arrive on time. S/he must choose a course that is appropriate for his/her level. If the participant does not participate in class, has irregular attendance, or disrupts instruction through his/her behavior, the BWK reserves the right to expel the concerned participant from the course. In this case no refund will be made by the BWK for missed lessons or for the extraordinary travel expenses.
In order not to disturb class, a participant who arrives at the school more than 15 minutes late, must wait for the next break before s/he can enter the classroom.
If a participant does not attend all lessons of the course, s/he has no right to a refund. If s/he attends less than 80% of the courses, s/he has no right to a certificate of participation.
If a participant wishes to bring a claim of any kind, s/he must notify the principal of the school immediately. In order to get a possible refund, all requests must be directed to BWK. These requests must absolutely be received no more than four weeks after the end of the contracted language course. After this period, any claim by the contracting party shall be void.
In the case of undisciplined or unacceptable behavior, or lack of good will by a participant, BWK reserves the right expel such a participant from the course at any time. In such a case, BWK will not provide a refund for the missed lessons, or for the extraordinary travel expenses.
Changes in prices, dates, or services
As long as a participant has not yet received a booking confirmation, BWK has the right to change the prices and dates of the language courses at any time from those published on the Internet or through any other means of communication. After a registration confirmation has been issued, BWK can alter its published program of services, provided that the changes are inevitable, are of little significance, they do not violate the principle of good faith, and that at no time are the pedagogical services negatively impacted. If significant changes related to BWK’s main services are made, the contracting party may withdraw from the contract entirely or apply to participate in a course of the same type as long as BWK can provide it. BWK must notify participants of any changes immediately, who must in turn assert their rights as soon as possible after receipt of notice from BWK.
Minimum number of participants
If the required minimum number of participants (six people for group classes) for language classes is not reached, the BWK must inform the contracting party of this at least two days prior to the course start-date. If the BWK can’t offer the contracting party a substitution, all already paid fees will be refunded. There is no right to an indemnity by BWK for a possible loss of time or other inconveniences. If none of the levels of language classes corresponds to the participant’s skill level, BWK reserves the right to substitute a private class for a group class, wherein the number of private lessons is dependent on the amount paid by the participant.
BWK reserves the right, in the case of bad weather conditions or other events that are not associated with the BWK to cancel one or more of the activities described and published in the program. In this case, the BWK will offer substitute activities.
The contracting party declares to have taken note of the fact that the schools are generally closed on local holidays. S/he recognizes that this situation does not entitle one to an indemnity from BWK.
Cancellation of a course by BWK
BWK reserves the right to cancel a course for reasons of safety, strike, political unrest, or other extraordinary causes. In this case BWK will refund the total course fees, but reserves the right to withhold a certain amount for administrative fees.
BWK assumes full responsibility for the courses offered and commits to organizing them efficiently according to their experience and knowledge in this area. BWK cannot be held responsible in any case for damages caused by illness, accident or inconvenience caused by poor service provided by any party commissioned by BWK. In addition, BWK denies any liability for the loss of valuables, personal items, money, etc., unless such damage is caused due to gross negligence by BWK.
BWK is authorized to take all necessary measures to ensure the health and welfare of the participants. BWK also has the right to take appropriate action where necessary to ensure appropriate medical attention for the participants. The cost accruing from such medical care shall be borne by the contracting party, or in the case of a minor, by the legal guardian. When registering for certain sporting packages with potential risks, the legal guardian must sign a written consent. Without this signed consent, BWK reserves the right to prohibit the participant from participation in various sports activities.
Personal information will be stored at BWK only in the case of a general or a price question, as well as in the case of registration for a course. In principle, external organizations and individuals do not have access to BWK’s database. Personal data will be disclosed for the reservation of accommodation (host family, hostel or hotel) or to fulfill legal obligations. In certain cases BWK will provide the relevant authorities such information (eg, the immigration authorities). Personal data will be saved and stored at BWK. In addition to consulting and reservation purposes, the information can be used to provide participants information about BWK’s new products.
BWK reserves the right to keep and use certain photos taken by participants, as well as photos in which participants appear, for advertising purposes. The same applies to anything produced by the participant during the course. This right shall cease to apply if the participant or his/her legal guardian, state in writing at the time of registration that they reject this point.
Applicable law and jurisdiction
Contractual and legal relationships between BWK and the participants are governed by German law. The place of jurisdiction is Berlin. The present general terms and conditions and conditions of sale in no way restrict the customary rights of the contracting party.