Policies

1. Introduction

Welcome to UBELONG! We’d love to have you join our family of amazing volunteers!

We also encourage you to visit the Privacy Policy section of this website.

These are Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) governing your participation in a UBELONG program.  Submitting an application for a Volunteer Trip constitutes your agreement with these Terms and Conditions – if you do not agree to all of these Terms, do NOT submit an application for approval.

We reserve the right to change these Terms and Conditions from time to time – it is the volunteer’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with these terms and conditions and to check for any changes to said Terms and Conditions that might affect their volunteer trip.

UBELONG is a Limited Liabilty Company registered in the USA.  We are registered in the state of Washington.

2. Personal Risk

You acknowledge, understand and accept that all travel, including volunteer travel, involves inherent risks and dangers, including, but not limited to:

  • Accommodations;
  • Roads;
  • Trails;
  • The maintenance or operation of any vehicle utilized to transport passengers;
  • Transportation failures whether by airplane, train, auto, boat or other watercraft, horseback or other animal, by foot or by any other conveyance;
  • Risks associated with food or impure water;
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages;
  • Dangers associated with wild or other animals;
  • Physical exertion;
  • Stolen, lost or misplaced property;
  • High altitude;
  • Forces of nature;
  • Civil unrest;
  • Acts of terrorism;
  • Accident or illness in remote regions without means of rapid evacuation or availability of medical supplies and facilities;
  • Adequacy of medical attention once provided.

You accept and acknowledge that personal injury or illness, emotional trauma, property damage and death can occur by natural causes or activities of persons or animals, at any time during your volunteer trip.

In order for you to be accepted into one of our programs, you will need to read and sign our Liability Waiver which includes, amongst other things, your agreement to:

  • Forever releases us, our owners, our employees and any persons or groups associated to us of all liability;
  • Forever signifies that you are waiving any claims against us, our owners, our employees and any persons or groups associated to us, and expressly assuming all risks associated with participating in any of our programs.

3. Insurance

UBELONG requires that you have travel medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, for the duration of your experience. Prior to your departure we will ask you for general information about your policy, but it is your sole responsibility to determine its adequacy and any associated details like coverage levels and deductibles. If you fail to provide us with the requested insurance information within 10 days of your start date, your volunteer trip will be canceled and you will forfeit your entire trip cost. PLEASE be diligent in returning your required forms by the submission deadline.

Further, you understand that we do not and shall not maintain health, medical or disability insurance coverage for any participant in one of our programs. You understand that we will have no liability regarding the adequacy of any evacuation plan, medical care, equipment or supplies that may be provided. You acknowledge that injuries received may be compounded or increased by negligent rescue operations or procedures of us or other third parties.

You release, waive and hold UBELONG harmless for any acts of negligence or injury caused by any first aid, treatment or service administered to you. You agree to be responsible for your own welfare, and accept any and all risks of property loss or damage, unanticipated events, personal injury or illness, emotional trauma and death.

4. Cancellation Policy

We reserve the right to revise the fees at any time and without notice. The price due for any program is the price that was in effect AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION.

The volunteer’s reservation fees are due no later then 72 hours after the volunteer acceptance letter has been sent.  If you have submitted an application, please check your email regularly for your acceptance letter.  If your reservation fee is not received within 72 hours of sending your acceptance email, we reserve the right to cancel your placement. The reservation fee guarantees a spot in the requested project and can then not be taken by another applicant.  Please read your confirmation email carefully for payment options.  Feel free to ask us if you have any questions regarding payment options to avoid payment issues.

The balance of the program fees are due no later than 90 days prior to departure.  In the event that a volunteer has not paid their remaining fees 90 days prior to departure, the volunteer will forfeit their placement and no refund will be issued for any fees previously paid. AGAIN, PLEASE BE DILIGENT WITH PAYING YOUR FEES ON TIME SO YOU WILL NOT LOSE YOUR VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT.

If your application is received within 90 days of departure, all fees will be due within 72 hours of acceptance.

In the event that a volunteer should need to cancel or shorten their trip and they are between 30 and 90 days prior to departure, the volunteer will be entitled to a 50% refund of fees paid.  WITHIN 30 DAYS OF DEPARTURE, THERE WILL BE NO REFUND OF FEES FOR ANY REASON.  Please be sure that you will be able to participate in your program prior to submitting an application.  A great deal of effort is expended by UBELONG and our partners prior to a volunteer arriving in the field.

Please do not ask us to modify our cancellation/non-payment policies.  We realize that life happens but if there is ANY doubt the you will not be able to fulfill your trip responsibilities, please wait to complete an application until you are sure you can do so.

No refund will be given in the event that a volunteer chooses to leave their project earlier than their agreed-upon trip duration.

5. Other details

Changing Projects: If you wish to change projects in the same location  (for example, if you were confirmed on an education project but then decide to join a caregiving project), you can do so as long as you are more than 30 days prior to departure and the new project has space for you. If the volunteer is confirmed for the new project, there will be a US$50 change fee.

Changing Dates: If you want to change dates once you have been confirmed on your placement (for example, if you were confirmed to start on the first Monday of April but then want to change and start on the third Monday of April), you can do so as long as you are more than 30 days prior to departure and the new project has space for you on your new dates.  If the volunteer is confirmed for the new project, there will be a US $50 change fee.

6. Immunization and Travel Health

While we may offer you a list of suggested immunizations and travel health tips based on such publicly available sources as the United States Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization, we are not medical professionals and have no medical expertise whatsoever. We strongly recommend that you visit a medical professional before your trip; however, it is your sole responsibility to arrange and determine any required immunizations and medical procedures that you may need before, during and after your time in the field with us.

