Trip Cancellation & Additional Info

JWA makes a significant investment in staffing, planning, and purchasing that cannot be recovered in the event of short-notice cancellations, emergency cancellations, or transfers. For these reasons we have established the policies listed below.

General Information:

Trip Deposits are non-refundable. *Trip deposits are only refundable if you are on a waitlist and JWA informs you that a spot will not open up.

Payment in full is due a minimum of 60 days before the start date of your trip.

Once we receive your registration and deposit we will send you a packing list as well as medical and insurance forms that you are required to fill out and submit in a timely manner. Delay in sending in these forms can jeopardize your spot on the trip. We require all forms to be submitted within 1 month of your receiving them. We will not accept forms that have been altered or edited in any way. If your forms are not submitted in time we reserve the right to offer your spot to other applicants. Forms more than 30 days overdue may result in cancellation and cancellation penalties will apply.

Please report any changes in medications or prescriptions, illnesses, or injuries to JWA staff. If you arrive for your trip with an unreported medical condition or other diagnosis or if you have changed the type or amount of medications since submitting your medical form, you may not be allowed to begin your trip!

We recommend that you delay purchasing airline tickets until you have been medically approved and have received confirmation that your course has adequate enrollment to meet our minimum group size (between 4-6 participants). You may elect to purchase tickets before receiving that information but if you do and your trip is cancelled, JWA will not be responsible for your un-used airline ticket. JWA will not reimburse you for gear or clothing you have purchased, hotels, or other expenses.

JWA Cancellation Policy:

If you choose to cancel for any reason within 60 days of your trip’s start date, the following fees apply:

• Between 45-60 days of the start of your trip, there is a 25% tuition penalty.
• Between 15-45 days of the start of your trip, there is a 50% tuition penalty.
• Between 0-14 days of the start of your trip, there is a 100% tuition penalty.
• If you choose to leave the trip early, there is a 100% tuition penalty.

For cancellations within 60 days of your trip’s start date, the cancellation penalties apply to the full published tuition, or full amount due for scholarship recipients. These fees are not based on the amount paid up to the day of your cancellation. Please see our Tuition Protection Information to protect your tuition from the penalties associated with certain types of cancellations.

Although we rarely need to do so, we reserve the right to cancel a course or change a course duration, tuition or location. JWA is not responsible for costs associated in these cases. We recommend that you consider refundable airplane tickets and tuition insurance.

Medical Insurance Requirements:

All participants must have documented medical insurance that will cover them for the duration of their JWA trip.  If you do not currently have insurance or if your current health program does not cover you in the event of a medical evacuation, you can purchase a short-term policy from a travel insurance company such as: Day Tripper, International SOS, and World Nomads. Day Tripper’s Travel Insurance offers extremely reasonable rates. If you don’t have insurance, or your existing insurance doesn’t provide adequate coverage, you will need to purchase a plan for your trip.

Tuition Protection Insurance:

Many travel insurance companies also protect against the loss of tuition money due to emergency cancellations and the cancellation fees imposed by JWA. If you are injured (i.e., broken leg) or have an immediate family member die within thirty days of the start of your trip and need to cancel, these agencies may reimburse you the lost tuition (please read their fine print).  Additionally, if you are injured and need evacuation during your JWA trip, many insurance agencies will prorate your tuition and refund you the balance.  Furthermore, there are some instances in which JWA might have to cancel a trip that are beyond our control (political unrest, natural disasters, etc.).  In these instances many travel and trip protection insurance companies will reimburse you for the expense of your trip.

Transfer Policy:

You may transfer from one trip to another time for no penalty if it is more than 60 days from the start of your trip. A 400 RMB transfer fee will apply to subsequent transfers. If you transfer inside 60 days additional penalties will apply:

• More than 60 days before start date – No penalty for first transfer, 400 RMB for subsequent.
• 45-60 days from trip start date – You lose 25% and the other 75% is credited towards a new trip.
• 15-45 days from the start date – You lose 50% and the other 50% is credited towards a new trip.
• 0-14 days from the start date – No refund or credit.


From time to time we do have cancellations. If you’d like to be put on a waitlist you must submit the JWA Registration Form with your 2000 RMB trip deposit. If a space becomes available, we will offer it to the applicant who returned their paperwork first, not to the applicant who enrolled first. You will have 24 hours to respond. If you decide to drop off the waitlist, we will refund your 2000 RMB trip deposit.

Additional Information:

Participants may be charged for lost or damaged equipment.

Depending on weather, the ability level of your group or other conditions, your trip itinerary may vary. A change in the published or expected itinerary does not constitute a change in the promise of the product sold and will not result in a refund.

JWA trips take place in developing or underdeveloped areas of the world.  Because of this, we recognize that in very rare cases we may need to cancel a trip due to political unrest, natural disasters, or other circumstances that are out of our control.  In these types of situations JWA will not be able to refund your trip deposit or any other trip related expenses you may incur.  For this reason we encourage our participants to consider purchasing travel insurance for their trip.

Although extremely rare, we reserve the right to expel participants without a refund if we determine they are presenting significant emotional or physical danger to themselves or those around them. This danger could be in the form of an unwillingness to participate and carry out their responsibilities as a member of the expedition team. JWA will not be responsible for transportation or logistic costs associated with expulsion from a trip.

If you are expelled from your trip, leave due to an undisclosed pre-existing condition or choose to leave voluntarily; there will be no refunds or transfers.