Code of Conduct & Guidelines
While enrolled in an ECC program, you agree to abide by the Code of Conduct. You understand and agree that engaging in conduct that violates this code shall be subject to disciplinary actions. You acknowledge and accept ECC has the authority at all times to establish rules of conduct necessary for the operation of the program, which includes your free time. You assure ECC that you shall comply with any rules of conduct by ECC and act in an appropriate manner at all times. You understand that continued eligibility for participation in the program is conditioned upon attendance of such orientation sessions as may be required by ECC, attendance at classes and scheduled activities, and maintenance of an adequate standard of academic work in the Program.
Deviation from ECC program dates are handled on a case by case basis and must be approved by your ECC Program Manager prior to acceptance. I agree to comply with this requirement.
ON-SITE ORIENTATION MEETINGS
Orientation meetings on-site are mandatory. I understand that any absence from the on-site orientation meeting, without advance permission from ECC, may result in disciplinary probation.
REQUIRED FULL-TIME STUDENT STATUS
ECC participants are required to be enrolled as full-time students during the ECC program. I understand that if I stop attending class, ECC reserves the right to dismiss me from the program. I understand that serious financial and academic repercussions may result if I do not follow these requirements and that I may be dismissed from the program. I agree to comply with this requirement.
EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL STRESS
Living and studying in a foreign environment may create unexpected physical and emotional stress, which may exacerbate otherwise mild disorders. It is important that ECC participants be able to adjust to potentially dramatic changes in climate, diet, living conditions, and studying conditions that may be seriously disruptive to accustomed patterns of behavior. One should never assume that going abroad to study would provide an antidote to health problems experienced at home. I understand that if I fail to inform ECC about medication or medical treatment that I have received/am receiving and there are related problems during the program, it may result in me being dismissed from the program.
ECC participants are responsible for payment to ECC or its agents (i.e., hotels, transportation vehicles, cell phone partners, or others) for all financial obligations associated with the program. This includes any and all damage caused by them or charges incurred by them while on the program. I agree to be personally responsible for all financial obligations associated with the program in which I am enrolled.
At any time, if there are irreconcilable differences between you and your host family, ECC will relocate you to another host family. I understand that ECC will not reimburse me for housing expenses if I leave the program early or if I voluntarily move into my own housing during the program. I understand that failure to notify my host family of plans not to return to the homestay overnight will be grounds for probation that could lead to dismissal from the program.
EXCURSIONS AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
In order to take advantage of the excursions or cultural activities, ECC participants must participate with the rest of the group as scheduled by ECC. I understand and acknowledge that under no circumstance am I entitled to any reimbursement or credit for any excursion or cultural activity included in your program in which I do not participate. In addition, I understand that if I choose to participate in any optional excursion(s), I agree to pay in full any additional charges before the departure date for such excursion(s). If, for any reason, I miss the return transportation for an excursion, I understand that I am responsible for all expenses related to my return trip. I agree to assume all responsibility and risks associated with my return trip and fully and completely release ECC from any and all liability for events that may happen during my return trip.
INDEPENDENT TRAVEL & TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
I understand that I am responsible for researching any region or country I plan on visiting outside Granada prior to departure, this includes safety, security, and health concerns in that location. ECC participants are required to inform ECC anytime they leave Spain, or travel outside Granada and fill out the mandatory independent travel information. ECC participants must provide emergency contact information and must also update the program staff should your travel plans change. This is a precaution that is required as it could be necessary in the event of an emergency. I understand and agree to this requirement.
CRIME VICTIM ASSISTANCE
If you are a victim of any crime while on the program, you should immediately contact local law enforcement and the ECC Director (+34 636 261 966). Upon being notified of the incident, the ECC Director or assigned responsible person will accompany you to the hospital, if necessary, help you file a police report with the local authorities, and refer you to counseling services available in the city.