Furthermore, you accept and acknowledge that we have no responsibility regarding the adequacy of any evacuation plan and medical care, equipment or supplies that may be provided to you before, during or after your program. You are solely responsible for your own welfare, and you accept and acknowledge any and all risks of personal injury or illness, emotional trauma, property damage and death that may occur as a result of you joining one of our programs.

7. Travel to Your Program Country

You are responsible for arranging and paying all your airfare and other transport to and from the country where you will be joining one of our programs. While we may offer you travel advice, it is your sole responsibility to arrive in your host country in a comfortable, safe and timely manner.

Additionally, start and end dates are fixed. If you arrive late to your program or miss days during your program, regardless of the reason, you will not be entitled to any refund.  If you stay extra days, either before or after the program period that you signed up for, you will be charged for the additional days at a rate determined by us.

8. Travel Within Your Program Country

Unless explicitly noted by us in the description of your program (for example, we offer airport pickup on many of our Volunteer Abroad projects), you are responsible for arranging and paying for any local transportation that you may need or wish to use. While we may offer you travel advice, it is your sole responsibility to use sound judgment and travel in a comfortable, safe and timely manner.

9. Cancellation of Your Program
Safety is our priority, and you understand and accept that events beyond our control may negatively affect safety in your program country. Examples of such events include but are not limited to political and/or social upheaval, terrorism, war, and Acts of God such as diseases, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and winds.

If such an event occurs and we feel the implications on your program safety may be negative, we reserve the right to cancel your placement, even if we have already confirmed your participation. We will do our best to move you to another program country and/or refund you the fees you paid to UBELONG. However, under no circumstance with UBELONG be responsible for non-UBELONG expenses you may have already incurred, for example plane tickets and travel medical insurance.

If we cancel your program while you are already in your program country, we will do our best to help you leave the country or move you to another program country. However, under no circumstance will UBELONG be responsible for non-UBELONG expenses you may have already incurred, for example plane tickets. Your travel insurance company will be your first point of contact in the event such things occur.

10. UBELONG is an Agent

You understand that UBELONG is an agent acting on behalf of suppliers, hereinafter “Local Partners.” You accept and acknowledge that we organize, promote and offer programs that offer accommodation, transportation and other services provided by our Local Partners, which are independent and separate entities from UBELONG, and over which we have no authority or oversight. Examples of Local Partners include but are not limited to hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers, tour guides and travel agencies, as well as the entities where you may volunteer in, for example local biological reserves, clinics and hospitals, nonprofits and schools.

If you are accepted into a UBELONG program, prior to us confirming your placement we will ask you to read, agree and sign our Liability Waiver that, amongst other things, forever releases us, our owners, our employees and any persons or groups associated to us of all liability related to:

  • Any of our Local Partners´ negligent or willful acts, or failures to act including, without limitation, their partial or complete failure to deliver services to you; any personal injury or illness, emotional trauma, property damage or death which arises out of any service provided to you by our Local Partners;
  • Any error, misrepresentation or mistake, whether intentional or unintentional, made by any of our Local Partners.

11. Participant Acceptance

To join any of our programs, there is an application form that you must complete and submit. We reserve the right not to accept you into a program for any reason.

In your application form, we may ask you for references who can speak knowledgeably about you. At any point before, during or after your UBELONG experience in the field, we reserve the right to contact said references.

Additionally, we rely upon any statements or representations that you make in the application form or during the application process as being true. 

All of our programs require that you submit a police background check. Failure to do so as part of the volunteer paperwork will result in your forfeiting your volunteer space and our regular cancellation policies will be in effect.

12. Code of Conduct

If you are accepted by UBELONG,  you will read, agree and sign our Code of Conduct. The document details our expectations  as they relate to participating in our programs.

It is our sole right to determine violations of the Code. If, at any time during your program, we feel that you are not abiding by the Code, you will be require to leave the program and will not receive a refund of fees.

13. Guarantees and Warranties

The information on our site is provided “as is” without any representation or warranty, express or implied, of any kind, including, but not limited to warranties of merchantability or fitness of any kind.

Furthermore, all of our materials, including but not limited to, our website, may inadvertently contain inaccuracies and typographical errors. We do not warrant the accuracy, completeness or reliability of any advice, material, opinion, statement or other information displayed or distributed through our materials. You accept and acknowledge that any reliance on advice, material, opinion, statement or other information that we provide to you shall be at your sole risk.

Finally, we reserve the sole right to make any changes to any of our materials, including but not limited to, prices, privacy policy, programs and terms of services, at any time and without notice.

14. Attorney Fees

You agree that in any litigation, arbitration or other proceeding arising from or related to these Terms, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover from the non-prevailing party all reasonable attorney fees and associated costs and expenses incurred. In the event of a non-adjudicative settlement of litigation between the parties or a resolution of dispute by arbitration, the term “prevailing party” shall be determined by that process.

15. Governing Law

These Terms are governed by the laws of Washington in the United States of America. You agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts sitting in Washington and waive any jurisdictional, venue or inconvenient forum objections to such courts. You expressly agree that these Terms and Conditions are intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by the laws of Washington.

16. Legally Binding

These Terms shall be legally binding upon you, your family, heirs, administrators, executors and legal representatives. In accepting this document, you are not relying upon any oral or written representations or statements made by us other than what is set forth in these Terms. You understand and agree that in the event that any clause or provision of these Terms is found to be unenforceable or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity of such clause or provision shall not otherwise affect the remaining clauses and provisions of these Terms and will be construed as though the unenforceable clause or provision had never been contained in these Terms.