Responsibility Statement

National Geographic Student Expeditions (“NGSE”) will provide educational enrichment for trips (each a “Trip”) as outlined in its catalog and on its website (ngstudentexpeditions.com) and has licensed Putney Student Travel, Inc., its employees, shareholders, affiliates, officers, directors, successors, and assigns, (collectively, “PST”), a Vermont corporation based in Putney, Vermont, to organize and administer the Trip. PST, in turn, acts only as an agent for any transportation carriers, hotels, ground operators, and other suppliers of some of the services connected with the Trip (“Other Providers”), and those Other Providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. Neither NGSE nor PST owns, operates, supervises, and/or manages those Other Providers which are to or do provide goods or services for the Trip, including, for example, lodging facilities of any kind, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, local guides, guide services, or local ground operators (even if they use the PST or NGSE name), providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. The passenger tickets in use by the carriers will constitute the sole contract between the carriers and the passenger; the carriers are not responsible for any act, omission, or event during the time the Students are not aboard their conveyances. All such Other Providers are independent contractors. As a result, neither NGSE nor PST is liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any Other Provider, or of any other third party.

National Geographic Partners, LLC d/b/a National Geographic Student Expeditions, its parents, subsidiaries, and their respective employees, affiliates, officers, directors, successors, representatives, assigns (collectively “National Geographic”) and PST will not be held liable for (A) any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or any damage to personal property, whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God or force majeure, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, acts of government, incidents, attacks, or bites from domestic or wild animals or insects, strikes or other labor activities, athletic or sporting events or endeavors including the normal risk associated with same, epidemics or the threat thereof, adequacy or availability of health services and/or evacuation services if necessary, criminal, terrorist or threatened terrorist activities of any kind, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart in a timely manner, or loss, damage or delay in delivery of luggage and/or personal effects; or (B) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any Other Provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such Other Provider. I (the parent/guardian) and the Trip participant (the “Student”) (Student and I are collectively referred to herein as “You”) waive any claim against National Geographic and/or PST for any such loss, damage, injury, or death.

By registering for the Trip, You certify that the Student does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for himself or herself or other Students. NGSE and PST reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove the Student from the Trip. NGSE and PST reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary or desirable for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the Students.

Neither National Geographic nor PST shall be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the Student’s Trip departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the Student.

Terms and Conditions

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE “ARBITRATION AGREEMENT” SECTION BELOW CONTAINS PROVISIONS THAT REQUIRE (i) WITH LIMITED EXCEPTIONS, ALL DISPUTES ARISING BETWEEN YOU AND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AND/OR PST UNDER THIS AGREEMENT TO BE RESOLVED IN BINDING ARBITRATION, AND NOT IN COURT, AND (ii) YOU AND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AND PST WAIVE THE RIGHT TO BRING OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH DISPUTES.  PLEASE BE SURE TO READ AND REVIEW CAREFULLY THE ENTIRE SECTION LABELED “ARBITRATION AGREEMENT” BELOW.  BY ACCEPTING THIS AGREEMENT, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT.

BASIS OF RATES: All amounts are quoted in U.S. dollars.  The tuitions are based on current tariffs, currency values, airfares and third-party charges as of catalog publication date and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. While NGSE and PST do everything possible to maintain the listed tuitions, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, NGSE and PST reserve the right to do so.

ELIGIBILITY: Students ages 13 and older who are completing 7th and 8th grades are eligible to participate in a middle school Trip.  Students completing 9th through 12th grades are eligible to participate in a high school Trip.

TUITION INCLUDES: All meals, lodging, activities, excursions, ground transportation, taxes, gratuities, and pre-Trip materials are included. For students participating in Photography and Film & Video On Assignment projects, there is a supplement to cover the cost of equipment and other materials required for these assignments. See ngstudentexpeditions.com/resources/admission-details for these supplemental fees.

TUITION DOES NOT INCLUDE: The $200 Application Fee, airfare and related fees, costs of obtaining passports or visas, baggage charges, medical expenses and immunizations, trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance, personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls, and any other items not specifically noted as included.

