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Hi! My name is Mat Hernandez, and this is my travel journal from my summer 2013 trip around China with …
1. Period of Program Engagement
My program starts and ends as indicated on the program start and end dates listed in the Fees & Schedule of the www.nextstepchina.org and www.nextstepchina.es website, and as according to the particular program for which I have enrolled.
2. Compliance with Rules and Regulation
I will comply with Next Step China. (hereinafter referred to as NSC) and University, Accommodation, etc. (hereinafter referred to as host institution) rules and regulations while I am a participant of NSC’s Program during the period as stated above.
I agree to observe and obey Chinese laws and regulations, and respect Chinese social morality and customs.
I and, if any, and individuals, on behalf of yourselves and your heirs, legal representatives, successors and assigns, agree to waive and release NSC (which term shall include officers, shareholders, directors, the company itself, employees and agents of the company, as well as host institutions and any person or entity employed or utilized by NSC) and agree not to sue such persons for any claims which may arise from, or in connection with, any physical or property damage which I may suffer from any cause whatsoever. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, I release such persons for any physical or property damage which I may suffer resulting from acts of God, strikes or government restrictions, war, terrorist activities, sickness or quarantine or the acts or omission of any other agents over which such persons have no direct control, including, without limitation, airlines, transportation companies and railways, bus companies, taxi services, restaurants, student residences, apartments, youth hostels, hotels or host families.
I understand that I am responsible for taking all measures and exercising caution and common sense at all times to avoid injuries and/or death.
I hereby waive and release all claims against NSC and its agents arising at any time during the program, (whether I am or am not under the direct supervision of NSC or its agents), and I agree to indemnify NSC and its agents against any consequences thereof.
NSC shall not be liable for any loss, harm, injury, damages on to me or to my property howsoever caused. Next Step China minor participants parents or legal guardian are asked to also AGREE AND SIGN the MINOR WAIVER FORM as well as this AGREEMENT.
4. Standards of Conduct and Accommodation Rules
NSC or the host institute shall have the right to enforce appropriate standards of conduct and that it may at any time terminate my participation in its program for failure to maintain these standards or for any actions or conduct which NSC or host institute considers to be incompatible with the interest, harmony, comfort and welfare of other students, staff, or the laws of the People’s Republic of China. I shall have no right to any refund of any part of my program fee upon termination of my participation from the program and that upon notice by NSC, whether verbally or in writing, I shall forthwith depart from the program and to return home at my own expense.
Smoking is not allowed in Next Step China’s accommodations. If any of the staff from Next Step China has any proof or evidence that smoking is occurring inside the apartment Next Step China will implement a warning system:
FIRST WARNING: Written warning
SECOND WARNING: Written warning with notification send to FINANCIAL GUARANTOR and a 1000 RMB fine. If the FINE is NOT PAID NSC has the right to deduct 10 tutoring session hours from the participants balance if tutoring was purchased. If no tutoring was purchased NSC has the right to restrict the participant from participating in any activities.
FINAL WARNING: Ask to be dismissed from the apartment, not the program, within 3 calendar days. Note will be sent to the Financial Guarantor of the decision that was made.
The possession, consumption/use, storing (whether for you or a “friend”) is STRICTLY PROHIBITED in any of the Next Step China accommodations. If Next Step China has reason to believe that any of the aforementioned actions occurred or is occurring you will be dismissed from the premises the SAME DAY. The participant will lose all fees that were pre-paid to Next Step China (example: tutoring, optional trips, tuition and any other miscellaneous etc).
Destruction of property and/or theft
In the event that a participant causes damage to any of the furniture, appliances, physical structures, walls, doors, ceilings, kitchen, bathroom and anything inside the property managed by Next Step China due to abuse the participant will be asked to pay for all the damages incurred. Next Step China has a responsibility to maintain the apartments in the exact manner it was initially contracted.
