General Terms and Conditions

General information

(1) These General Terms and Conditions (GTC) apply to all events of the Volkshochschule Esslingen – hereinafter referred to as vhs –, also for those implemented by means of electronic data transmission.

(2) Events, study trips and excursions, which are organised by a third party and contractual partner, are not vhs events. In this respect, the vhs merely acts a mediator. Registration and payment and inclusion of the GTC.

(1) The announcement of events is without obligation.

(2) You are bound to your registration for a period of 1 week (offer of contract). Registrations can be made in person, in writing, via email, online via the vhs website or by phone. The contract is either concluded by means of a confirmation letter from the vhs or by the one-week deadline lapsing without the vhs having objected to the proposal.

(3) In the event of strong demand, the chronological order of the registrations is decisive for participation in the course.

(4) The registration includes the participant’s acknowledgement of the GTC. Upon registration, these become an integral part of the contract between the vhs and the participant.

(5) The registration for the events of the vhs is binding and commits to paying the course fee after the deadline pursuant to sec. 2 has lapsed- irrespective of actual participation. The course fee is due after the deadline pursuant to sec. 2 has lapsed.

(5) In the case of cash payment, the fee must be paid prior to the course beginning. In the event of direct debit, the fee is normally debited prior to the course starting. Registrations by phone are only accepted if authorisation for a debit mandate is simultaneously given.

(6) Costs for textbook and materials are – unless otherwise indicated – not included in the course fee.

(7) Tickets for individual events are – unless otherwise indicated – only available at the box office.

(8) Special arrangements apply to long-term courses, measures and trips, which are published with the information materials for these events.

(9) If you are in arrears with fees, the vhs will initiate collection procedures. Legal provisions apply in the case of delayed payment. If the contracting party is in default of a payment, the vhs charges a lump sum amounting to €2.50 for each reminder as well as default interest in accordance with the law and which currently amounts to 5% per year above the respective base rate. Regarding the lump sum, the contracting party can provide evidence that there was no loss or damage or that the loss or damage was significantly less than the lump sum. The vhs explicitly reserves the right to provide evidence of further damage or loss. If a direct debit fails due to lack of funds or due to any other fault of the contracting party, the contracting party must bear the resulting costs. Furthermore, the vhs explicitly reserves the right to assert additional damages incurred.


You will be informed:

  • if your course does not take place as scheduled,
  • if the course you signed up for is full and you are placed on the waiting list,
  • if an additional course has been set up,
  • if the dates or event location change
  • or if a course has to be cancelled.


(1) Pupils, apprentices/trainees, students, disabled persons and persons in the federal volunteer service or in similar voluntary services usually receive – upon verification – a 10% discount on courses and events. Recipients of unemployment benefits and welfare usually receive – upon verification – a 30% discount on courses and events. The discounted price is already indicated in the programme catalogue for courses, which are solely offered to children. Moreover, the vhs can grant a discount for events in cases of particular hardship. Discounts are excluded for some events (e.g. study trips, sightseeing tours, excursions). The vhs participates in the Kulturpass (Culture Pass) offer of the city of Esslingen.

(2) Supporting documents must be presented upon registration. When signing up via email, you can send us your scanned documents as an attached file, for the entitlement to a discount. When signing up online via the vhs website, please enter the reason for the discount, e.g. “Pupil”, in the field “Comments” and provide the vhs with the supporting documents as soon as possible. Until the documents are submitted, we will register you as a person paying in full, to secure your spot. Discounts are no longer possible after the direct
debit or payment has been effected. A refund of the difference at a later point in time is excluded.

Start and duration

The start and duration of each of the events are indicated in the programme catalogue. Normally, there are no lessons during school holidays or on public holidays. Exceptions are possible in the vhs classrooms for courses and in agreement with the participants and course instructor.

Scope of services

The scope of services of the vhs (location, time, duration, course topic, educational objective) is derived from the programme catalogue in the version published at the time of registration.

The instructor is not authorised to change contractual terms or make any commitments.

The location of the event and organisational changes

The location of the event is indicated for all events. The vhs reserves the right to change the location to other classrooms; changed classrooms does not justify a cancellation of the contract. A change in classrooms is announced by means of notifications or bulletins.

(2) The vhs is a guest in many buildings. The participants must observe the respective house rules. Smoking in buildings or hallways is only permitted in places indicated explicitly in the house rules. Smoking is strictly prohibited in the schools and in the vhs building.

(3) There is no claim to the event being taught/led by the instructor indicated in the programme catalogue. This also applies if the event is announced with the name of an instructor.

Certificates of attendance and performance

Certificates of attendance and performance can be issued upon request. The requirement is that you must have participated in the course at least 80% of the time.

The costs for these certificates are usually included in the fee. Exceptions are indicated separately.


(1) The vhs can cancel the contract

  • due to an insufficient number of participants
  • if the minimum number of participants indicated in the programme catalogue is not reached or in the absence of an indicated minimum number, a minimum of 10 participants fail to sign up,
  • if the instructor is not able to be present for reasons for which the vhs is not responsible (e.g. illness) and no substitute instructor can be provided,
  • if there is another unforeseeable circumstance, which cannot be overcome at reasonable costs, and was not negligently caused by the vhs.

In these cases, already paid fees are refunded, provided that services were not already rendered. Otherwise, merely partial reimbursement is effected. Further claims against the vhs are excluded.

