General terms and conditons

1. Scope 

The terms and conditions below apply for language courses and additional services that Insula Sprachschule für Deutsch und Spanisch provides to course participants. Any deviating terms require the written approval of Insula in order to be valid. This formal requirement can be waived only by written declaration.

2. Conclusion of contract

The contract is concluded when the course partcipant`s registration has been confirmed by Insula. The contract is subject to German law.

3. Scope of Services

a) The descriptions and price lists on the German version of the website are decisive for the scope of contractual services. Any translations are for convenience only.

b) All Insula language courses can be taken in preparation of a recognized language diploma, serve the purpose of continuing professional and/or academic education, and are therefore VAT exempt under section 4 No. 21 a) bb) UStG (German Turnover Tax Act).

c) Courses do not take place on statutory holidays: Any missed days are appended to the booked course.

d) Insula will try to offer a trial lesson prior to the beginning of the course, where possible. If a participant arrives in town right before the beginning of the course, this will not be possible. If a trial lesson takes place, the binding registration for the course must be submitted within one day. After such registration, the trial lesson counts as the first lesson of the booked course. If no registration is submitted, the trial lesson remains free of charge.

e) Insula reserves the right to postpone the beginning of any course for up to one week (intensive courses) or 3 weeks (evening courses) if there are not enough participants to hold the course. In the event the required group size is not reached even after such time, Insula will cancel the course. Any submitted registrations will be cancelled and no fees will be invoiced.

4. Payment terms

a) The course fee is set forth in the German version of the price list current as of the date of registration.

b) The fees for the contractually agreed services are payable after confirmation of the start date of the contractual services and receipt of the invoice, no later than one week before the course starts. Any bank fees shall be borne by the course participant. In case of registration less than three days before the beginning of the course, the entire fee is payable immediately upon receipt of the invoice.

c) The course must be paid one week before it starts by bank transfer or cash. Payments for the total amount are eligible for a 2% discount. On request, we can provide you with a payment by installments calculation. These installments must be arranged and firmed by our staff in the Insula office.

d) The fees and their due dates are independent of any third party’s performance.

e) In the event of any payment default, there is a processing charge of 5 € per written notice.

f) Invoices can be paid cash (only in the office hours) or by wire transfer. Direct deposit into the following account (only after the fees have been invoiced):

Account holder: Katarina Witt, Triodos Bank, IBAN: DE76 5003 1000 1501 3620 06

g) Only one discount per course is applicable.

5. Cancellation and Termination by Course Participant; Cancellation Fees

a) Registration for a course is binding.

b) Courses with 4 participants can be started at the planned date, the number of lessons is reduced.

c) Courses with one or two participants are not offered.

d) Specific modifications of this agreement must be in writing.

e) Course participants can cancel the contract by giving Insula according notice. The date of cancellation is the date of receipt of such notice by Insula. Any cancellation notice must be in writing.

f) If you do not show up for the course, Insula will still have to charge you the full fee, even though you are not participating. It is therefore in your own interest to comply with our cancellation provisions.

g) Participants are not entitled to any compensation for lessons not taken due to illness or vacation.

h) In the event a teacher is ill, Insula will provide a substitute where possible. If substitution is not possible, the lessons will be made up for after the course at the same hours as the course. For such cases, we reserve 2 additional days after the end of the course. In the event Insula is not able to make up for lessons cancelled due to teacher illness, course fees are refunded pro rata. If a student is not able to join make up classes, course fees are not refunded.

i) In the case of a group course where only one participant attends, the teaching time will be reduced to 50% individual tuition.

j) All Insula teachers are qualified DaF trainers and regularly participate in in-house training. Participants are not entitled to lessons with a certain teacher. A switch in teachers is neither a reason for extraordinary cancellation nor for termination of contract.

k) Should the language school not be able to offer on-site courses because of the COVID-19 pandemic or other inevitable events, all courses will switch to online teaching. Please note that a switch to online teaching is neither a reason for an extraordinary cancellation nor termination of contract.

5.1 Intensive Courses

a) Insula reserves the right to postpone the starting date for up to one week.

b) Courses with less than 6 students are run with a reduced number of lessons Please see the current pricelist for further details ( Standard intensive course 24 | International House Cologne Insula ( In the event of one single registration we reserve the right of postponing the course as stated in 5.1a).

c) Participants may cancel the course services and directly connected services booked with Insula without cancellation fees until two weeks before the beginning of the course; after such time, the following cancellation fees are charged:

  • Two weeks up to 12:00 PM (noon) of the last business day before the beginning of the course: 30% of the total fee
  • After 12:00 PM (noon) of the last business day before the beginning of the course: 60% of the total fee

d) After the beginning of the course, cancellation of the course and directly connected services is possible only as permitted by statute. The right of extraordinary termination remains unaffected.