In the situation where a large appliances in an apartment such as refrigerator, air conditioning unit, clothes washer, etc. breakdown Next Step China will determine upon investigation whether the appliance broke because of abuse or regular maintenance. If NSC finds that the appliance broke due to abuse the participant will be asked to pay for all repairs or replacement of the item. If NSC finds that the appliance broke due to regular maintenance then NSC will cover all of the expensed to repair or replace the item.
If we are to find out that an appliance or item that was in the apartment is missing we will ask the participant to purchase the item in order to replace what was missing. Items such as TV’s, DVD players, small appliances, utensils, lamps, shelves, modem, routers, surge protectors, bed sheets are the property of Next Step China unless it was purchased by the participant.
Utility and Telephone Charges
The participant will not be responsible for any of the utility bills for electricity, gas, internet/phone and water usage charges. In the case a family member, friend or guest visits the tenant for longer than 3 days and NSC is 100% responsible for Utility and Telephone charges, a fee of 75 RMB per person per day will be assessed to the subtenant. In the case an ELECTRIC BIKE is purchased a fee of 150 RMB will be assessed per bike per month. In the case the unlimited feature of the internet is forfeited due to the usage of the land line phone, the participant agrees to pay the necessary additional fees or wait until the next credit refill the following month.
Overnight stays of guests
The participant needs to obtain Next Step China’s permission prior to the stay of any/all guest(s), family and friend(s). If the participant is to have family, friend (s), guest(s) that visit for a period longer than 3 days there is a 250 RMB fee per person to register with the police. In case a guest was not disclosed to the Next Step China, stated fees will be deducted from the deposit. If the participant is to have family, friend (s), guest(s) visit the participant and would like to reside in an empty room in any of our accommodations the fee is 150 RMB per night.
Parties or other activities that may disturb neighbors during the hours of 2300H-0800H are not allowed.
5. Tutoring Policy and rules.
Next Step China will try to the best of its ability to find our participants’ tutors that meet or exceed our rigorous requirements and interview process. However, a tutor may be changed at the discretion of the management team and/or the participant for personal or professional reasons such as differences in teaching style, attitudes, teaching ability or difficulty or poor performance, etc.
Tutoring hours that are purchased are ONLY to be used throughout the duration of the program. Tutoring hours are not to be sold, transferred, bartered or gifted to any other current or future Next Step China participant. Upon the departure of your program all remaining hours will be considered null and void. The participant understands that there are no refunds for the portion of unused tutoring hours. The no refund policy for tutoring hours is congruent to SECTION 7: Refunds and SECTION 8: Cancellation and Changes.
Tardiness of Participant:
Next Step China tries very hard to schedule all of the tutors with students scheduling. Nevertheless, there are times when students cancel classes without complete consideration of the tutors’ time and travel to the session. Therefore, we have the following rules:
Participants are to give their tutor Four (4) hours advanced notice of a cancellation of a tutoring session. If the participant cancels a session with 4 hours or more of advanced notice the participant will not have any hours deducted for the cancelled session. However, if the participant cancels the class in LESS than Four hours ( < 4 hours) the participant will lose 50% of the session time. For example, if a class session is 1.5 hours the participant will be charged 45 minutes of a tutoring session towards their tutoring hours account balance.
For cancellations that are valid or done more than 4 hours before the sessions: For a client with a 5x a week session, the number of allowed cancellations with a specific tutor are 5x in a 4 week period. If the client is a 4x a week session, the number of allowed cancellations with a specific tutor are 4x in a 4 week period, and so on. If the client exceeds the number of (valid or invalid) cancellations, we will provide payment to the tutor if the client cancels beyond the allowed cancellation within a 4 week period. The rules will also apply in reverse for the tutor.
Postponing classes will only be allowed if the teacher and the student are both ok with the pre-agreed schedule (4 hours before the session). If a student postpones the class less than 4 hours and the teacher is not available, the class will be considered as a cancelled class.
