Regarding COVID-19 and ETHOS…


1. What is the current situation for COVID-19 in Cebu City?

Here in Cebu City, the COVID-19 situation is a lot better now. The virus is only found in certain parts of the city and our part of the city has had very few cases during the last couple of month. Local government officials have been more strict than in many other places. That is why ETHOS had to close for 5 months. During the time of COVID-19, we have not had a single case of COVID in our staff or students.

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2. Is it safe to come study at ETHOS?

It is safe to come study with us because we are very serious about keeping you safe. Our safety program exceeds the guidelines and instructions given by the Philippine Department of Health as well as the Cebu City Health Department. We have a company Safety Officer as well as a company Health Officer, and their responsibility is to make certain that all staff and students of ETHOS will stay safe!  

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3. Is there good medical care in Cebu City?

Cebu City has some of the finest health care facilities in the country. We have a company nurse who monitors the health of all staff and students. We have a nearby doctor who looks after minor illnesses and we are only about 10 minutes away from the closest major hospital. If you have international health insurance, you will not have any problems. 

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4. Is ETHOS now open for study?

Yes, we are open! As of September 4, 2020, we submitted all the documents required for opening and we are ready to go!

Of course, we can only receive students who are already in the Philippines because the government has not yet opened the airports for foreign visitors to arrive. However, we have been told that this will happen soon. Once the airports open, we can accept foreign students for classroom studies, however, for now, we can have online studies with our foreign students.  

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5. When can I come to study at ETHOS?

We are open and have permission to conduct classes in our school. Therefore, if you can come to Cebu City, we can study with you NOW! 

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6. If I make a study reservation and then cancel, can I get back my money?

Please study our Payment Rules page. In order to book a study with us, you must pay a non-refundable reservation deposit. This deposit will not be refunded, even if you have to cancel because of something like COVID-19.

We can refund any balance payment you might have made, but if there are bank charges and transfer fees to get your money back to you, these will be deducted from the amount.

Instead of asking for a refund, why not simply wait and reschedule and come study with us once the government reopens the country to foreign visitors. We will hold your reservation for a year.

In addition, we highly recommend that you pay through credit card because this is the easiest way to receive a refund. It also has the fewest charges for receiving your money back. 

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7. If I make a study reservation and then cancel, instead of a refund, can I transfer my study to ONLINE?

This is definitely an option you would want to consider because you would not lose any money and you would be able to have your study. We can give you the exact same classes that you would have had if you had been able to come here with us! We can even give you one-on-one online studies!

However, because the classroom and online programs have different study rates, the cost for the conversion from classroom to online might not be the same. However, we will try to find a way to offer you an online study package that will fit the amount you paid for your original classroom study program.  In short, before you give up and ask for a refund that will almost certainly cause you to lose money, contact us and let us see what we can do.

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Regarding ETHOS…


1. Why do you call yourselves ETHOS?

In ancient times, the Greek word ETHOS represented the idea of CUSTOMS or HABITS! We chose the name ETHOS because our main business goal is helping people change their lives. Additionally, ETHOS is an acronym and stands for “Ethics To Help Others Succeed,” which is our registered company name.

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2. Is ETHOS a registered corporation?

Yes, ETHOS is registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and we have a business permit from the Cebu City government. In addition, all our language programs are registered with TESDA, and we are a recognized Tourist Training Program with the Philippine Department of Tourism.

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3. What is the FOCUS of your business?

We provide training programs to help people. Our main focus is upon the languages of English and Japanese, but we hope to add others in the future. We help people who want to use language to travel abroad, get better jobs, get accepted into schools in other countries, improve their relationships, or just feel better about themselves! We want to help our customers fulfill their dreams.

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4. Who may enroll in the ETHOS programs?

We accept anyone at least 15 years old for enrollment in our programs. There are group programs (English Camps) for younger children. We will consider ANY request we receive, but we reserve the right to refuse training based upon our age policy.

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5. What are the rules regarding paying for the training?

