1. Agreement to Terms
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS WEBSITE.
2. Language and Modification of Terms
These Terms have been written in English (US). To the extent any translated version of the Terms conflicts with the English version, the English version controls. We may amend these Terms from time to time. If we make material changes to the Terms, you may be asked to accept the Terms again upon entering the Website the first time after the Terms have been so changed. Any changes to these Terms will be effective immediately for new users of our Website and upon your accepting the new Terms or accessing/using the Website. Accepting the Terms or your continued use of the Website following the posting of such changed Terms on the Website shall indicate your acknowledgement of, and agreement to be bound by, such changes. The Website and the Services (defined below) may be modified over time as we add features or refine our products and services. We may stop, suspend, or modify the Website or the Services at any time without prior notice to you. We may also remove or edit any content on our Website or the Services, whether provided by us, or made available by you, at our sole discretion.
3. Note to International Users
4. Certain Definitions
AFS: AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc., a non-profit, non-governmental organization incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, USA.
AFS Network Organizations: exchange organizations that are part of the AFS international network of exchange organizations.
Services: all services provided on the Website.
User: means you, the individual accessing the Website and or using the Services.
5. Website Overview
The main purpose of the Website is to provide background, information, history and ideas about AFS and about intercultural exchange programs and opportunities, as well as provide guidance for participation and volunteering.
7. Your Security
Certain Users may request further information about a particular program, country or opportunity related to AFS, and if so, we may require you to provide information about yourself (such as identification or contact information) that will be used to properly direct your inquiry. All Users agree that any information that you provide will always be correct, complete and kept up to date by you. You will be responsible for all activities that occur during your visit, and therefore you agree to provide accurate information. You must not use false information or unauthorized means such as an automated device, bot, script, crawler, scraper or spider. We cannot and shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with these requirements. You will not: (a) provide any false information as part of your request for additional information or in connection with the Website; or (b) input information for anyone other than yourself.
8. Your User Content and Conduct
You agree that you will not solicit, collect, or use the information or login credentials of other Users of the Website or the Services and that you will not change, alter or modify the Website or the Services or change, alter or modify another website so as to falsely imply that it is associated with the Website or the Services or AFS.
You agree that you will not use any part of the Website or Services to:
a. upload, post, share, email, print, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any User Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically, sexually or otherwise objectionable;
b. harm third parties in any way;
c. impersonate any person or entity or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
d. forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any User Content transmitted through the Website or Services;
e. upload, post, print, email, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any User Content that you do not have a right to make available via the Website under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships;
f. upload, post, email, print, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any User Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights (“Rights”) of any party;
g. upload, post, email, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation;
h. upload, post, email, transmit, link to or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
i. disrupt the normal flow of dialogue, or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other Users’ ability to engage in real time exchanges;
j. interfere with or disrupt the Website or Services or servers or networks connected to the Website or Services, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Website or Services;
k. intentionally or unintentionally violate any applicable local, state, national or international law;
l. provide material support or resources (or to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, or ownership of material support or resources) to any organization(s) designated by the United States government as a foreign terrorist organization pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
m. “stalk” or otherwise harass another;
o. offer the Services to any third party. You may not use or exploit any portion of the Website or Services to provide any commercial services to third parties other than through AFS.
You acknowledge, consent and agree that AFS may access, preserve, and disclose your User Content if required to do so by law or in a good faith belief that such access, preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process; (b) enforce these Terms; (c) respond to claims that any User Content violates the rights of third-parties or other claims of abuse; (d) respond to your requests for customer service; or (e) protect the rights, property, or personal safety of AFS, their users and the public. You understand that the technical processing and transmission of the Website and Services, including your User Content, may involve (a) transmissions over various networks; and (b) changes to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices.
Although AFS cannot monitor the conduct of its Users, it is also a violation of these Terms to use any information obtained from the Website or Services in order to harass, abuse, or harm another person.
If you become aware of any abuse or misuse of the Website or Services by any person, please contact us at [email protected].