5.2 Evening Courses

a) Insula reserves the right to postpone the starting date for up to 3 weeks.

b) Participants may cancel the course services and directly connected services booked with Insula without cancellation fees until two weeks before the beginning of the course.

c) After such time the following cancellation fees are charged:

  • Two weeks up to 12:00 PM (noon) of the last business day in this calender week: 50,00€
  • One week up to 12:00 pm (noon) of the last business day before the course starts: 30% of the total fee
  • After the beginning of the course, termination is possible if continued participation is impossible for the participant. Termination shall be in writing. The contract shall then end at the end of the course month. When booking a three-month block, extraordinary termination before the first 8 weeks of course is not possible. 6-months contractes are treated like two blocks of 3months - contracts.

5.3 Individual lessons

a) A minimum number of 2 lessons have to be taken per appointment. The course fee depends on the number of lessons booked. Course materials are included in the course fee.

b) With contract conclusion, the number of lessons per week and therefore also per month are agreed upon. Invoicing is done at the end of each month. The cancellation period of 4 weeks must be adhered to. In case of an early cancellation, a recalculation of the costs to number of lessons actually taken will be done.

c) Appointments can be cancelled free of charge up to 24 hourse before the lesson. In case of a cancellation less than 24 hours before, the lesson will be charged and the participant is not entitled to a substitute appointment.

5.4 telc examination

a) Participants may cancel the the exam and directly connected services booked with Insula without cancellation fees until 15 days prior to the exam. After such time the full exam fee will be charged and cancellation is possible only as permitted by statute. The right of extraordinary termination remains unaffected.

b) Above terms and conditions are valid for examanition preparation courses.

6. Participant Obligations; Cancellation and Termination by Insula; Liability of Insula

a) The participant shall respect the school’s house rules, and in particular refrain from disturbing the lessons, and handle equipment of the school with care.

b) Insula reserves the right to claim damages in case of any breach of the obligations in 6a).

c) Insula reserves the right to exclude from its courses any participant that breaches the obligations in 6a) intentionally or with gross negligence.

d) Insula furthermore has a unilateral right of termination if the participant does not pay the course fees on time after a reminder notice.

e) In these cases, all open invoices are immediately due and payable. Fees paid up to the date of a termination for which the participant is responsible are not refunded.

f) Insula has unlimited liability for damage to life, body and health as well as intent and gross negligence. In case of slight negligence, Insula is liable only for breaches of an essential contractual obligation (“Cardinal Duty”). A Cardinal Duty is an obligation the fulfillment of which enables the achievement of the purpose of the contract in the first place, and on the performance of which the participant may therefore generally rely. Beyond that, Insula is not liable for simple negligence. Liability for slightly negligent breach of a Cardinal Duty is limited to the typical damage foreseeable at the time of conclusion of the contract. This limitation of liability does not apply to claims for breach of a guarantee (“Garantie”), which has to be expressly designated as such in order to be considered a guarantee (“Garantie”) in the legal sense.

g) Insula has purchased an accident insurance policy covering accidents that may happen on school premises. Insula is not liable for loss or theft of participants’ personal property and therefore recommends obtaining according insurance cover individually. We also recommend obtaining private health and travel cancellation insurance.

7. Special Terms for Visa Applicants

a) After the receipt of the registration, we will issue an invoice for the language course. After the course fee has been paid, we will send an invitation letter. Postage and bank fees shall be borne by the applicant. Payment in installments is possible for long-term courses, with a prepayment for at least three months of the language course. For a successful application, we recommend paying the entire invoice. We will only issue an invitation letter if at least the following fees have been paid in advance:

  • 100% of the fees for one course in the case of registration for one single course
  • 100% of the fees for two course in the case of registration for 2, 3 or more courses (up to three months of study time at Insula)

b) For the invitation letter, we require the following information: Course data, applicant’s home address, date and place of birth, passport number.

c) We recommend applying for a visa only once you have reached German skills at the “A1” level.

d) Visa applicants do not face extra costs vis-à-vis Insula due to any delay in visa processing (except costs for DHL, etc.).

e) The invitation letter will confirm that in case of delays in visa processing, the applicant may commence the German course at any later date.

f) In case the visa is not issued, Insula will, after submission of the official refusal notice and return of the original invitation letter, refund the fees paid less expenses, such as for postage, bank fees, and a processing charge of 50 €.

8. Special Terms for telc applicants

a) In case of registration exclusively for the exam, the registration must be submitted at least 20 days prior to the exam. The registration is only confirmed and legally valid once the outstanding exam fees have been settled.

b) In case of registration less than 20 and up to 9 days prior to the exam, a late entry fee of 20,00€ will be charged.

c) In case of sickness on the date of examination, a doctors note (in digital or paper form) confirming the participants inability to sit an exam must be handed in, 2 days after the exam by the latest. The participant will be reimbursed for the costs, less 20,00€ processing fee.

Insula_03_05_19_Subject to change