ECC will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, vulgar, abusive, humiliating or threatening language, practical jokes, and other inappropriate behavior in the workplace, in class, at home or during any other activities ralated to our program. ECC participants who become aware of sexual harassment or who believe they have been subjected to such treatment should report such actions to the ECC Director. If a participant feels he/she has been sexually harassed by a member of the host family, he/she will be removed and given alternative housing immediately. Nonemployee violators of this policy are subject to dismissal from ECC facilities or programs when harassment occurs while on ECC premises or while the violator is participating in an ECC program.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG POLICY
ECC participants who are of legal age in the US and choose to drink alcohol are responsible for their actions at all times. If an ECC participant is not of legal age, he/she is prohibited from drinking alcohol. Distribution of alcohol to other participants, who are not of legal drinking age or otherwise restricted, is strictly prohibited. ECC prohibits consumption of illegal drugs in any of its facilities. At the beginning of an ECC excursion or any program related activity, participants who are perceived to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or demonstrate disruptive or inappropriate behavior will not be allowed to continue on the current activity or future activities and will not receive a refund or credit of any kind. Consumption of illegal drugs is not permitted on any ECC sponsored transportation vehicle or in any ECC sponsored hotel or accommodation. I understand that any infraction or violation of this policy is considered serious and may, at ECC’s discretion, result in my dismissal from the program.
ECC participants are not allowed to buy, sell, use, or possess illegal drugs. “Illegal drugs” refers to drugs that are prohibited by law in either the U.S. or Spain. I understand that any infraction or violation of this policy is considered serious and may result in my immediate dismissal from the program. I agree not to abuse or misuse (e.g., combine with alcohol or use in violation of a physician’s instructions) any drug for which I may have a prescription. I understand and agree that the abuse of alcohol and drugs is detrimental to my health and well-being.
ECC encourages participants to get necessary help from appropriate mental health professionals if either of these behaviors is present. Should you need treatment, your request for assistance should be made in writing to the ECC Director. Excessive alcohol consumption or violating drug laws abroad may have very serious consequences. While abroad, ECC participants are subject to Spain's laws and regulations, which may differ significantly from those of the United States and may not afford the protections available under U.S. laws. ECC may refer participants to legal counsel and may provide temporary translation services, each at the participant’s expense. I understand that ECC assumes no responsibility in assisting me in legal matters under any circumstances. I understand that the risk of accident and injury abroad is increased by the use and abuse of alcohol or drugs. I understand that if I am convicted of violating alcohol or drug laws while abroad, I can expect a lengthy jail sentence and significant fines. In addition to the criminal penalties I may face, the purchase or sell of illegal drugs greatly increases my risk of personal harm.
COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES
ECC strongly discourages ECC participants to engage in any employment or conduct any business in Spain during the program, unless the participant possesses proper legal documentation and provides ECC with written proof of such authorization.
Further, ECC strongly discourages ECC participants from owning or operating vehicles while participating in the program. Traffic congestion and different laws and regulations, civil and criminal, can make driving motor vehicles in foreign countries extremely hazardous. Insurance requirements, or other financial responsibility laws, vary from country to country. If I engage in employment or operate a motor vehicle while abroad, I understand that ECC assumes no responsibility for my decision and shall not be liable for insurance, legal aid, or assistance in connection with any issues arising out of or related to my employment or motor vehicle operation.
Each foreign country has its own laws and standards of acceptable conduct, including dress, manners, morals, politics, drug use, and behavior. In particular, involvement with political activities or use of illegal drugs may subject an ECC participant to significant civil or criminal penalties. I agree to become informed of and will abide by all such laws and standards for each country to or through which I may travel during the program. I understand that ECC will not advise me on any legal matters whatsoever, and that if I violate the law or standards of acceptable conduct and are arrested, ECC cannot obtain my release.
I acknowledge and understand that should I have or develop legal problems with foreign nationals or foreign governments, it is my sole responsibility to attend to the matter at my expense and with my own personal funds. ECC may refer legal counsel to me and may provide
temporary translation services, each at my expense. I understand that ECC assumes no responsibility to assist me in legal matters under any circumstances.