9. Content Removal
Every day many individuals and organizations may post User Content and information via the Website. AFS reserves the right to edit, delete or remove any User Content for any reason, including violations of these Terms, or any applicable laws (including laws protecting the safety of others, intellectual property laws, and employment laws). Users who feel that their content has been removed in error may contact us here: [email protected]. You may request that we delete any information or content that you have provided via the Website. However, we have no control over information previously shared with other Users or third parties.
10. Copyright Infringement Policy
AFS takes claims of copyright infringement seriously. We will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable law (including, in the United States, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act), and we maintain a policy of terminating the access of repeat offenders. If you believe any materials accessible on or from the Website infringe your copyright, you may request removal of those materials (or access thereto) from the Website by submitting written notification to our staff.
The written notice must include substantially the following:
• your physical or electronic signature;
• identification of the copyrighted work you believe to have been infringed or, if the claim involves multiple works on the Website, a representative list of such works;
• identification of the material you believe to be infringing in a sufficiently precise manner to allow us to locate that material;
• adequate information by which we can contact you (including your name, postal address, telephone number and, if available, e-mail address);
• a statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted material is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law;
• a statement that the information in the written notice is accurate; and
• a statement, under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
You can reach us as follows:
AFS Intercultural Programs
Attn: Legal Department
5 Hanover Square, Suite 200, 2nd floor
New York, New York, 10004 USA
Email: [email protected]
11. Ownership of Content and Intellectual Property Rights
AFS owns the Website and all Services and content therein (other than your User Content)
(“Website Content”) and all worldwide intellectual property rights relating to the foregoing. Except as expressly authorized by AFS, you may not copy, distribute, sell, lease, perform, display, sublicense, modify or prepare derivative works of the Website or Website Content, in whole or in part. AFS reserves all rights not expressly granted to you under these Terms. Any use of the Website not expressly permitted by these Terms will be deemed a breach of these Terms and may violate copyright, trademark, and other laws.
AFS and associated brands and designs are the trademarks of AFS. You must not use any such trademarks unless you have a valid, written agreement or consent from AFS to do so. All third-party trademarks on the Website are the property of their respective owners.
13. Third-party information, links and websites
The nature of the Website is one that contemplates that Users and third-parties (including other Users) will provide certain information that is stored or displayed on the Website. Your viewing and use of such third-party information and your interaction, correspondence or transactions with third parties while using the Website, offline or otherwise (collectively, “Third Party Interactions”), are solely between you and such third parties. You agree that AFS shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage of any sort incurred in connection with your Third Party Interactions or the presence of or ability to communicate or transact with such third parties via the Website or otherwise. AFS reserves the right (but is not obligated) to monitor, or take any action we deem appropriate regarding, disputes between you and third parties using the Website. To the extent permitted under applicable laws, you hereby release AFS from any and all claims or liability related to: (a) any User Content posted on the Website by you or third parties; (b) the conduct, whether online, offline or otherwise, of any third party or other User or (c) any of your Third Party Interactions. You hereby waive California Civil Code Section 1542 (and any similar provision in any other jurisdiction) which states: “A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH, IF KNOWN BY HIM MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.”
You agree that AFS may in its sole discretion, without prior notice, immediately terminate your access to the Website and the Services for any reason or no reason. Potential causes for such termination include, but are not limited to, (a) breaches or violations of these Terms, (b) requests by law enforcement or other government agencies, (c) discontinuance or material modification to the Website or Services (or any part thereof), and (d) unexpected technical or security issues or problems. Termination of your access includes (i) removal of access to all offerings of the Services, (ii) deletion of your information, and (iii) barring further use of the Website and Services. Further, you agree that all terminations are made in AFS’s sole discretion, and that AFS shall not be liable to you or any third-party for any termination of your access.