The start time of the session shall begin at the agreed start time. If the student is late, the start time will still start at the beginning of the agreed time. If the student goes beyond the hours because the student was late, Next Step China will pay for the extra time for extension caused by the tardiness of the student. If the student has to leave early without prior notice, Next Step China will still provide a payment of original duration agreed with the tutor. If the tutor is late, the start time begins at the arrival of the tutor. If the tutor is unable to extend because of prior engagements, the tutor must find time (convenient for the client) to make up for the tardiness, without extra charge.
Tardiness of Tutor:
Next Step China tries very hard to schedule all of the tutors with students scheduling. Nevertheless, there are times when a tutor cancels, forgets or can not make the class time due to unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, we have the following rules:
Tutors are to give their participants Four (4) hours advanced notice of a cancellation of a tutoring session. If the tutor cancels a session with 4 hours or more of advanced notice the participant will not have any hours credited for the cancelled session. However, if the tutor cancels the class in LESS than Four hours ( < 4 hours) the participant will gain a credit of 50% of the session time. For example, if a class session is 1.5 hours the participant will be credited 45 minutes of a tutoring session towards their tutoring hours account balance.
Other Tutoring Policies
If in the event we are to find out that a tutor and client have agreed to continue tutoring services outside of Next Step China, LLC, whether it is face to face or online, the client will immediately lose all of the benefits associated with Next Step China, LLC’s service. Meaning if you are a client in any program we will CANCEL or DISCONTINUE all services being rendered and promised to be rendered as per the program that was purchased whether it is a university program, teach English, Internship or intensive tutoring program. The act of poaching tutors from our company is considered an act of stealing. Keep in mind that this action will also have a material effect on the tutor as they will be IMMEDIATELY DISMISSED from Next Step China, LLC and BANNED from working for our company in the future. Please think twice before taking this action.
6. Termination of Participation
If my participation is terminated, I consent to being sent home on my own (or my parents’) expense with no refund of fees.
If I leave the program for any reason, I agree there will be no refund of fees already paid.
In the event that I fail to present myself for the entire or any part of the program, no refund of any fees already paid to NSC shall be made, unless I have given prior written notice to NSC stating full reasons, and has obtained prior written approval from NSC. For the avoidance of doubt, NSC has the sole discretion, and is not bound to, grant any approval. Further, any periods of absence may not be made up with free extension of the program, unless with the prior consent in writing from NSC.
Once the program has commenced there shall be no refund of program fees. In case of emergency, or for medical reasons, as outlined in the insurance policy, claims should be directed to the insurance provider you are signed up with, if any.
In the event that the program I have registered and enrolled in, for whatever reason cannot start on the original intended date, I agree to either accept a refund of program fees (minus the program deposit of $250 USD) or to start the program on the next available program closest in date to the original program or defer my program start date until a time which is mutually convenient for me and NSC (and in any event, within one year of the original application date) and where there is a program scheduled to begin.
Any bank or transfer fees associated with the refund of the program fees shall be the responsibility of the refund recipient.
8. Cancellation and Changes
In any activities or tours or programs arranged by NSC or the host institute I will accept the will of the majority whenever a matter of choice is presented to the group.
I accept that NSC or the host institute reserves the right to make any cancellations, changes or substitutions in cases of emergency or changed conditions or in the interest of each group.
I understand and accept that NSC or the host institute reserves the right to cancel programs due to insufficient number of registered participants and to reschedule my program start date to another time.
When there are less than 10 students in a class, NSC reserves the right to place students at other university/academy/school programs or defer the program until another date. NSC reserves the right to cancel any course due to insufficient registration.
Once the program has started, I agree that I may not cancel a service type or downgrade to another service type for which I have enrolled, but that I may upgrade or change to a higher service type as offered by NSC and to pay the fee differential.
In the event that the currency exchange rate between US Dollars (US$) and Reminibi (RMB) becomes US$1:RMB 6.5 or less, NSC reserves the right to impose a surcharge of an amount it deems appropriate in its absolute discretion.
I understand and accept that it is my responsibility to obtain the Chinese visa and in the event I cannot obtain the visa for participation I shall not hold NSC responsible. Failure to secure the necessary visa does not constitute grounds for a refund except according to Section 8 Item ii.