TERMS OF PAYMENT:

Application Fee and Deposit: A $700 payment (made up of a $200 Application Fee and a $500 Tuition Deposit) is required with all applications. The Tuition Deposit is credited to the tuition for accepted students. Payment may be made by check or credit card.

Final Payment: Final payment of the full tuition and group flight airline tickets (if applicable), is due on March 15, 2018. For applications submitted after March 15, 2018, final payment is due within five (5) business days after the initial $700 payment is made. Final payment may be made by check, wire transfer, or credit card. Checks must be in U.S. dollars and must be drawn on a U.S. bank. Please make checks payable to “Putney Student Travel” and write the Student’s name clearly on the check. For payment by wire transfer, please consult the NGSE office for wiring information. For final payment made by credit card, a 2.75% fee is added to your payment.

If an application is not accepted or if space is not available on the Trip listed as first choice, the full $700 payment amount will be refunded, or if payment of the full tuition, and (if applicable) payment of group flight airline tickets, has been made, the amount of the full payment will be refunded.

Wait List: Wait-listed applications must include the $700 payment, which will be fully refunded if space does not become available or if the application is withdrawn prior to acceptance. A wait-listed application must be completed to be considered for acceptance.

Withdrawal: If the Student withdraws from a Trip for any reason, either before or after his or her application is accepted, the following terms will govern any refunds. For a withdrawal on or before March 15, 2018, all payments and (if applicable) group flight airline tickets payments, will be refunded, less the Application Fee. For a withdrawal after March 15, 2018, no refunds of the $700 payment, full tuition, or (if applicable) group flight airline tickets will be made.

Cancellation: NGSE and PST reserve the right to cancel applications that are not completed in a timely manner; however, NGSE and PST will communicate with applicants to facilitate the admissions process prior to cancelling applications. NGSE and PST further reserve the right to revoke an acceptance when payment is past due.  No refund of the payments made to date is provided in this circumstance.

If NGSE or PST cancel an application on or before March 15, 2018, all payments will be refunded, less the Application Fee. If NGSE or PST cancel an application or revoke an acceptance after March 15, 2018, the $700 payment and (if applicable) any non-refundable airline tickets, will be forfeited.

If NGSE or PST cancel an application or revoke an acceptance, written notification will be sent to the address provided on the application form.

Leaving a Trip in progress, for any reason, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portion of a Trip. NGSE and PST reserve the right to cancel any Trip because of inadequate enrollment that makes the Trip economically infeasible to operate or because of good faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the students. If NGSE or PST cancels a Trip prior to departure, PST will provide a full refund of monies paid, except in the event the cancellation is due to a significant event that makes it infeasible to operate the Trip as planned, in which case PST will provide a refund and/or credit toward a future Trip equivalent to monies paid. If NGSE and PST cancel the Trip in progress, PST will provide a prorated refund based on the number of days not completed on the Trip. NGSE and PST will not be responsible for any refund for any expenses related to nonrefundable airline tickets.

TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE: Trip cancellation insurance is available at an additional cost and is strongly recommended. NGSE will send students information about a trip cancellation insurance option with pre-Trip materials.

ITINERARY CHANGES: NGSE and PST have carefully planned each of the Trips on this website; however, there may be instances where the Trip descriptions and staff presented on this website may change. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate Trips as planned, but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary is sent. To get the most out of their experience, Students need to be flexible in responding to unforeseen situations and in taking advantage of unexpected opportunities.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS: Valid passports are required for travel to the international destinations; check with NGSE for the latest requirements and assistance. For destinations that require a visa for U.S. citizens, NGSE will provide detailed information on how to obtain a visa. Non-U.S. citizens must check on their own visa requirements or contact NGSE for help determining those requirements.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: The Student must be in good physical condition and mental health. Any condition requiring special attention, diet, or treatment must be reported to PST in writing before May 19, 2018.  NGSE and PST encourage You to consult a doctor for specific medical advice about any activities or destinations.

