This policy lays out the rules around participating in the Case Western Reserve University Impact Academy’s International Fieldwork component. 

This policy lays out the rules around participating in the Case Western Reserve University Impact Academy’s International Fieldwork component. The terms Case Western Reserve University Impact Academy”, “Impact Academy”, “we,” “our” and “us” refer to GVI USA Inc, its parent company, GVI group companies and affiliates. The term “Fieldwork” or “Fieldwork Program” refers to the international or domestic travel component of your Case Western Reserve University Impact Academy program.

By submitting an application for Case Western Reserve University Impact Academy’s Program, you agree to, and are bound by, the terms of this policy. If you submit an application for an Online or Virtual Program and then subsequently choose to do international fieldwork, you will also be confirming that you accept and agree to these terms.

Services Provided

We agree to organise and set up a fieldwork program and/or other course(s) as agreed upon in writing between you and Case Western Reserve University Impact Academy. Services include, but may not be limited to:

Arranging full pre-departure briefings on the telephone and via email;

  • Providing a field manual;
  • Arranging suitable accommodation and food, where applicable, for the duration of the fieldwork (details are outlined on the “what’s included section of the website program page and the field manual);
  • Arrange for transfers to and from the airport in the chosen country where indicated in the field manual;
  • Arranging Fieldwork Supervisors to lead and manage Fieldwork Programs where required; 
  • Arranging the provision of field work equipment, training and training materials relevant to the Fieldwork Program; 
  • Providing and maintaining a full international support structure;
  • Providing a 24-hour emergency desk; and
  • Providing international travel assistance and advice.

Please note, our fieldwork activities as defined on our website and in enrollment materials are based on currently available activities. We reserve the right to substitute or change these activities based on the needs and availability of our in-field partners. We will do our utmost to keep you updated on any changes prior to your fieldwork commencement; however, this cannot be guaranteed.

Any information we provide, including but not limited to information about insurance, visas, vaccinations, healthcare, climate, baggage, group sizes and special equipment is given in good faith for informational purposes only.

Refusal of Service

We reserve the right to refuse to offer our services to you, at any time, for any reason.

Documentation required

Personal information

In order to participate in the fieldwork component you will be required to provide the information below:

  • Legal name
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Criminal history
  • Medical history – including mental health, current medications and any medical requirements
  • Dietary requirements
  • Citizenship & country of residence

You confirm that all information you provide us is complete and correct. You must update us if this information changes prior to your fieldwork commencement or during your fieldwork. Failure to provide complete, accurate and truthful information on the application will be grounds for cancellation without refund.


You are required to secure travel and medical insurance to protect yourself against losses caused by travel loss or damage of baggage or possessions, non-refundable airfare, emergency security or medical evacuation and other medical expenses including medical coverage for exposure/infection of coronavirus/COVID-19. It is strongly recommended that you purchase trip cancellation cover to protect yourself against losses relating to your inability to travel for medical reasons or if someone in your family takes ill or dies suddenly as our Tuition Fees, Changes and Cancellations will still apply to these instances. The policy must cover the entire duration of your fieldwork and include any activities you may undertake. The details of your insurance policy must be provided prior to fieldwork commencement for your protection. We cannot be held responsible for any loss you suffer as a result of your fieldwork.

Background/police check

You must supply a background (police) check at your own expense. Details on how to complete this process will be supplied prior to commencing fieldwork. You agree that your participation in any fieldwork is subject to the outcome of this check.

Health & medical Forms

A medical form will be provided to you and must be completed at least 8 weeks prior to fieldwork commencement. As per the Documentation Required clause of these terms, failure to disclose any known medical conditions is grounds for cancellation of your program without refund.

In order to protect the safety of the vulnerable communities that we work in as well as our staff and other students, we reserve the right to require you to be fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO for emergency use against COVID-19 at least 2 weeks before arriving at your destination. Information on your vaccination status will be requested during the booking process and will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

We reserve the right to require a negative COVID-19 PCR test, no less than 72 hours prior to your arrival at your destination. We may require you to supply additional COVID-19 PCR tests results during your fieldwork program at your own expense if our staff feel the circumstances warrant such a test. 