15. Disclaimer Of Warranties
YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT:
a. YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS. AFS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.
b. AFS MAKES NO WARRANTY THAT (i) THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, (ii) THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE, (iii) THE RESULTS THAT MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE USE OF THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES WILL BE ACCURATE OR RELIABLE, and (iv) THE QUALITY OF ANY PRODUCTS, SERVICES, INFORMATION, OR OTHER MATERIAL OBTAINED BY YOU THROUGH THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES WILL MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
c. USING ANY MATERIAL DOWNLOADED, VIEWED OR OTHERWISE OBTAINED THROUGH THE USE OF THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES IS DONE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM OR LOSS OF DATA THAT RESULTS FROM THE DOWNLOAD OF ANY SUCH MATERIAL.
d. NO ADVICE OR INFORMATION, WHETHER ORAL OR WRITTEN, OBTAINED BY YOU FROM AFS OR THROUGH OR FROM THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY NOT EXPRESSLY STATED IN THESE TERMS.
16. Limitation Of Liability
(A) YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT AFS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF AFS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), RESULTING FROM: (i) THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THE WEBSITE AND/OR THE SERVICES; (ii) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR DATA; (iii) STATEMENTS OR CONDUCT OF ANY THIRD PARTY ON THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES; OR (iv) ANY OTHER MATTER RELATING TO THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES.
(B) YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT AFS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE THAT MAY BE INCURRED BY YOU IN CONNECTION WITH:
• ANY RELIANCE PLACED BY YOU ON THE COMPLETENESS, ACCURACY OR EXISTENCE OF ANY INFORMATION POSTED ON THE WEBSITE;
• ANY CHANGES THAT AFS MAY MAKE TO THE WEBSITE, OR ANY PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY CESSATION IN THE PROVISION OF THE WEBSITE (OR ANY FEATURES WITHIN THE WEBSITE);
• THE DELETION OF, CORRUPTION OF, OR FAILURE TO STORE, ANY CONTENT AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS DATA MAINTAINED OR TRANSMITTED BY OR THROUGH YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE;
• YOUR FAILURE TO PROVIDE AFS WITH ACCURATE INFORMATION; YOUR FAILURE TO KEEP ANY SIGN-ON DETAILS SECURE AND CONFIDENTIAL;
• ANY RELATIONSHIP OR TRANSACTION BETWEEN YOU AND ANY THIRD PARTY.
• ANY THIRD PARTY INTERACTION;
• YOUR ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF ANY INDIVIDUAL WITH RESPECT TO ANY PROGRAM;
• YOUR SERVICES OR PARTICIPATION WITH RESPECT TO ANY PROGRAM; OR
• ANY THIRD PARTY’S ACTIONS, OMISSIONS OR CONDUCT RELATED TO ANY PROGRAM.
THE LIMITATIONS ON AFS’S LIABILITY TO YOU IN THE ABOVE PARAGRAPHS SHALL APPLY WHETHER OR NOT AFS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ANY SUCH LOSSES ARISING. AFS’S TOTAL CUMULATIVE LIABILITY IN CONNECTION WITH THE WEBSITE, WEBSITE CONTENT, ANY SERVICES, AND THESE TERMS WILL AT ALL TIMES BE LIMITED TO FIFTY U.S. DOLLARS ($50 USD). THE EXISTENCE OF MORE THAN ONE CLAIM WILL NOT ENLARGE THIS LIMIT.
Users who publish personal information of others or information regarding their organization via the Website must understand the risks they are exposing themselves to by sharing information and making it available via the Website. AFS is not responsible for damages caused by third-party information or data submitted or published by Users or the inappropriate use of such information by third parties or other Users. If you have a dispute with another individual or organization, you understand that AFS is not required to assist you in the dispute. You hereby agree to release AFS from any and all claims, demands and damages (actual and consequential) of every kind and nature, known and unknown, suspected and unsuspected, disclosed and undisclosed, arising out of or in any way connected with any such disputes or the use of the Website and the Services. You assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the Website and Services. It is solely your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of all information you access or obtain through the Website and the Services.
17. Exclusions And Limitations
SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN WARRANTIES OR THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. ACCORDINGLY, SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. THE EXCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT WILL APPLY TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY APPLICABLE LAW.
18. No Third Party Beneficiaries
YOU AGREE THAT THERE SHALL BE NO THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES TO THIS AGREEMENT.
