Booking Conditions

Booking Conditions of Oyster Worldwide Limited (“Oyster”)

These terms and conditions were published on 10 January 2011 and apply to all bookings made on or after that date.  They are the basis of your legally binding contract between you and Oyster.  You must read them carefully and make sure you understand them.  You must read paragraphs 18-28 particularly carefully.

All applications are made to Oyster Worldwide Limited referred to in this document as “Oyster”, “we” or “us”.  You are referred to as “you” and “the Applicant”. When we refer to the payment of money we mean the time when the money is actually in our account. Payment is not made simply when an uncleared cheque is offered to us.

All applicants for our placements are bound by these terms and conditions. As an applicant you are personally bound by them when you sign the application form.

You accept that any written information supplied to you, or anything we have told you about the placement you have applied for has been given to you in good faith and is based on what we knew and believed to be correct when we published the written material or told you what we said.

Our Responsibility to You

We are responsible to you for ensuring that the travel arrangements we make when you apply to and book with us are as we described they would be in our written material and in any conversations we have with you, and are of a reasonable standard.

We are responsible for the service that our representatives abroad offer to you.

We insure against the risk of breaching our obligations to you for benefit and peace of mind.

Applications, Bookings and the Payments you must make

After you have applied for a particular placement we shall tell you whether or not your application has been successful as quickly as possible.  We shall try to tell you in the same week as you made the application but cannot guarantee that we will.  If your application is not successful we will offer you an alternative placement.  You do not have to accept the alternative placement if you do not want to.  A confirmed place on a placement is called “a booking” in these terms and conditions.

On accepting an Oyster interview you must pay a fixed instalment of £180. If you are unsuccessful at the interview or choose not to accept a place your £180 will be fully refunded. Failure to show for the interview without warning or withdrawing later than 14 days from an offer of a place may result in you losing your £180.

You must pay a second instalment of £450 six months before departure and the remainder of your booking fee on or before the 90th day before your date of departure.  So for example, if your departure date is 1 September, you must pay the final instalment on or before 12 June (you do not count the actual day of departure).  The amount of the final instalment will depend on the placement you have chosen.

If you do not pay any of the payments on time we reserve the right to regard your application as cancelled and to offer your place on the placement to someone else.  If you have paid the first instalment but not the second and final instalments we may terminate the booking and do not have to refund to you the first instalment.

If you really have to cancel your application or your booking, you can. You must tell us in writing.  However, if you do, you will not be refunded the deposit or any of the instalments you have made.  Once you have cancelled we are entitled to treat them as at an end.  If you change your mind you will have to make a fresh application.

Us Cancelling

We shall not cancel your booking unless we have to for reasons which are beyond our reasonable control.

If we have to cancel your booking for reasons which are beyond our reasonable control not less than fourteen days before the planned date of your departure (not counting the day of departure) we shall try to place you on another placement which is similar to the cancelled one, if you want.  We cannot promise that we shall be able to do so, but we shall try.  If we succeed in placing you on another placement you must pay for any and all extra costs and expenses involved in that.

If we have to cancel your booking for reasons which are beyond our control less than fourteen days before the planned date of departure (not counting the day of departure) we are under no obligation to try to place you on another placement.  However, if we are able, having made reasonable efforts, to recover any costs or expenses as a result of this cancellation we shall pass what properly ought to be passed to you as soon as we can.

Insurance, Disclaimer and Limits of our Liability – PLEASE READ THIS VERY CAREFULLY

We shall maintain professional indemnity insurance in respect of all our obligations to you.

Before you depart on your placement you must have taken out adequate insurance to cover personal accident, medical and hospital expenses and the costs of repatriation. This insurance must also cover cancellation, curtailment, legal expenses, personal liability, medical and emergency travel, rescue and assistance, hijack and travel delay. That insurance must cover you for all the time you are on your placement and, we recommend, a further month after the planned end of the placement. We reserve the right to ask you to prove to us that you have taken out this insurance.  We also reserve the right not to allow you on the placement if you cannot prove that to us.

We strongly recommend that you take out full, comprehensive, personal travel insurance to cover such things as the loss, damage or theft of personal possessions and the costs of your emergency return to theUKas well as cover for foreign office advice against travel.  You may also wish to consider insuring against the risk of you not being able to pay either the first or second instalments, or the booking or placement being cancelled either by us or by you.

If you have to make a claim on your insurance policy you must make it to your insurers. We shall try to help if your insurers require any further information that we can reasonably give to them.

You, not we, are responsible for any excess on your insurance cover and for any shortfall in cover.

We are not liable to you or any third party for any inadequacy in insurance cover you take out or for the loss or theft of your personal property. Under no circumstances or at any time shall we lend you money.

You acknowledge and accept that placements of the kind organised by Oyster involve a degree of personal risk to life and limb.  You recognise that they are, potentially, dangerous or have dangerous elements to them.  You accept all the risks involved in making such placements.  We, our representatives and employees are not responsible for your personal health and safety when you are on a placement. We, our representatives and employees are not liable to you in any way whatsoever for any personal injury or damage to property or loss of life that may be caused either to you or by you when you are on a placement (including any travelling to or from a placement).  If any claim is made against us our representatives or employees in respect of any such personal injury or damage to property or loss of life caused to you or by you, you or your personal representatives agree to indemnify and hold us harmless in respect of such a claim.