We have a strict pay-before-study policy. We accept payments in cash (for local students) or through online credit or debit card payments. Regardless of how the payments are made, we require full payment before classes can begin.

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6. What are the rules regarding rate quotations you give to customers?

A price quotation is valid for 30 days. If you do not decide to enroll by the end of the 30 days, we can give you a new price quotation, but the price might not be the same.

Special promotional package rates are only available for a very short period of time, and they often have a limited number of seats and are given on a “first come, first served” basis.

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1. How many different kinds of English study options are there?

Our English program has two study options. You can study face-to-face in our classroom facilities here in Cebu City, or you can study online

We can accept students of all English levels. We assess students and then place them in LOW, MEDIUM, or HIGH groupings. Our teachers work with the students of each level to help them improve.

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2. Do you offer man-to-man study options?

We offer only group classes in our classroom program, but we do offer a man-to-man option in our online program. Group classes are available for BOTH classroom and online study options, and the maximum size of any group class will be six (6) students. 

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3. What is the FREE 15-minute tutoring?

As mentioned, we do not have man-to-man for our classroom study program, but we DO offer free man-to-man tutoring after school each weekday. During the morning class sessions, our students can sign up for a FREE 15-minute man-to-man session with an American teacher after school. During these FREE 15-minute sessions, students can study anything they want.

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4. My English level is low. Can I still come to ETHOS?

Yes you can. When you arrive, we will give an assessment and then place you into a study group that will help you improve your English no matter how low your starting level might be.

If you have a low level and want to go to work in Australia, or some other country, we suggest that you study at least 4 months.

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1. Can I enroll even if I have no previous Japanese language study experience?

Yes you can. We are very happy to accept students with no prior knowledge of Japanese! Our teachers are all skilled in the language and we usually have several Japanese native speakers studying English at ETHOS with whom you can practice speaking your Japanese! Contact us and we will help set up a program that is right for you!

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2. Do you give certificate after finishing the course?

Yes, assuming that you successfully complete the requirements for the course, we will issue you a certificate. If you complete our TESDA course, you will also receive a TESDA certificate. We can also provide a course description so that people will know exactly what you studied.

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3. How many different Japanese courses can I take?

We have several levels of Japanese. As long as you pay the course fee, there is no limit to the number of courses you can take.

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4. What is the JLPT exam I read about in the course explanation page?

JLPT stands for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and it is administered by the Japanese government in Japan and in many foreign countries. The test certifies the Japanese language proficiency level of non-native speakers. The test is given in July and again in December, therefore training for these exams needs to start early enough so that students have at least 50 hours of classroom training before the exam date.

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5. Why should I study the Japanese language?

Learning a new language can bring new opportunities into your life! Learning Japanese can help you make new friends, and if you know Japanese very well, you might even be able to work in Japan. There ARE many employment opportunities available there for Filipinos, however you MUST must be able to speak Japanese well (at least a JLPT N4 level) in order to be hired.

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Regarding HOUSING…


1. How much does housing cost?

Each housing options has a different cost. The cheapest is our DORMITORY apartment, the next cheapest is HOME STAY, and the most expensive is OUTSIDE STAY.

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2. Can I have a private room?

If you plan to stay in our DORMITORY or HOME STAY, it depends upon the time of year. During PEAK SEASON, we are fully booked with shared rooms, however, during LOW SEASON, private rooms can be available. If you want a private room in the dormitory or in home stay, ask us and we will be happy to check

If you must have a private room, we can book one for you in one of our OUTSIDE STAY facilities. We have good relationships with several local hostels and pension houses that are only a few minutes away from our school.

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3. Can my girlfriend/boyfriend and I share a room?

While we respect your rights to freedom of choice and privacy, we also ask that you respect our core values at ETHOS. We are a family business, and deeply respect the marriage relationship between a man and a woman.

Therefore, while we respect your right to be together as a couple, we do not accept unmarried or same-sex couples staying in the same room in HOME STAY or in the DORMITORY housing. If you wish to stay in our ETHOS housing, then you must accept our policy, and stay in different rooms. 