All participants will be screened for COVID-19 signs and symptoms upon arrival and throughout their fieldwork. We reserve the right to implement additional measures to limit the spread or exposure of COVID-19, at our discretion. These measures can include, but are not limited to, quarantining or isolating participants who are suspected of having COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine may be at the participant’s own expense in the event they cannot do so safely in fieldwork accommodation. Our staff will support participants who are required to quarantine by providing them with suitable accommodation recommendations and daily check ins throughout their quarantine period. You will receive no reimbursement, credit or refund of program fees in the event you are not able to participate in normal fieldwork activities due to quarantine, isolation or other events related to COVID-19. 

We have put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 but cannot guarantee you will not become infected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19. By participating in fieldwork, you acknowledge the contagious nature of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and understand the risk of becoming exposed to and/or infected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 which may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of yourself and others, including, but not limited to, our staff,  other participants and/or local community partners. You thereby release Case Western Reserve University Impact Academy, its employees, owners and partners of any liability with respect to any bodily injury, illness, death, medical treatment, or property damage that may arise from exposure to Coronavirus/COVID-19 related to, or in connection with, your fieldwork.

Our field supervisors are not medical professionals, and the standards of medical care in countries where we operate are likely to be lower than you are used to. You, and your primary care physician, are responsible for ensuring you are able to manage your own mental and physical well being, including administering any medication,  for the entirety of your fieldwork.

It is your responsibility to visit a local travel clinic and ensure you have any necessary vaccines or medications for the full duration of your fieldwork. 

We reserve the right to require documentation from a doctor or specialist and/or to speak with your medical and mental health professionals regarding your physical and mental fitness to undertake this fieldwork. 

We reserve the right to deny your participation in fieldwork on the grounds of either doctor’s comments or advice. Any medical documentation we require will be at your own expense.

Emergency contact

Prior to fieldwork commencement, you must supply us with the emergency contact details of a friend or family member. We reserve the right to contact this person should we deem it necessary.

Other documentation

In order to comply with local visa and permit requirements you might also need to provide additional documentation and information. This could include information like passport details, flight arrival and departure information. A full list will be provided before your fieldwork component. If this information is not returned to us by any stipulated deadline we may have to cancel your spot in the field without refund. 

Visas & passports

It is your responsibility to ensure you have any necessary visas and a valid passport for your fieldwork. Any visa information we provide is done in good faith and we cannot be held responsible for any country’s decision to change visa rules, deny a visa application, refuse entry, exit or the right of passage (national and local laws governing immigration). In certain cases, we may require you to enter the country on a specific visa to comply with local country laws and regulations. 

Your time in-field

Use of Third Parties and Partner Organizations

We may use staff subcontracted through third parties or partner organizations to supervise, organize or deliver components of your fieldwork.

Health & safety

You must always respect and follow our health and safety procedures, whether communicated by staff or our representatives.

Our field support team reserves the right to make decisions on your emergency medical care deemed essential by the most qualified field support team member in the event you are not able to do so. We will not be held liable for the outcome of such care.

We reserve the right to search your bag, room or property where there is deemed a health and safety, legal or other serious risk including the possession of illegal and illicit substances.

In the event you break any local laws, we will bear no liability and will not be required to mediate on your behalf with local authorities. 

Disciplinary procedures including expulsion

We reserve the right to issue a warning of any kind or to censure you. The result of these may include expulsion from the fieldwork program without a certificate and without recourse for refunds.  This applies regardless of whether any prior warnings were given. All disciplinary action will be documented and take place in front of a witness, where appropriate. 

Your first offense will usually result in a verbal warning or a written warning where appropriate. Repeated offences following a warning may lead to a written warning or a final written warning as appropriate. Thereafter any further repetition will result in dismissal.

A full list of fieldwork program and in-country rules, regulations and procedures will be provided at the start of your fieldwork, during your health & safety briefing. 

The following non-exhaustive list details actions that are grounds for immediate expulsion:

  • Possession, taking, or supplying of illegal or mind-altering substances, including marijuana;
  • Consuming alcohol or being intoxicated while at the hub or when interacting with our fieldwork program partners;
  • Breaking local laws;
  • Bullying, displaying cruel, thoughtless or rude behaviour or committing acts which could injure or harm another student, field support team, community member or any other person;
  • Disobeying health and safety instructions from staff or representatives; 
  • Disruption or obstruction of fieldwork activities
  • If the field support team feel it is in the best interests of your health and safety or the fieldwork program in general; 
  • Committing an act or displaying behaviour which could jeopardise our future fieldwork programs within the host country or harm relations between us and the host communities or country;
  • Any kind of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.