20. Electronic Communications
For contractual purposes, you (a) consent to receive communications from AFS in an electronic form (whether we post notices on the Website or communicate with you via email); and (b) agree that all terms and conditions, agreements, notices, disclosures, and other communications that we provide to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that such communications would satisfy if it were be in a hardcopy writing. The foregoing does not affect your non-waivable rights. Any notices to you from us may be made by either email or regular mail.
21. General Provisions
Accounting, Financial, and Business Complaints and Concerns
Adopted on 12 January 2006, and amended 9 June 2012 and 15 June 2014.
It is the policy of AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc. (“AFS”) to observe high ethical standards in all of its activities. AFS seeks to ensure that all transactions and corporate assets are properly accounted for and that all audits are thorough and complete, particularly in matters of accounting and auditing. It is also important to AFS that it maintains the confidence of employees, customers, vendors and the public in the quality of AFS’s accounting and public reporting. AFS places a high priority on the business of AFS being conducted in compliance with all state, federal and applicable foreign laws concerning its operations, and consistent with the highest ethical standards.
In order to help accomplish these objectives, AFS is establishing procedures for the confidential receipt, retention and treatment of complaints and concerns about accounting, internal accounting controls, auditing, financial and other matters related to the conduct of business, such as business relationships with vendors, customers, government officials, volunteers, and affiliated organizations (collectively “business complaints”). Business complaints include not only those activities that could involve AFS in an improper practice or violation of law, but also those that have even the appearance of impropriety, including, without limitation, the following:
- fraud or deliberate error in the preparation, evaluation, review or audit of any financial statement and all regulatory filings of AFS;
- fraud or deliberate error in the recording and maintaining of financial records of AFS;
- deficiencies in or noncompliance with internal accounting controls;
- misrepresentation or false statement to or by a senior officer or accountant regarding a matter contained in the financial records, financial reports, or audit reports of AFS; or
- deviation from full and fair reporting of AFS’ financial condition.
These procedures apply to business complaints submitted by employees and non-employees of AFS. Business complaints do not include personnel complaints. Personnel complaints are those concerns that are related to employment at AFS, including matters related to occupational safety and health, promotions, age, sex, race or sexual orientation discrimination or harassment. Personnel complaints should be reported to your immediate supervisor and/or the Human Resources Department. Business complaints also do not include participant-related complaints, which are addressed through the AFS Partner offices or handled by the Program Policy & Support and Legal departments of AFS International as appropriate.
Business complaints relating to organizations licensed to use the AFS name, such as AFS Network Organizations, will generally be handled by the General Counsel and senior management of AFS. Where appropriate, the General Counsel and/or senior management will ask the Board of the Network Organization to deal with the complaint according to its own complaints policy and the principles outlined in this policy, and report back on the substance of the complaint, the investigation, and the decisions made and actions taken. In such instances, the President may offer the good services of AFS International as appropriate. In cases materially affecting the AFS name or viability of an AFS Partner, the General Counsel will report the matter to the Chair of the Audit Committee and the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board and, if requested by the Committee Chair, will advise the full Audit Committee in line with the procedures established for business complaints concerning AFS.
For the purpose of dealing with business complaints, the Audit Committee shall be composed of members of the Board of Trustees only and is responsible for establishing procedures for:
- the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by AFS regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters; and
- the confidential, anonymous submission by Company employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.
This includes any circumstances where it is believed that fraud or other irregularities may be occurring within AFS.
This Statement of Policy will be displayed on the AFS World Café and on afs.org.
Submission of Business Complaints
The procedures detailed below relate to the submission of business complaints. Any persons wishing to report such business complaints can be assured the situation will be handled with the highest level of anonymity and confidentiality. In addition, employees reporting questionable accounting or auditing matters will be protected from retaliation for making such complaints.
- Both employees and non-employees may submit complaints by any of the following methods:
- by an email to [email protected];
- by voice message to a dedicated number to be maintained from time to time. The voicemail is monitored by General Counsel’s office; or
- by letter addressed to
5 Hanover Square, Suite 200, 2nd floor
New York, New York, 10004 USA
2. Any person submitting a business complaint is encouraged to provide as much detail as possible regarding the subject matter of the complaint, as the ability to investigate and to rectify any problem will depend largely on the quality and specificity of the information provided in the complaint.