ECC participants are prohibited from the following: violation of the alcohol and drug policy; criminal behavior or violation of local laws; bribery of ECC staff or other officials; violation of residential guidelines or rules; excessive absences; behavior that is detrimental to your health, welfare, or safety or of others; self-endangerment, including involvement in activities or behavior that could result in personal harm, including, but not limited to, frequenting dangerous places, association with criminals, repeated intoxication; sexual harassment or misconduct; disruptive behavior; disorderly, indecent, or obscene conduct, gestures, or actions; abusive or threatening language towards ECC staff, host family, housing staff, or participants; violent or threatening behavior against others; unauthorized or illegal possession or use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon; theft or vandalism; participation in strikes, demonstrations, or other political gatherings; property damage to ECC facilities, housing, or hotels; unauthorized use of or entry to any ECC facilities or equipment; unauthorized access to, viewing, copying, or distribution of ECC records; use of ECC equipment for any illegal purpose; forgery or alteration of legal, government, or ECC issued documents with the intent or purpose to defraud; plagiarism, cheating, use of unauthorized materials, or engaging in access or distribution of confidential academic materials; dishonesty; falsification of personal records, including, but not limited to, any alteration of transcripts or grade reports, participant medical or other records, the application for admission, financial aid documents, or other documents required for participation in the ECC program; conduct unbecoming an ECC participant including but not limited to violation of any ECC policies. Failure to notify ECC of any disciplinary or criminal matters, pending or otherwise.
I understand that the above prohibited behavior may result in my immediate dismissal from the ECC program.
WI-FI ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
All ECC participants must comply with ECC’s Wi-Fi Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). ECC makes no guarantee that wireless or wired Internet service at ECC facilities and arranged housing (host family, dormitory, residencia, other) will be error-free or without defect.
I understand and agree that I will not use ECC wireless Internet for illegal or improper purposes. This includes, but is not limited to, the unlicensed and illegal copying or distribution of software and the generation of threatening, harassing, abusive, obscene, or fraudulent messages.
PROCEDURES IN THE EVENT OF A VIOLATION OF THE ECC PARTICIPANT CODE OF CONDUCT OR OTHER ECC POLICIES
In the event of a violation of the Code of Conduct or any other ECC policies, there will be an investigation of the circumstances and the participant(s) involved shall provide information to facilitate the investigation. The procedures are as follows:
ECC participants will be notified verbally by an ECC staff member of any alleged violation(s) of this Code brought against them. An incident report will be completed by the ECC Director, the program participant(s), and any other involved parties. Participants will provide pertinent information, including any written statements from witnesses, regarding the incident. In the event that an incident report is not completed, the Code of Conduct remains in effect and is not modified in any way. The incident report will include the participant’s statement in response to the charged violation(s). Upon completion, ECC, at its discretion, may send the incident report to UMASS.
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PROCESS
The ECC Director, based on the available information, will make a decision regarding the consequences for violation of the Code of Conduct, if any. Disciplinary action to be taken will be determined during this process. ECC participants will be notified in writing, as soon as practicable, of ECC’s decision. Any disciplinary actions for violation of this Code are effective once the participant has been notified of the disciplinary action either verbally or in writing. In the case of serious misconduct or for the sake of health or safety, the ECC Director has the sole
discretion and authority to immediately dismiss any participant from their residence or the program. ECC, at its discretion, may notify the home or/and UMASS of any serious misconduct or for the sake of a health and/or safety issue.
Disciplinary actions can take a variety of forms, and can be issued in combination, depending on the violation in question. ECC at its sole discretion will determine what action, if any, to take for violation of the Code of Conduct. ECC participants will not receive a refund or credit for missed activities or events as a result of any disciplinary actions. Such actions include but are not limited to the following:
Restitution: Payment of the cost to repair or replace any damage of personal property because of damage or theft.
Suspension or loss of privileges: ECC participant’s privileges to use facilities or to participate in activities or events may be restricted for a designated period of time or completely withdrawn.
Housing termination: ECC participant may be required to leave the ECC-arranged housing and obtain housing accommodations on his/her own and at his/her own expense.
Disciplinary probation: ECC participant will be provided written notification of the terms and condition of the probationary restrictions imposed for violating the Code of Conduct. Failure to comply with such restrictions or further violations during the remainder of the participant’s ECC program may result in immediate dismissal from the program.
Dismissal: Permanent removal of the ECC participant from the ECC program.