MEDICAL AUTHORIZATION AND COVERAGE: You must complete and sign the Permission for Emergency Treatment form as a prerequisite for the Student’s participation on the Trip. You certify that the Student has medical insurance which will cover personal accidents, medical expenses, medical evacuation, air ambulance, loss of effects, repatriation costs, and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay, or inconvenience occurring to the Student, or that in the absence of this medical insurance coverage, you agree to pay all costs of rescue and/or medical services as may be incurred on the Student’s behalf.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO: You grant to PST the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any Trip, or part thereof, and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use in perpetuity.  You and the Student agree to allow the Student’s likeness to be used by NGSE, NGSE-authorized third parties, and PST without compensation to You.

Copyright in all photographs, video, and text (including correspondence) created by the Student during the operation of any Trip, or part thereof, (“Expedition Materials”) shall belong to the Student upon creation.  You and the Student grant to PST, NGSE, and NGSE-authorized third parties a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable license to use the Expedition Materials, in any media now existing or subsequently developed for the following limited purposes: editorial use, promotion of the editorial use, promotion of NGSE, promotion of the work of PST, or promotion of the mission of National Geographic Society.

ASSUMPTION OF RISK: By registering the Student for a Trip, You acknowledge that You are aware that travel such as the Trip the Student is undertaking involves potentially dangerous activities, some in remote areas of the world, with a risk of illness, injury, or death which may be caused by forces of nature, illness, or by willful or criminal conduct of third parties or by terrorism. You further acknowledge that weather conditions may be severe, adverse and/or unpleasant, and that medical services or facilities may not be readily available or accessible or consistent with standards in the United States during some or all of the time during which the Student is participating on the Trip and that when available may not be of the quality which exists in the United States.  You accept the entire risk attendant thereto and voluntarily accept the same as risks of the Student’s participation in the Trip.  In addition, You agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions hereto including policies on refunds.

ARBITRATION AGREEMENT: (1) NGSE and  PST (collectively “Trip Provider”), and You agree that any and all disputes and claims that each of You and Trip Provider may have against the other that arise out of or relate to this Agreement and the Trip, including the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity of this Agreement, including the agreement to arbitrate (the “Arbitration Agreement”) and the scope or applicability of this Arbitration Agreement (collectively, “Disputes”), including but not limited to the arbitrability of any and all Disputes, and even if the events giving rise to Disputes occurred before this Arbitration Agreement became effective, will be resolved in a binding, confidential, individual and fair arbitration process, and not in court.  Each of You and Trip Provider agrees to give up the right to sue in court.  Each of You and Trip Provider also agrees to give up the right to have Disputes heard by a jury and the ability to seek to represent, in a class action or otherwise (see paragraph 9 of this Arbitration Agreement below).  The only exceptions to this Arbitration Agreement are that (i) each of You and Trip Provider retains the right to sue in small claims court and (ii) each of You and Trip Provider may bring suit in court against the other to enjoin infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights.

(2) This Agreement evidences a transaction in interstate commerce, and thus the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16, governs the interpretation and enforcement of this Arbitration Agreement.  This Arbitration Agreement shall survive termination of this Agreement.

(3) Any arbitration between You and Trip Provider will be conducted by the American Arbitration Association (the “AAA”) and will be governed by the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules and the Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes (collectively, the “AAA Rules”), as modified by this Arbitration Agreement.  The AAA Rules are available online at www.adr.org, or by calling the AAA at 1-800-778-7879.  The arbitration will be conducted by a single arbitrator.  If You and Trip Provider cannot agree on who that single arbitrator should be, then the AAA shall appoint an arbitrator with significant experience resolving the type of Dispute at issue.  The arbitrator is bound by the terms of this Agreement.