3. The person communicating a business complaint may do so anonymously. If the business complaint is made anonymously, neither AFS nor its Board of Trustees will make any special effort to identify the person making the communication. All business complaints submitted will be treated as confidentially as circumstances permit. If the person communicating the business complaint identifies himself or herself to AFS or its Board of Trustees, AFS will not disclose the person’s identity without his or her permission or unless required by law to do so. Information contained in business complaints may be summarized, abstracted and aggregated for purposes of analysis and investigation.
4. The Audit Committee directs senior officers and other employees authorized to speak with members of the public on behalf of AFS to promptly report to the General Counsel any business complaints made to them, without regard to the officer’s or employee’s belief regarding the validity or materiality of the subject matter of the business complaint.
Retention of Business Complaints
All records of business complaints received by AFS will be preserved for 10 years in the following manner:
- The General Counsel will have custody of the records of business complaints.
- After the 10-year retention period, the records of business complaints may be disposed of in accordance with Company
- Any information developed in the course of responding to a business complaint or investigations regarding such business complaint should be documented and retained as confidential information pursuant to AFS’ document retention policy.
Treatment of Business Complaints
- Monitoring Business Complaints:
a. The General Counsel’s office will monitor all complaints received by AFS. The General Counsel or a person reporting directly or indirectly to the General Counsel will maintain a log of all complaints, tracking their receipt, investigation and resolution and shall prepare a periodic summary of the status of all pending business complaints that will be provided to the Audit Committee.
b. Copies of all complaints will be provided to the Chairman of the Audit Committee, and, if requested, to all members of the Audit Committee.
2. Reporting Business Complaints to the Audit Committee: At each meeting of the Audit Committee, the General Counsel or a designee will report on the nature and status of all business complaints received since the prior Audit Committee meeting.
a. The General Counsel or a designee will be responsible for reviewing all business complaints submitted from any source.
b. The General Counsel or a designee will inform the Chair of the Audit Committee regarding any business complaints received and his/her plan for proceeding in the matter.
c. If the General Counsel has received or been notified of a business complaint concerning AFS International or an AFS Network Organization that the General Counsel or a designee determines may require evaluation by the Audit Committee prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting, the General Counsel or a designee shall contact the Chair of the Audit Committee so that the Chair may decide whether an earlier evaluation is warranted. The General Counsel and/or the Committee Chair will inform the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board and the President and Vice President of the complaint and the decisions, with the exception of any one of the foregoing that may be implicated in the complaint.
d. Notwithstanding the above, the General Counsel or a designee will immediately inform the full Audit Committee if the General Counsel has received or been notified of a business complaint that involves matters that are material to the financial statements, involves accounting or auditing procedures or involves a corporate officer.
3. Investigation of Business Complaints: Normally, business complaints will be investigated by the General Counsel or a designee, once the Chair of the Audit Committee has been notified accordingly. In addition to or instead of the General Counsel, the Audit Committee may delegate one or more of its members or one or more designees to investigate business complaints received by AFS. Delegation decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the nature and the significance of the complaint. The person conducting an investigation of business complaints on behalf of the Audit Committee should be vested with all authority and power of the Committee, including the power to retain advisors and independent counsel to assist in carrying out such investigation or proposing a solution. The person investigating the complaint should report in writing to the General Counsel and/or the Chair of the Audit Committee in a timely manner all findings of fact, conclusions and proposed recommendations for remedial actions, if any.
4. Reporting by the Audit Committee: Under normal circumstances, the Audit Committee or the General Counsel on its behalf will report on complaints and their disposition to the full Board in summary fashion for reasons of confidentiality, unless the matter requires action by the full Board.
5. Implementation of Policy: The Audit Committee is responsible for the implementation of this Statement of Policy and the provisions outlined herein. It may interpret the statement of Policy and make judgments about the application of the procedures. It may request reports from AFS’ executives about the implementation of this Statement of Policy and take any other steps in connection with that implementation, as it deems necessary. The Audit Committee shall review this Statement of Policy annually, and may amend this Statement of Policy in its discretion.