Verto Education First Semester Abroad

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About

Verto was designed to give you the gap year experience, while earning college credit. Over a semester or year-long program, you'll travel, learn, and experience the world outside the classroom. You also won’t have to worry about deferring admission or waiting to apply to college. Once you’ve completed Verto, your credits will transfer seamlessly to one of our partner universities or for the class that enters Fall 2018, any four-year accredited university in the US.

The Verto Program has three major components:

- Travel the World: During your Verto experience, you’ll travel the world, choosing between destinations in places like Ireland, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Guam.

- Service-Based Learning: Immerse yourself in service-based learning and walk away with knowledge and skills you can use in college and beyond.

- Earn College Credits: Meet general education requirements at several partner institutions without delaying your graduation.

Highlights
  • Earn 16 credits while taking courses in Guatemala & Costa Rica
  • Academic credits from Mills College, a private 4-year Liberal Arts College in Oakland, California
  • Direct Admission to partner colleges or transfer credits to a college of your choosing
  • Option to spend 2nd semester studying at University College Dublin in Ireland or The University of Auckland in New Zealand
  • Sample Courses: Identity, Politics & Equity, Sustaining Food Systems & the Environment, Public Health in Culture & Context

Questions & Answers

Reviews

90%
based on 8 reviews
  • Housing 8.8
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 8.4
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Leyden
9/10

Leyden Velasquez (parent)

Excellent program for our daughter that was focused on both academics and service. We are very happy and it's definitely an experience we would like to give our younger kids in the future. Awesome work by the leaders on teaching college bound students on life skills and time management. I was one of those parents that new very little about the program but was reassured by High Point University that the program was safe and transformative. I'm glad I decided to embark my daughter on this trip for her first semester of college. She is ready to continue her studies in a college environment with a different perspective of life. For all the parents that are hesitant on sending their child to study abroad, do not be afraid. It is a supervised program with great leaders.

How can this program be improved?
More experienced leaders (my daughter's recommendation).
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sutton
8/10

Verto Education "A better freshman year"

Verto education is a great first semester abroad program for anyone that loves traveling, learning, and even maybe getting out of their comfort zone. The experiences that we had with NGO's, homestays and hikes really showed us all about the country and taught us more. The site visits really tied to our classwork and helped us learn about what we learned in class but with hands on. Verto Education is a very hands-on experience when it comes to classwork and learning but they also have many fun trips throughout the semester we are abroad. Highly recommend this gap year program to anyone. The group leaders are also very helpful with school work and want you to be successful throughout the semester they are very helpful with everything and are always there to help you and make you better at what you're struggling at.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe higher quality hotels for some places but other than that nothing really.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Samantha
10/10

My Experience with Verto Education

My experience with Verto Education was a life-altering one and arduous one. However, I could never be more grateful for what it has taught me. I realized things about myself that I didn't know before. I plan on returning back to my initial homestay, the Dominican Republic has a place within my heart. I learned a tremendous amount from the NGO's and really felt that I was intellectually fulfilled. The classes touched every aspect that interested me. I want to acknowledge my leaders Jackie and Brian for truly caring for my self growth and well being as a student. Verto Education actually fulfilled my lifelong dream of staying with an indigenous community! I work with Aboriginals from Australia and loved learning about the Bri Bri culture. I would 110 percent recommend this program to someone else.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Anya
8/10

Verto Education

I really enjoyed this program because I got to travel while also taking classes and being intellectually stimulated as well as getting credits for university. That was my dream all along. One of my favorite parts was going to the Bateyes and building latrines. Even though it was very physically difficult, it was super impactful to see where these people live in small towns in the sugar cane fields and then learning in class about the problems in the DR with Haitian citizenship and women's issues. I also loved playing basketball with some of the school kids and having lunch with them, and dancing with the locals after expressing our gratitude for them letting us into their community showing us their lives. This was a once in a lifetime experience and I really got to walk in other peoples shoes. I have much more empathy and passion for other cultures than I ever had before.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Clayton
9/10

Verto experience

This trip has definitely given me the opportunity to grow independently, and i'm glad i had the opportunity to meet all of the people i was able to meet in the communities, and the other student and program leaders on the trip. The service work felt powerful, but i would definitely tell people the experience with everyone was the highlight of my trip on Verto. The connections i made with the students here, and the program leaders i would be able to tell my kids about. The classes are absolutely amazing even if the topic doesn't particularly interesting to me i found it extremely engaging and enjoyable. There are many important things I learned on the trip that i never would have learned outside this program. The classes gave me a lot of historical, environmental, public health, and development insight.

How can this program be improved?
There are only two things i would recommend, one is spacing around or adding some additional activities outside the houses to stop people from feeling cooped up. Then just working a little bit on the spacing of the course work. Other than those little things greatly enjoyed this program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Helene
9/10

My Review for Verto Education

I came into this program scared of the unknown, in a new country, with a group of complete strangers. We quickly got very close and realized how much we had in common and embraced our differences. So grateful that we got to enjoy the beautiful country of the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. I bonded very well with the group of 8 students and the program leaders were amazing on all levels. Cared so much for us as individuals and for our success on this program. We had so much fun and learned so much regarding public health, development, identity, and sustainability and now I will be changing my ways coming back home and implementing a lot into my life back home. Wouldn't trade my experience for anything else and this was such a better freshman year. Loved it a lot and would highly recommend.

How can this program be improved?
I would like to see laundry included in the budget. More weekend relax time to enjoy the beaches and different beauties of the country. Maybe be given a hotspot when there isn't wifi to be able to enjoy our free time but also choose when we want to work on our coursework. More adventure time because that is what we looked forward to the most. Change the journals to maybe due before the next class. Have the essays and big assignments much more spread out because most of our deadlines were due in Costa Rica. Have more audio or recordings available for kids with ADHD, dyslexia, etc.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jack
10/10

Jack Verto Review

I had a great experience on this trip. The in-country staff was amazing, and I connected with everyone, students and staff. Jackie and Brian were great, I felt that we had the perfect balance of fun, work and relax time. The excursions were super fun, the catamaran trip was great and I will always remember swimming in the cave. I was skeptical this trip would be more travel and excursion related and not academically rigorous but I'm glad that the classes were so great. I learned so much and I think there is a lot to be said for learning by doing. It was very meaningful to learn about the same things in class as we were learning about at the NGO visits and the fieldwork. The best way to learn something is by seeing it and experiencing it hands-on.

How can this program be improved?
More experienced teachers, maybe older, no teachers that are right out of college. Definitely more time spread out for essays, for 3 essays they were way too close together...
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Matt
9/10

Verto Review

My 3 months in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica were an amazing time. Had so much fun and having courses that tied directly to what we saw definitely enriched the experience. Learned a ton about myself and got to be meaningfully immersed in other cultures. Program highlights include homestay, meeting students from all over the world, living without electricity, and many side adventures. Great combination of fun and learning.

Favorite part of the program had to be meeting my Costa Rican homestay family. Our dad, Elias was an amazing guy who was so willing to share his stories and experiences. Being on a farm and lending a hand was meaningful and made us more conscious of where our food comes from.

EARTH University was also an amazing part of the program. Sitting down in the cafeteria and having lunch with people from 8 different countries was an experience that I will remember for a long time.

How can this program be improved?
No complaints. But for the sake of the word count I think the program could benefit from taking students who are motivated to succeed.
Yes, I recommend this program

About Verto Education

Verto is revolutionizing the first year of college to help students find purpose, discover the world, and be successful in their college career (and life). Traditionally, students in the U.S. graduate high school, and many immediately enroll in...