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Terms & Conditions

Please find the 2021 Skilled Summers Terms & Conditions of Application & Placement below;

Terms & Conditions

Welcome to the terms and conditions for Skilled Summers, if you are reading this before you sign up to the program, we salute you! It shows you are doing your research.

We don’t want to confuse you with lots of technical jargon and hidden clauses, our aim is to keep things clear and transparent so you know what we expect from you as an applicant and you know what to expect from us when you enter in to a relationship with us by becoming applicant. 

The purpose of this agreement is to explain the professional relationship between Skilled Summers and you as an applicant. It will set out the services we will provide to you and what we expect from our applicants in return. 

Skilled Summers is a skill specific recruitment agency, we look for candidates who have certain skill sets that can work as counsellors and instructors at summer camps in the USA. We work in partnership with our visa sponsor and, between us, we work together to place you at the camp that best suits your skills. 

Who Are Our Visa Sponsor?

Our visa sponsor are a J1 visa sponsor who specialise in the J1 work & travel and camp counsellor program. They provide the DS2019 form which allows you to apply for a J1 cultural exchange visa.

The purpose of the program is to foster a global understanding through shared experiences and friendships that are formed at summer camp with staff and campers.

Our visa sponsor will ask you to sign their own terms and conditions ensuring that you understand the program, visa, insurance and what is expected of you whilst you are working at summer camp. 

In order to apply to the program, Skilled Summers need to collect, use, share and otherwise “process” certain personal information that relates to you (including, but not limited to, your name, age, gender, contact details and country of residence, as well as photographs and/or videos) in accordance with our privacy policy.

In particular, you acknowledge that Skilled Summers needs to process certain sensitive personal information about you including, but not limited to, (a) medical and/or health information; and (b) the information contained in your criminal record check, which you are required to provide as part of your application.

The Application Process

  1. Skilled Summers does not own any camps we work with. We are a recruitment and matching agency, the decision to hire applicants lies entirely with the camp director of the camp in question. 

Your camp will pay a fee to cover agency sponsorship and administration fees as well as your camp salary.

  1. Applicants who wish to participate on the programme should understand that they enter into this contract with Skilled Summers as your recruiter and your visa sponsor (and will be bound by the following conditions. Once placed, you will additionally have an agreement with a specific camp. You confirm that your command of English is sufficient to correctly understand these terms and conditions, the English-language source materials mentioned in this agreement and to effectively communicate abroad.

Services provided by Skilled Summers

 

  • Application and Placement

Guide you throughout the application process, assist you in completing your written application then meet you for a face-to-face interview to see whether you are suitable for the program. 

Once you have fully passed the interview process, we will then match you with a suitable camp for placement. 

 

Visa Assistance 

Skilled Summers will provide all advice and support required to allow applicants to apply for their J1 cultural visa at the US embassy. 


Pre-Departure 

Skilled Summers will ensure you are fully prepared for your placement by hosting an in-person orientation before you leave for camp. Attendance at an orientation is mandatory.  

 

Medical Insurance

Included as part of the program is your medical insurance which is compliant with the Department of State minimum level for cover. Your medical insurance is provided by your visa sponsor not Skilled Summers. You are required to thoroughly read through the policy and ensure you have a full understanding of what is covered. 

Please be aware, pre-existing medical conditions may be covered and it is your responsibility to take extra coverage if required. 

The insurance provided is medical insurance only, we do not provide travel insurance. Skilled Summers highly recommends you take out travel insurance to cover personal possessions, delays and flight cancellations.

Applications to Skilled Summers

To apply to the Skilled Summers program you must be 18 by the 1st of June of the summer you wish to work. However, many of the camps we work with have their own internal hiring policies when it comes to ages so you may not be eligible for certain camps if you are under the age of 21. 

We require all participants to disclose a full police background check and also a full medical history. Failure to disclose any issues which may later arise after acceptance to the program will lead to dismissal from the program without refund. 

Applications to Skilled Summers are made by the applicant only, staff will not discuss an application with anyone other than the applicant. We will not discuss applications with parents, family members or legal guardians. 