In the event of expulsion for any reason, you will not be entitled to any reimbursement from us, nor will we be responsible for any additional costs incurred by you as a result of expulsion.

If you are unhappy about a disciplinary procedure or your expulsion from the field please first communicate with your hub director. Should the issue still not be solved satisfactorily, then please share your feedback with us as per the Complaints section below. 

Tourist Activities

During your free time, we may organize recreational and/or tourist activities through third parties such as historical tours, snorkeling/scuba diving or visit to an area of cultural significance; please note this list is not exhaustive. We do not accept any liability for these activities as they are optional and undertaken at your own risk. You will receive no reimbursement if you elect not to participate in these optional activities.

Activities outside of fieldwork

International travel provides an opportunity for various tourist activities and experiences. We cannot bear any liability for activities that you choose to undertake that lie outside of the scope of activities we directly organise and control. What is included in the program is laid out in the “What’s Included” tab on your chosen program’s page on our website. These rules apply regardless of whether we introduce or recommend a given activity or provider.

Fieldwork data and media

We reserve the right to use any research, date, reports, photographs, videos or other multimedia or other content you produce or collect while in the field. This may be for both non-commercial or commercial purposes. Any use will be without compensation to you. 

Equipment and property

Any fieldwork program equipment provided in-country remains the property of Case Western Reserve University Impact Academy and must be returned in good working order upon conclusion of your fieldwork. In the event such equipment is lost or damaged due to negligence, you must pay for or replace it.


You should direct any complaints to  We will not engage with any third parties unless explicitly directed to do so in writing by you.

This Policy and the relationship between you and us shall be governed by the laws of the state of Massachusetts without regard to its conflict of law provisions, regardless of where you live. You agree to submit any disputes related to your Fieldwork Program for final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association. Any such arbitration, to the extent necessary, shall be conducted at either in Massachusetts or in a mutually agreed location. You agree not to bring any action against us in any other forum.

Any cause of action or claim you may have arising out of or in any way relating to this Policy, your Fieldwork Program, or your dealings with the company must be brought for arbitration within one year after the cause of action occurs. Attempted actions brought after the one year period are barred.

Personal risk and Indemnity

You accept that you will be subjected to various emotional, physical and physiological demands by participating on a Fieldwork Program. You are aware and accept that the standard of living in the relevant country, including food, hygiene and accommodation, may be below the general standards of your own country.

You also understand that certain risks may arise, including, but not limited to:

  • personal injury, illness and or disease;
  • emotional harm and or distress;
  • death;
  • hazards of travelling in remote areas; 
  • travel by automobile, van, bus, aeroplane, boat, train or any other means of conveyance; 
  • the forces of nature; 
  • civil disturbances; 
  • national or international conflicts; 
  • terrorism; 
  • arbitrary itinerary changes made by foreign governments or vendors; 
  • dive related accidents, boat accidents; 
  • interacting with dangerous wildlife; 
  • personal injury or illness from the local environment; 
  • accident or illness in remote locations without immediate evacuation or medical facilities; or
  • negligent acts of third parties. 

You confirm and agree to all of the following:

  • you understand these and other risks inherent in fieldwork;
  • you also confirm that your participation is completely voluntary;
  • you assume all risk associated with your fieldwork;
  • you agree to indemnify us and those involved in delivering the fieldwork component against any claims of any kind that arise from your participation; 
  • these claims include those arising both directly and indirectly from your participation in the fieldwork program.


In cases of death or personal injury caused by our negligence, our liability is limited to the financial amount that will be paid out by our insurance. If no compensation is received from these policies, then any and all liability whatsoever, including without limitation, claims grounded in negligence, are hereby limited to a maximum amount of the total enrollment fees you paid.

Force majeure

We bear no liability of non-performance, delay in performance of any of our obligations under this policy where the failure is caused by circumstances beyond our reasonable control such as:

  • Acts of God including, but not limited to
    • Natural disasters
    • Disease outbreaks
  • War
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Riots or civil unrest
  • Fire
  • Acts or changes in sovereign law or other official government action.

Where force majeure results in the cancellation of your fieldwork, the terms outlined in the Tuition Fees, Changes and Cancellations Policy will apply.

Updated: November 9, 2021