Males and females can share a room if they are married, or are close relatives, such as brother and sister, parents and children, or cousins. However, if you are not married or are a same-sex couple, and really wish to stay together, you can stay in one of the nearby hostels or pension houses.

Our dormitories are co-ed, however, there are separate rooms for males and females. We also have an ETHOS staff manager who also lives in the dormitory. 

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4. Is there a curfew?

Yes, we do have a curfew. We are responsible to the Philippine government for the safety of our students. Since students of ETHOS need to be ready for classes each day, we impose a curfew of MIDNIGHT (00:00 AM) on school nights (Sunday through Thursday).

No student of ETHOS should be out after that hour without permission. If you violate the curfew, we reserve the right to expel you from the program and send you home and you will lose any remaining training fee as a fine. As long as you remember that you are here at ETHOS to study and NOT to cause trouble, you will be fine.

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5. Can I use the kitchen in a Home Stay house?

HOME STAY houses, are the personal homes of our American teachers. As a guest, you are entitled to use the bedroom in which you are assigned, the bathroom, as well as have access to all common areas of the house. Most host families do not allow students to use their kitchens, but some are more flexible than others. Therefore, do not assume anything, but ALWAYS ASK PERMISSION FIRST before using anything in the house!

Our DORMITORIES have a complete kitchen and HOME STAY students are allowed to cook in the dormitory. However, if you use the dormitory kitchen, you must clean up after you are done!

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6. Can I arrive at ETHOS a few days early or stay a few days after my study so that I can go sightseeing?

Please arrange your flight schedule so that you arrive at ETHOS on the Sunday before your classes start, and leave ETHOS on the Saturday, after you final classes are done.  However, we understand that scheduling flights can be difficult and sometimes, you might need to arrive a day or two early or stay an extra day or two after your study is finished. We understand this and want to help.

Therefore, if you need to come early or stay longer, then please check with us to make sure that we have space for you in our housing. If we have the available space, we can accept you and you will simply pay a daily rate for any extra days that you stay in our housing, but if we do not have space, then you will have to make your own housing arrangements for those extra days. In conclusion, PLEASE check with us first before you book your flights!

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1. Do I need a visa to study at ETHOS?

All foreign nationals must have a visa to enter the Philippines. Some can get a free 30-day visa at the airport when they arrive. Others must get the visa before they leave their home countries. Please see this article for details about visa requirements for the Philippines from your country.

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2. What is an SSP?

In addition to having a visa, all foreign nationals who want to study English here must get a Special Study Permit (SSP) from the Bureau of Immigration, and the school must get this for the student after the student arrives in the Philippines. The SSP costs about US$120.00 and is valid for a study period of 6 months.

In addition, the SSP is school-specific. Therefore, if you get an SSP from one school, and you transfer to different school, you will have to get a new SSP from the new school.

Furthermore, since the SSP is only valid for 6 months, if you plan to study longer than 6 months, we will have to get another SSP for you, which will allow an additional 6 months of study.

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3. Can I stay longer than 30 days?

Yes, of course you can. You can extend your visa at our local immigration office, and each month of extension costs about US$75.00.

In addition, we will do all your immigration work for you. Other schools often charge a service fee for this, but at ETHOS you will only pay whatever the Immigration receipt indicates, plus the transportation for our school immigration officer.

Similarly, if you stay 2 months, or longer, we will also have to get you an ACR iCard from Immigration. This will add another US$50.00 to your immigration costs.

Please plan your trip carefully because even if your visa expires 1 day before you leave the country, you will still have to pay for another month extension just for that one day! 

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4. Is there an airport departure tax when I leave Cebu?

Yes, here in the Cebu airport there is an airport tax of 850.00 Pesos, which is about US$17.00, and all departing international flight travelers leaving out of Cebu must pay this.

However, there is no airport tax if you are flying from Cebu to Manila.

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