In the event that my visa application is rejected by the Chinese Authorities, I will be entitled to 100% refund of the program fees (excluding the application fee and program deposit), provided that: a) I give NSC written notice and show the visa rejection letter given by the Chinese Authorities; b) the program I have enrolled has not already started, and c) that I have not already started the program for which I have enrolled.
10. Medical, Health, Insurance
I understand that all foreign students studying in China must purchase Medical Insurance; and that if I instruct NSC to not purchase insurance on my behalf, I must purchase insurance on my own.
I understand travel accident and sickness insurance coverage for my benefit is optional and offered by Interglobal Limited, and that if I wish to have this coverage I should inform NSC at least two weeks before the start date of my program. I have read the schedule of benefits and policy wording and understand its contents.
I understand that should I purchase insurance in my home country I must show proof of this on my first day of classes during registration procedures.
I understand that the insurance policy is between Interglobal Limited and myself, and that NSC is not a party to the contract.
I accept that any insurance claims to be made to Interglobal Limited will be done directly to the insurance company without the involvement of NSC.
NSC is not responsible for any injury or loss whatsoever suffered by me during periods of the program, during independent travel, during university and/or NSC activities.
I expressly acknowledge and agree as a condition of traveling on a NSC program that I (and anyone claiming through me) shall have no rights whatsoever, directly or indirectly, under law or in equity against NSC.
I hereby grant NSC and its agents full authority to take whatever actions they may consider to be warranted due to any international or political unrest, personal emergency or other event regarding my health and safety, and I fully release each of them from any liability for such decisions or actions as may be taken in connection therewith.
If I become ill or incapacitated, NSC and its employees may take any action they deem necessary for my safety and well-being, including securing medical treatment (at my own expense) and transporting me home. I agree to indemnify NSC for any expense, fee, loss, damages, etc., in taking any action they deem necessary under this clause.
I authorize NSC and its agents at their discretion to place me at my own (or my parents’) expense and without my further consent in a hospital for medical services and treatment, or if no hospital is readily available, to place me in the hands of a local medical doctor for treatment.
I authorize NSC, upon receipt of full payment from me, to purchase the ISOS Corporate Access Medical Membership if they wish to do so. I have read the ISOS information on the website and understand its contents.
If I am receiving money as a loan from Next Step China, LLC I must receive permission from the management team of NSC. I, or my financial guarantor, agree to pay back the borrowed amount within 7 days of the receipt of loan. I understand NSC is only allowed to loan up to 1000 RMB at a time and also understand that Next Step China, LLC has the right to deny the request of a loan or deny further loans if a previous loan was in default. Failure to repay the loan within the 7 day period will give Next Step China the right to charge a penalty of 5% of the loan amount. If no attempt is made to repay the loan after the 7 day period the student will have up 10 hours deducted from their already purchased tutoring sessions and/or deny the student from any NSC weekend activities.
12. Social/Cultural Activities
I understand that NSC organizes social and cultural activities for program participants from time to time. I also understand that I am eligible to participate as many times as I want in each of those activities, but that NSC will only cover the costs of admission tickets, transportation and English guides for each of the activities once while I am a program participant. Subsequent participation of the same activity on my part will be at my own expense. In addition, unless expressly agreed by NSC, food and drinks are also to be at my own expense
13. Weekend Excursions
I understand the cost of weekend excursions that are arranged in addition to the free guided tours outlined in the program descriptions are not included in the program fees and that participation in such excursions will require that I pay an additional fee.
14. Use of Student Photos and Statements
Unless I expressly notify NSC not to do so in writing, NSC reserves the right to use any pictures of students, including pictures which I may be a part of or comments made by myself for print, oral, and internet publicity materials and cannot be held liable for such use.
As Consideration for being selected to participate in Next Step China (“NSC”) program (“Program”), I hereby consent to allow my personal testimonial, videos and/or photographs to be used in both this specific Program and any future medium with regard to Next Step China, and irrevocably grant to NSC, its successors, licensees, assignees and affiliated entities (collectively “you”) the right to make, use, reuse, reproduce, modify, publish, republish and create derivative works of this testimonial and/or photographs at your sole discretion in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity for any purpose; and to utilize my full name, likeness, written testimonial, in part or in its entirety, as you see fit.