The ECC Director will warn ECC participants who are abusing the rules and are in danger of disciplinary actions; however, when the offense is serious enough to warrant dismissal, no warning shall be necessary. The ECC Director may place an ECC participant on probation for one week while ECC makes its final decision. The probation may require the ECC participant to find alternative housing at his/her own expense. During this probationary period, the ECC participant will be prohibited from participating in all ECC group activities. Dismissal from the ECC program shall not diminish or otherwise affect the ECC participant’s obligation to make any and all payments to ECC. An ECC participant who is removed from the ECC program will receive a Dismissal Notification Form. As long as the form is signed by the participant he/she may appeal the decision within 48 hours. An ECC participant who is removed from the ECC program will receive no grades for course work in progress. In addition, the dismissed participant will not be entitled to a refund or credit for any fees paid, may be required to reimburse the home or host institution for all financial aid received and is responsible for all non-recoverable costs incurred by ECC, as well as personal financial obligations, including but not limited to utility bills and rent. A dismissed participant’s registration at the home institution, may be barred until all such financial obligations have been met. UMASS or ECC may, at its discretion, take further disciplinary actions against a participant sanctioned by ECC, including, but not limited to, suspension or dismissal.
I understand and agree to the Procedures in the Event of a Violation of the ECC Participant Code of Conduct or Other Policies and the abovementioned Dismissal policy. In addition, I understand that if I am dismissed from the ECC program, I will be responsible for changing my flight or purchasing a one-way ticket home on the next available flight along with all associated ground transportation costs.
ASSUMPTION OF THE RISK, RELEASE AND INDEMNIFICATION
The Participant understand that there are certain dangers, hazards, and risks involved in international travel and in the activities included in the ECC Program that could include serious or even mortal injuries and property damage. With knowledge of these dangers, hazards, and risks and in consideration of being permitted to participate in the ECC Program and all associated activities, including, but not limited to, those described above, I, the participant, on behalf of myself, my family, spouse, estate, heirs, executor, administrator and personal representative, agree to assume all the risks and responsibilities arising out of my participation in the ECC Program, the transportation to and from Spain, and in any independent research or activities undertaken as an adjunct thereto. I release and hold harmless ECC, its governing board, officers, employees, agents, and interns ("Releasees") from and against any and all liability for any harm, injury, damage, claims, demands, actions, causes of action, costs, and expenses of any nature whatsoever which I may have or which may hereafter accrue to me, that may be sustained by me or any property belonging to me, even if caused by any negligence or carelessness of the Releasees. I understand and agree that this assumption of the risk, release and indemnification agreement shall be in effect while (a) I am in or in transit to or from Spain where the Program or any adjunct to the Program occurs or is being conducted; (b) during any independent travel or activities undertaken by me; and (c) arising out of or relating to my participation in the Program.
It is my express intent that this release and hold harmless agreement shall bind the members of the my family and spouse, if I am alive, and my family, estate, heirs, administrators, personal representatives, or assigns, if I am deceased, and shall be deemed as a "Release," Waiver, Discharge, and Covenant not to sue the above-named "Releasees." I, the Participant and the Undersigned, agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Releasees from all liabilities, damages, losses, expenses, and attorneys fees arising out of any claim, cause of action, or demand made by any person or legal entity arising out of my travel to and from Spain, participation in the Academic Program, and independent travel, even if such claims, causes of action, and demands are based in whole or in part on any negligence of the Releasees.
In signing this Release, I, the Undersigned, acknowledge and represent that I have become fully informed of the content of this assumption of risks and hold harmless agreement by reading it before signing it, that I have been afforded ample time within which to consult with an advisor of my choice, and, by signing this document as my own free act and deed, confirm that no oral representations, statements, or inducements, apart from the foregoing written statement, have been made.
RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (the Act) prohibits releasing participant data to anyone without express written permission from the participant. If a situation occurs where ECC deems the participant’s well-being is at risk, I authorize ECC to contact my parent. By initialing this section, I give ECC express permission to disclose information about me to my parent as ECC determines to be necessary to protect my well-being, and I waive all rights under the Act for such disclosure.
GOVERNING LAW AND CHOICE OF FORUM
This Agreement shall be construed in accordance with the laws of Spain without regard to any choice of law provisions thereof. Each party to this agreement irrevocably consents to personal jurisdiction in Spain, the courts located in Granada, Spain, and agrees that is the only proper venue, and shall be the exclusive venue, for any suit, action, or arbitration proceeding pertaining to, arising out of, or related to this agreement or the Academic Program. I waive any objection on the basis of forum non conveniens. The terms and provisions of this Agreement shall be severable, such that if a court of competent jurisdiction holds any term to be illegal, unenforceable, or in conflict with any law governing this Agreement the validity of the remaining portions shall not be affected thereby.