 

Skilled Summers will not tolerate any form of abuse, bullying or harassment towards our staff or other applicants. Any applicant found to be abusive either verbally or in writing will be immediately dismissed from the program without refund. 

 

Skilled Summers screen our applicants in a variety of different ways, including an in-depth application, interview and reference checks. We may also screen any publicly available social media. If applicants are deemed to have inappropriate content on their platforms, we reserve the right to remove them from the program without refund. 

We actively promote diversity in our applicants and welcome applications from all backgrounds. We select our participants based on the skills, qualifications and experience for the role in question. If you are unsuccessful at the application stage, we are more than happy to have an open discussion about why your application was not suitable for the program. 

It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete their application in a timely manner. Failure to submit documents or payments required within the given time frame will result in your application being withdrawn from the program without refund. 

The Applicant Programme Fees

Payment for the Skilled Summers program is as follows: 

£49 Initial application fee – you are only invited to pay this once we have deemed you suitable to apply for the program. 

£99 Acceptance Fee – this is paid once your application is ready to be submitted to camps for placement 

£171 Placement fee – this is due after you have accepted your placement at camp. 

 

Third Party Fees

In addition the following fees are also due:

  • Police Background Check £55
  • US Visa Embassy Fee $160
  • Medical check from Dr (Varies) 

Flight costs

What is included in the Applicant Programme Fee?

Skilled Summers is a recruitment and placement service. Payments made to Skilled Summers, including application and placement services, cover the time spent by our staff to prepare your application for camps to view and match your application to a suitable summer camp. 

Also included in your fees is your J1 visa sponsorship and medical insurance. 

What extra fees are not included?

Return flights to America – you are advised to book a flight that has an option to re-book and change the date. 

Third party costs – this includes the cost of the US $160 paid directly to the US embassy. 

Any cost associated with obtaining a medical check. 

Police background check – we require a ACRO police check dated within 6 months of your start date at camp. 

Any costs associated with travelling to the embassy, to attend a camp fair, orientation or travel to camp.

Payments

Payments to Skilled Summers are due no later than 14 days after you are accepted onto each stage. Non-payment of fees due, without prior communication, will result in termination from the program without refund.

Acceptance on to the programme

Acceptance onto the program is confirmed after a successful interview, you must be available for a minimum of 9 weeks no later than the 14th of June. Acceptance on to the program is pending a clean police background check and 2 verified professional references. Skilled Summers reserves the right to cancel applicants from the program if we are not satisfied with these documents.  

Although we work hard to match you with a suitable camp, the final decision to hire an applicant lies with the camp director and this is dependent on a successful interview with them. 

You will be notified of your placement either through your camp directly or via Skilled Summers. Your placement will then be confirmed in the system. Your final placement fee will also be due within 14 days of receiving this confirmation. 

Criminal Background Checks

  1. You are required to declare all criminal convictions, including juvenile cautions, reprimands and current charges on your application form even if you deem these to be ‘spent’ This is a requirement of the US Embassy in the visa process. Non-disclosure of information may result in a longer visa process and, in some cases, visa refusal. Failure to disclose details of criminal convictions (including juvenile, cautions and current charges) are grounds for dismissal from the programme, and will lead to any payments already made being forfeited. No refunds will be issued. Police checks must be dated within 6 months of your camp start date. Please also note that some camps undertake random drug testing during the summer.
  2. Skilled Summers require all applicants to apply for an ACRO police check. Or to hold a current enhanced DBS certificate that is registered with the update service.
  3. Applicants without a clear police check should indicate this on their initial application and take advice from staff before applying to the program. Applicants should also be aware that additional costs will be incurred if additional checks are deemed necessary and may also incur substantial additional embassy costs during the visa application process.

Medical Background Checks

  1. There are a number of medical conditions that render applicants’ ineligible for the program’. Please discuss with staff if you have any medical problems that you have or have had in the past which may affect your chances of being placed or of participating on the program. 
  2. All pre-existing conditions must be accompanied by a medical history form counter-signed by a doctor before being accepted onto the program.