This program will deal with selected personal testimonials (or testimonial in different words which have substantially the same meaning) and/or actual photos and may include, but will not be limited to, distribution on the worldwide web, television, DVD, video, electronic, direct TV and radio and print advertisements, box insets, brochures, sales collateral, etc. (all “Media”).
I hereby exclusively grant, assign and convey all right, title and interest, including any moral rights, in my personal testimonial and/or photographs and/or any use, reuse, reproduction, modification, publication, republication and creation of derivative works from my personal testimonial and photographs to you. I hereby release, discharge and agree to hold harmless you, your representatives, employees, officers, directors, agents or any person or persons, corporation or corporations, acting under your direction, including any firm publishing or distributing the finished product, even though the finished product may either intentionally or otherwise subject me to scandal, ridicule, reproach, scorn or indignity.
I hereby waive any right to inspect or approve the form of such materials bearing my name, likeness, and/or biographical information, and hereby state:
That all advertisements, copies of advertisements, box inserts, and/or future promotional print or online applications will be the property of NSC and shall be assigned to NSC.
That all copyright and other proprietary interests of whatever kind in the works acquired shall be the exclusive property of NSC.
That I shall cooperate fully by executing all necessary documents to perfect and register or, if necessary, assign copyright for the exclusive benefit of NSC.
If applicable, I warrant that the photographs I have sent are a true, unretouched representation of my likeness and that any perceived benefit demonstrated is real and attributed to the NSC Programs (the “Product”).
Similarly, any testimony given is truthful and from my personal experience with the Product. I further understand that by signing this Release and Consent to use, I specifically waive any claim, which I may have for payment or remuneration of any kind. I hereby warrant that I am competent to sign a contract in my own name as a citizen of the country I am a resident of.
These terms and conditions are standard and cannot be modified or interpreted except in writing and that no oral modification or interpretation shall have any validity.
16. Legal Governance
This agreement shall become effective when my application is accepted by NSC, and shall be construed and enforced in accordance with, and the rights of the parties shall be governed by, the laws of Hong Kong and/or the People’s Republic of China applicable thereto (at the choice of NSC).
Agreement is no way assignable by Student. No action by Company shall be construed as an assignment in anyway.
18. Non-Waiver of Breach
The failure of either party hereto to enforce any one or more of the terms of conditions of Agreement shall not be deemed a waiver of such terms or conditions or of either party’s rights thereafter to enforce each and every term and condition of Agreement.
Headings used in Agreement are provided for convenience only and shall not be used to construe meaning or intent.
20. Joint & Severability
If any provision in Agreement is declared void, such provision shall be deemed severed from Agreement, which Agreement otherwise shall remain in full force and effect.
21. Full Understanding
Agreement is the entire agreement between Student and Company. Agreement supersedes all other prior oral and written agreements and understandings between Student and Company with respect to the subject matter herein.
Participant acknowledges that Student has read Agreement and is familiar with its contents.
26. Withdrawal and Refund Policy
The application fee is non-refundable if NEXT STEP CHINA, LLC was not able to present you with any teaching opportunities.
Please view the following table for the policy on Refunds.
Information We Collect
You can use our website without divulging any personally identifiable information including your email address. Our website does not collect identifiable information about individuals except when such individuals specifically provide such information on a voluntary basis, such as when registering at our website, requesting a catalog, or completing our online application. NSC uses such information collected to improve and customize the content you see, to provide the products, services or membership benefits you request, and to contact you with related information.
NSC uses IP addresses to measure the amount of use of our website, and diagnose problems with our server, as well as administer its contents. NSC does not link IP addresses to personal information. Information collected via IP addresses includes page views, browser types, and referring site information.