(2) If you would like to cancel a semester course, the cancellation must, at the latest, be submitted to the vhs in writing by the last working day prior to the course starting. In the case of cooking classes, weekend seminars, holiday courses, compact courses and courses with less than five

days of class, the cancellation must be submitted to the vhs in writing at least one week before the course starts. Receipt of the notice of cancellation by the vhs (date stamp) is decisive for the adherence to the deadlines. In the case of punctual cancellations, already paid fees will be reimbursed minus an administrative fee amounting to EUR 5.00. You have the right to provide evidence that the appropriate amount of the administrative fee in this precise case is significantly less than the lump sum. The vhs explicitly reserves the right to provide evidence of further damage or loss.

(3) Cancellation at a later date is considered a cancellation of contract and does not lead to any reimbursement obligation by the vhs.

(4) Special provisions apply to long-term courses, field and study trips as well as excursions.

(5) Insofar as the vhs is acting as an agent (e.g. for language examinations, trips), the contract and business conditions of the respective provider apply and in the event of a valid cancellation, the costs, which are charged to the vhs, are charged plus an administrative fee amounting to EUR 5.00, for trips EUR 15.00.

(6) Informing the instructor of a cancellation is not binding. Not attending the course or a failed direct debit is not considered a cancellation.

(7) A possible legal cancellation right is not affected by this provision.

Cancellation right, expiration of the cancellation right

(1) Cancellation right
You can cancel this contract in writing within two weeks without giving reasons in writing (e.g. letter, fax, email). At the earliest, this period commences with the receipt of this policy in writing. The punctual dispatch of the cancellation or the merchandise suffices to ensure the cancellation period. The cancellation must be sent to:

Volkshochschule Esslingen
Eigenbetrieb der Stadt Esslingen am Neckar
Mettinger Str.125
73728 Esslingen
Fax: 0711 550210

(2) Cancellation consequences
In the event of an effective cancellation, the mutually rendered services must be released and if applicable, any profit derived therefrom returned (e.g. interest). If you are entirely or partly unable to return the rendered services to the vhs or are only able to do so in a deteriorated condition, you must compensate the vhs for any loss in value in this respect. This does not apply to merchandise surrendered if the decline of said merchandise can be solely attributed to its examination - as it would have been possible for you in a shop for instance. Furthermore, you can avoid the obligation to compensate for loss in value by not treating the goods as your own property and refraining from all activities, which may impact their value. Merchandise, which can be sent by parcel post, must be returned at the vhs’ costs and risk. Merchandise, which cannot be sent by parcel post, will be picked up at your location. Obligations to reimburse payments must be fulfilled within 30 days after sending your cancellation notice. For you, the time limit begins with the dispatch of your cancellation or the merchandise; for us, with the receipt thereof.

(3) Special instructions
In the case of a service, your right of cancellation expires prematurely if the vhs has started rendering the service prior to the end of the cancellation period with your explicit agreement or if you have initiated this yourself (e.g. by means of download, attending the event, etc.).

End of the cancellation policy


(1) The vhs can exclude a participant from an event due to

  •  behaviour during the event inimical to society despite previous reprimand and threat of exclusion, in particular disruption of the flow of information and executing the event by means of noise and sound disturbances as well as unpleasant smells or by means of aggressive behaviour; prior reprimand is not required in the case of particularly grave misconduct,
  • any kind of defamation against course instructors, against participants or employees of the vhs,
  • the discrimination of persons for racial reasons or because of ethnic background, gender, religion or ideology, a disability, age or sexual identity,
  • misuse of the event for party political or ideological purposes or for any kind of agitation,
  • significant violations against the house rules.

(2) The participant is not entitled to a refund of the fees in the case of justifiable exclusion.


(1) The liability of the vhs for compensation, regardless of the legal grounds, insofar as it is a question of blame, is limited as follows: The vhs is only liable in the case of intent and gross negligence of its bodies, legal representatives, employees and other vicarious agents, insofar as it is not a matter of a culpable breach of obligations integral to the nature of the contract (cardinal obligations). Furthermore, the disclaimer does not apply in the event of culpable damages resulting in death, bodily injury, health impairment of the participants.

(2) The preceding disclaimer applies to the bodies, legal representatives, employees and other vicarious agents of the vhs to the same extent.

(2) The vhs is not liable in the case of loss or theft.

Copyright and licensing laws

(1) Taking photographs, filming or recording during the events is prohibited.

(2) Distributed teaching materials may not be duplicated without approval by the vhs.

IT security and licensing laws

(1) Copying any software is prohibited.

(2) As a basic principle, only software provided by the Volkshochschule is permitted to be used. You may not use your own data media. Downloading from the internet can only be executed according to the instructions given by the instructor and for learning purposes. Websites with pornographic, undemocratic, racist and violent content may not be accessed with computers belonging to the Volkshochschule or in the classrooms of the Volkshochschule.
Non-compliance will lead to the participant being excluded from the course. Furthermore, the Volkshochschule reserves the right to take legal measures. The perpetrator must pay for resulting damages.

(3) The vhs is not liable for damages caused by computer viruses, which have penetrated external computers via data media of the vhs.

Final provisions

(1) The right to offset against vhs claims is excluded, unless the counterclaim has been legally determined or acknowledged by the vhs.
(2) Claims against the vhs are not assignable.

Legal validity

The preceding General Terms and Conditions come into effect on September 1, 2015. They apply to all contracts concluded as of September 1st.