All applications must submit a health history from completed by a physician before visa documents will be issued. 

Failure to disclose relevant medical information at the initial application stage is grounds for dismissal from the program. Any payments already made will be forfeited.

Changes to your Criminal or Medical Background

Even after acceptance to the Skilled Summers program, any changes to your medical or criminal background check must be disclosed. Please be aware that this may affect your placement status. Failure to disclose changes which later come to light will result in immediate dismissal from the program without refund.

Vaccinations

In order to participate in the program, it is a mandatory requirement that you have been vaccinated against measles. Camps may also request that you have been vaccinated against tuberculosis. Camps may have their own individual policies which they expect you to adhere to. If you are unwilling to provide evidence of vaccination, you must get in touch with the Skilled Summers team so we can discuss your options. 

Obtaining the J-1 Visa

  1. a)You agree to complete all visa requirements including attending personal interview at the United States Embassy or Consulate at your own expense in accordance with the instructions thereof and to be responsible for holding a passport valid until at least six months after departure. 
  2. b)You cannot participate on the programme without a J-1 visa stamped in your passport.
  3. c) You agree to pay the US Embassy the sum of $160 USD for your visa appointment plus any postage costs incurred for delivery of your passport.
  4. d)It is an expectation of the US Embassy for all participants to provide reason for proof of return to their home country.

e) If you are refused a visa by the US embassy, you must contact Skilled Summers immediately for assistance.

Behaviour, social media, drugs and alcohol

  1. You agree to abide by all lawful rules and reasonable regulations of Skilled Summers contained herein and of the camp in which you are placed. Please be advised that all camps have a strict no alcohol/drugs policy. This is a zero tolerance policy. Camps will also have no smoking policies that may extend to local towns as well as campgrounds. Most camps also operate a curfew requiring you to return to camp by a deadline when on time off. If you break any of these rules, you will be required to leave camp immediately and will be responsible for your own costs and for any costs incurred by Skilled Summers through non-payment or reduced payment of fees by the camp. It is illegal to buy, consume or be in possession of alcohol under the age of 21 in the USA.

In line with standard protocols when working with children and vulnerable adults, participants are expected to ensure all social media accounts are set to private prior to departure to the US.  Participants are required to supply personal social media accounts as part of the visa application process and the US Embassy may use this information to determine suitability for the programme.  

Dismissal from camp

If you are fired, it is your responsibility to make your own return flight reservations and all costs incurred are your responsibility. 

Salaries (payment from Camp) and Taxes

All camp counselors who hold J-1 visas are required to file a U.S. Federal income tax return and, in certain cases, a State income tax return to satisfy their U.S. income tax liability.  If tax has not been deducted by your camp, then participants are required to make their payment to the US tax authorities when submitting their tax return. The deadline for tax payments is January 15th in the following year. 

If Skilled Summers fail to place you:

If you are not offered a placement at camp after being accepted by Skilled Summers you will be eligible for a full refund. Should you turn down a placement without a legitimate reason no refund will be offered.

If you withdraw from the programme: before or after placement:

Substantial expenses are incurred by Skilled Summers on your behalf while your application is considered by Camp Directors. If you withdraw following a successful interview, you will forfeit your Application Fee, Assessment Fee and Placement Fee. At our discretion, these fees may be transferred to another year.

Once in the US: if you withdraw from the programme or your placement is terminated

Should you decide to leave camp early or if you are dismissed from camp, you will be liable to reimburse Skilled Summers a fixed fee of £500. This is normally paid by camp on the completion of your 9 week assignment.

If you are unable to complete your assignment due to a medical reason, diagnosed by a doctor, no fee to Skilled Summers will be due. However, you will not be liable for a refund of your application fees.

Refunds and Complaints

We will only respond to complaints submitted in writing to info@skilledsummers.co.uk within 90 days of the issue arising. We endeavour to undertake a full investigation into the matter and will provide you with a reply within a timely manner.  

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