What AHA stands for and what our overall aim is consistent, enthusiastic pursuit of art combining fun and civilised behaviour. Everybody on the course is an adult and treated as such, and in this sense, we don’t behave like a school. However, the items below detail areas where courses have become unstuck or compromised and it’s for this reason that they are highlighted here. Unlike school, we don’t have a range of sanctions such as detention, gating, and so on. There is, therefore, a very short dos between transgression and AHA disposing of students for uncivilised behaviour. These are the things we stand for and these are the things we don’t stand for:
The hidden value of AHA’s trips lie in the local friends and connections we have made over the years. These connections have often produced unexpected treats and opportunities and this only comes about because generations of students before you have left a memorable and good impression. For this reason we hope and expect that you too will have a sense of decorum, fun and good manners.
AHA provides a safe environment for students to enjoy a carefully constructed cultural course by the provision of selected suppliers, hotels and transport companies. The prevailing ethos is one of civilised travel where we recognise that we are all guests in another’s country. Students are, in the main, over 18 and are treated as responsible, individual adults.
Should a student behave irresponsibly by putting themselves, others, or indeed AHA, at risk, AHA reserves the right to remove him or her from the course. Likewise, should a student infringe upon another student, by bullying, for example, AHA reserves the right to remove him or her from the course. In these circumstances, AHA will not be obliged to refund fees and will not meet the costs of return travel of the student concerned. This particular point is covered in the terms and conditions of the registration form and is binding in law.
Drinking wine or beer with food is within the law for those over sixteen and AHA believes that it is civilised for students to enjoy meals with alcohol if they wish – yet we stress that drunkenness is not acceptable. Furthermore, AHA cannot be held responsible for accident or damage when students are outside the company of a tutor. If the Lead Tutor, after discussions with the Director, feels that a student cannot be trusted and is behaving irresponsibly, the terms of point 2 above will be invoked.
Italian law should be observed at all times, particularly where drugs are concerned. The Italian police take a grim view of drug taking and especially by young foreigners. AHA would therefore send home any student at their own expense found using drugs or perhaps consider placing the matter in the hands of other appropriate authorities.
Relationships between students are not encouraged simply because the course is a group activity and experience has taught us that exclusive relationships do not enhance the social aspects of the course. AHA takes a very serious view when an exclusive relationship becomes a disturbance to other students. Hotel rooms are segregated by sex and any alteration to this will cause the terms of point 2 above to be invoked.
The cities we visit are civilised and safe, however any congregation of humanity is going to produce the unscrupulous and we therefore ask students, even though they may be 18 and experienced travellers, not to walk alone after dark. Getting lost or having an accident can be alarming especially when in another country and for this reason walking in company is wise.
Under the age of 18
If there is a student under 18, we insist that he/she remains with a tutor after 11pm when not in the hotel. It is the responsibility of the student to find the tutor, rather than the tutor seeking out him/her at 11pm. The only exception to this arrangement would be if AHA had an alternative written agreement with the parents or guardian of the student.
Risk Assessment and Tutorials
AHA conducts and extensive risk assessments and we hope that students will feel free to talk to tutors if they are experiencing any problems. There are individual tutor discussions set in Venice, Florence and Rome for this purpose.
Students over the age of 18 have express rights within the law to privacy which can exclude their parents. However, this can create circumstances where the Lead Tutor, after consultation with the Director, assesses that parents should be informed of a situation, for example a medical issue. AHA’s policy is that we ask students to allow us to speak to their parents. If a student does not consent to AHA speaking to their parents, we will, of course respect their view. However, should the student become a danger to themselves, others on the course or AHA itself, the terms of point 2 above would be invoked. Lastly, should a student be unable to communicate, we ask that students allow AHA to speak to their parents. If, as a student over 18 years of age, you find this last sentence unacceptable, you must contact the office on 01379 871800.