We, our employees and representatives are not liable or responsible to you for (a) any failure to perform or delay in performance of our obligations under this Agreement or (b) any loss or damage or personal injury or death caused by (i) Act of God or (ii) outbreak of hostilities, riot, acts of war, acts of terrorism or civil disturbance or (iii) the act of any government or authority (including the revocation of any licence or consent including Visas)or  (iv) bad weather, fog, fire, explosion, flood, border closures or (v) industrial action of any kind, strike, lock-out, malicious damage, criminal activity of any kind including theft, mechanical breakdown or failure by suppliers or contractors or (vi) your own act or omissions or (vii) the acts or omissions of a third party not connected with us and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable or (viii) any cause or circumstance whatsoever which is beyond our reasonable control or we could not have foreseen even with due care.

We do not promise that what we have informed you in our printed material or in other way is true and accurate in every respect. However, we believe it is true and accurate in every respect. Every care is taken in the preparation of our written materials and what is said to you by us; however, events may suddenly change and where that is beyond our control we cannot accept liability for that.

We do not exclude liability to you for any fraudulent misrepresentation.

The limit on damages recoverable by you from us as a result of our failure to perform this Agreement is limited to the total of the deposit (or first payment) and the second and final instalments that you paid.

Health and Fitness

You are responsible for making sure you are physically and mentally fit before making your placement and can cope with it emotionally.  You are responsible for making sure you have taken all necessary vaccinations including the most appropriate anti-malarial treatments (if applicable).  We reserve the right to ask you to prove to us that you have done all this by producing, for example, an original doctor’s certificate of fitness.  You must obtain International Certificates of Vaccination which are valid for the entire duration of the placement, which we also reserve the right to inspect.

If you are ill while you are abroad you must consult your host for local medical assistance and where appropriate notify your insurers.  We and our representatives will offer what assistance we can but the ultimate responsibility for ensuring your health and well-being rests with you.

Passports and Visas

We shall help you obtain any passports and visas, including the provision of application forms, advice about filling them in and offering letters of invitation.  However, you are personally responsible for completing the application forms and obtaining these documents on time including making any personal attendances at embassies or government departments. Please remember that embassies decide whether or not a visa is issued, not us.  We are not responsible for any unsuccessful application for a passport or visa or any delay in obtaining one.

Dismissal from Paid Employment, Breaking the Law and Misconduct

You are responsible for all aspects of your behaviour while on a placement.

If you are disciplined or dismissed while gainfully employed you must tell us immediately.  If you are disciplined or dismissed from paid employment while on a placement and depending on the circumstances, and at our discretion, we shall offer what assistance we can. However, we reserve the right to terminate our agreement with you without notice (subject to any right of appeal you may have). You are responsible for any legal expenses you may incur.

If you are charged with any offence or are arrested for whatever reason, you must tell us as soon as reasonably practicable. Depending on the circumstances, and at our discretion, we shall offer what assistance we can. If you are found by a Court to have broken the law of the host country (whether civil or criminal) we reserve the right to terminate our agreement with you without notice.

If you behave in such a way in your host country that you impugn the reputation of Oyster or its representatives or damage our relationships with people there, we reserve the right to terminate our agreement with you without notice and our rights and remedies against you are fully reserved. In cases where we decide not to terminate the agreement without notice, we shall instead issue you with a final warning.  In the event that you cause a similar infraction we shall terminate your agreement with us.


You may leave the placement for short or extended periods at your own risk.  This is referred to as ‘downtime’.  For example, you might want to go away for the weekend or longer, or stay the night away from your usual accommodation. If you choose to do this Oyster will not be liable for your safety and well-being (although we would do all we could to help if trouble arose). You will be required to adhere to Oyster’s downtime policy about informing others and returning in time for work.  You must also ensure that you buy adequate insurance if you intend to do any independent travel or high-risk activities.

Data Protection

We must pass the information you provide to us about yourself to the suppliers of the arrangements we organise for you both here and abroad, such as your name and address, your sex and any special requirements you may have.  This information may also be provided for customs or immigration purposes or provided to others according to law.

We may use photos of you or written articles and quotes made by you for bonafide promotional purposes. Please let us know if you would rather we did not do this.


If you have a complaint about us or the services we offer you must (a) as soon as reasonably practicable raise it with our representative in the host country who will try to resolve your complaint in a reasonable period of time.  If you are still not satisfied, or the complaint was not resolved in a reasonable period of time you must (b) raise it with Oyster’s head office inSussexas soon as you can. If your complaint is still not resolved or resolved within a reasonable period of time you must (c) raise it with Oyster’s head office within 28 days of your return toEnglandor 35 days of the completion date of the placement, whichever is the sooner.

We are not liable to you in respect of any complaint where you have not followed this procedure.

Law and Jurisdiction

This Agreement is governed and construed in accordance with English law.  Both you and we submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

Back to top