(4) If either You or Trip Provider wants to arbitrate a Dispute, You or Trip Provider must first send by mail to the other a written Notice of Dispute (“Notice”) that sets forth the name, address, and contact information of the party giving notice, the specific facts giving rise to the Dispute, the Trip to which the Notice relates, and the relief requested.  Your Notice to Trip Provider must be sent by mail to Arbitration Notice of Dispute, c/o Business and Legal Affairs, Litigation VP, 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.  Trip Provider will send any Notice to You at the contact information Trip Provider has for You or that You provide.  It is the sender’s responsibility to ensure that the recipient receives the Notice.  During the first 45 days after You or Trip Provider sends a Notice to the other, You and Trip Provider may try to reach a settlement of the Dispute.  If You and Trip Provider do not resolve the Dispute within those first 45 days, either You or Trip Provider may initiate arbitration in accordance with the rules and procedures provided for by the AAA.  A form for initiating formal arbitration may be found on the AAA’s website at www.adr.org (“Arbitration Form”).  In addition to filing this Arbitration Form with AAA in accordance with its rules and procedures, You must send a copy of this completed Arbitration Form to Trip Provider at the address listed above to which You sent your Notice of Dispute.

(5) AAA charges fees to conduct arbitrations.  Ordinarily, the claimant has to pay that fee to start a case, but if You wish to commence an arbitration against Trip Provider, and You are seeking to recover less than $5,000 (inclusive of attorneys’ fees), You will not have to pay this filing fee; Trip Provider will pay it on your behalf.  If You are seeking to recover $5,000 or more, You will have to pay the filing fee charged by AAA, but Trip Provider will reimburse that fee if You win the arbitration.

(6) If You are seeking to recover $10,000 or less, AAA rules provide that the Dispute should be resolved without a hearing, by submission of documents only.  Either You or Trip Provider may request a hearing, however, and be responsible for the fees associated with it.  If the arbitrator recommends a hearing, even if neither You nor Trip Provider request one, Trip Provider will pay the arbitrator’s fees associated with the hearing.  If the claim is for more than $10,000, the manner and place of the hearing will be determined in accordance with the AAA Rules.

(7) Regardless of how the arbitration proceeds, the arbitrator shall issue a reasoned written decision sufficient to explain his or her findings and conclusions.

(8) Each of You and Trip Provider may incur attorneys’ fees during the arbitration.  In addition to whatever rights You may have to recover your attorneys’ fees under Applicable Law, if You prevail in the arbitration, and if Trip Provider failed to make a settlement offer to You before the arbitration or the amount You win is at least 25% greater than Trip Provider’s highest settlement offer to resolve the Dispute, then Trip Provider will pay your reasonable attorneys’ fees in addition to the amount the arbitrator awarded.  If Trip Provider wins the arbitration, You will be responsible for your own attorneys’ fees.  In addition, if the arbitrator, at the request of the winning party, finds that the losing party brought a Dispute or asserted a defense frivolously or for an improper purpose, then regardless of the amount in dispute, the arbitrator must order the losing party to pay both sides’ arbitration fees and may order the losing party to pay the winning party’s reasonable attorneys’ fees, unless such an award of fees is prohibited by Applicable Law.

(9) The arbitrator may award declaratory or injunctive relief only in favor of the individual party seeking relief and only to the extent necessary to provide relief warranted by that party’s individual claim.  The arbitrator may not order Trip Provider to pay any monies to or take any actions with respect to persons other than You, unless Trip Provider explicitly consents in advance, after an arbitrator is selected, to permit the arbitrator to enter such an order.  YOU AND  PROVIDER AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN YOUR OR ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS, REPRESENTATIVE OR MULTI-CLAIMANT PROCEEDING.  Further, unless Trip Provider agrees, the arbitrator may not consolidate other persons’ claims with yours, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative, multi-claimant or class proceeding.  If this specific provision is found to be unenforceable, then the entirety of this Arbitration Agreement shall be null and void, but the rest of this Agreement, including the provisions governing where actions against Trip Provider must be pursued, will remain in effect.

(10) You and Trip Provider agree to maintain the confidential nature of the arbitration proceeding and shall not disclose the fact of the arbitration, any documents exchanged as part of any mediation,  proceedings of the arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision and the existence or amount of any award, except as may be necessary to prepare for or conduct the arbitration (in which case anyone becoming privy to confidential information must undertake to preserve its confidentiality), or except as may be necessary in connection with a court application for a provisional remedy, a judicial challenge to an award or its enforcement, or unless otherwise required by law or court order.

PRIVACY POLICY: Our privacy policy can be found at nationalgeographic.com/community/privacy/

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