Links to Other Web Sites
NSC website utilizes links to other websites. NSC holds no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, or other site links to those websites. The inclusion of any link to such a site does not create or imply any approval or endorsement of that site by NSC. NSC makes no representations whatsoever as to any other website that you may access through this one. These links are included on our website for reference purposes only.
Links from Other Web Sites
NSC is not responsible for the content of any other site linked to this one. The inclusion of any link to our site on another site’s pages does not create or imply any approval or endorsement of that site by NSC.
The network and data at NSC are secure, and access to this data is restricted solely to authorized employees. The network and database are password protected. The security of NSC website is consistently updated to provide the highest degree of privacy possible.
In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.
Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of Next Step China. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.
Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, Next Step China takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.
The use of this site is governed by the policies, terms and conditions set forth below. Please read them carefully. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree with any part of the following terms and conditions, you must not use this site. These terms and conditions shall apply regardless of the means by which the site was accessed, including, but not limited to, through the URL address:
http://www.nextstepchina.org electronic mail, or links from another site. Next Step China (hereafter referred to as “NSC”) reserves the right to make changes to this site and these terms and conditions at any time.
This site is owned and operated by NSC. Unless otherwise specified, all materials appearing on this site, including the text, site design, logos, graphics, icons, and images, as well as the selection, assembly and arrangement thereof, are the sole property of NSC, Copyright (c) 2008, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use the content of this site only for the purpose of applying for a NSC product and for no other purpose. No materials from this site may be copied, reproduced, modified, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any form or by any means without NSC’s prior written permission. All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved. Any unauthorized use of the materials appearing on
Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability as to the NSC Website:
The NSC website and the materials therein are provided “as is.” NSC makes no representations or warranties, either express or implied, of any kind with respect to the Next Step China web pages, their operations, contents, information, materials or year 2000 compliance. NSC expressly disclaims all warranties, express or implied, of any kind with respect to the site or its use, including but not limited to merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. You agree that NSC, its directors, officers, employees or other representatives shall not be liable for damages arising from the operation, content or use of this site. You agree that this limitation of liability is comprehensive and applies to all damages of any kind, including without limitation direct, indirect, compensatory, special, incidental, punitive and consequential damages.
Application and Acceptance Policy:
Your receipt of an electronic or other form of application confirmation does not signify our acceptance of your application, nor does it constitute confirmation of our offer to sell. NSC reserves the right at any time after receipt of your application to accept or decline your application for any reason. We may require additional verifications or information before accepting any application.
Age and Responsibility:
You represent and warrant that you are of sufficient legal age to use this site and to create binding legal obligations for any liability you may incur as a result of the use of this site. You agree to be financially responsible for all of your use of this web site, including without limitation minors living with you.
This site may contain links to other sites on the Internet that are owned and operated by third parties. You acknowledge that NSC is not responsible for the operation of or content located on or through any such site.
You shall defend and indemnify NSC and its third party providers and distributors from and against any claim or cause of action brought by or on your behalf in excess of the liability described herein or by third parties as a result of your use of this web site.
The relationship among NSC, its third party providers and distributors and you will be that of independent contractors, and neither of us nor any of our respective officers, agents or employees will be held or construed to be partners, joint ventures, fiduciaries, employees or agents of the other.
You may not assign, convey, subcontract or delegate your rights, duties or obligations hereunder.
Jurisdiction and Venue:
You agree that any legal action brought against NSC shall be governed by the laws of the State of Florida, USA. You agree that the sole jurisdiction and venue for any litigation arising from your use of or orders made on this website shall be an appropriate federal or state court located in Miami, State of Florida. Additional Terms: Additional terms and conditions may apply to reservations, purchases of goods and services and other uses of portions of this site, and you agree to abide by such other terms and conditions.
The terms and conditions set forth above constitute the entire agreement between us relating to the subject matter hereof, and supersedes any prior understandings or agreements (whether oral or written) regarding the subject matter, and may not be amended or modified except in writing.
Hi! My name is Mat Hernandez, and this is my travel journal from my summer 2013 trip around China with …