Verto Education

Program Reviews

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Cameron
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spring of 2020, I was beyond excited to go to Costa Rica, but like most things this year covid has taken that opportunity away. To say the least when Verto offered a hybrid semester as an option I figured why not it's something to do and it'll help for next spring 2021. I was not expecting this semester to be overall very fun and inviting. Even though being online sucks again not expecting to make a good amount of connections with classmates that I think will last a long time, great thing is I'll see most of them next semester as well in Costa Rica! Huge coodos to Verto staff for working so hard behind the scenes to provide a great experience overall for us students!

What was your funniest moment?
Trying to get a professor to check out a funny link, we spent almost an entire class period talking about funny stuff and it was just a well needed break in the semester to just have fun and get to know our professor more and ultimately build a lot of good connections.
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Maleah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Obviously, like the rest of my classmates, I had wanted to travel abroad. I had to finish my senior year online and I was ready to go back to learning in person. Because of the pandemic, Verto was not able to send anyone abroad. I found the mission of Verto to be interesting so I decided to do the online semester. They hadn’t run an online semester before. They, like the students, wanted to be traveling abroad. Verto had to find teachers, find an online platform we could use, split all of the students into cohorts, and come up with activities to make the semester fun. I believe they found great teachers for the semester. The teachers that I had were all very understanding and relatable to the students. We had speakers, clubs, and we were even able to do activities like a murder mystery game. Ideally, we all would’ve been traveling abroad this semester, but Verto did a great job of pulling off an online semester.

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Lucas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Verto admission representatives visited my high school college fair; I approached their booth, and immediately felt a connection as soon as we started talking. After speaking with them, I felt an immense warmth of positivity. Everything about the program perfectly appealed to me so of course I was so eager to sign up! The semester started online in September of 2020, and I expected it to be not as monumental as it has been. With the addition of having many events, games, speakers, and student lead clubs outside the part of academics it was always made the program super fun! I've learned so much this semester by building friendships with my fellow students; I must give credit where it is due the pinnacle of my success was having the support and encouragement of the amazingly awesome Verto staff from Community Guru and Program Leader to professors and academic counselors. This year of 2020 and unique Hybrid Verto Semester has been an influential experience, and wouldn't have chosen any other path. Besides with Verto I'll be able to travel this coming Spring. I definitely recommend doing your study abroad with Verto Education because the knowledge that you gain from it is truly extraordinary. Through Verto your opportunities are endless and your adventures will be legendary!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Don't use Minerva Forum as the learning platform instead use Zoom and Canvas in conjunction with Google application and services.
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Nicholas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was my first time traveling outside of the U.S. and it was life changing. This trip was a great way to make new connections because you never know who you will meet along your journey. I had met individuals that were all so unique in their own ways and so full of knowledge wether they be my teachers, my cohort, guides, or even natives. Taking into account what these amazing people have taught me, they left me with a new purpose. Because of this trip I now have a new initiative which is to start my own business that will make a change.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be completely open-minded and don't be afraid of trying new things. You'll thank me later.
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Sarah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I found out about Verto Education at a time in my life when I really needed to know that there was another way for me to begin life after high school. I feel so lucky to have been able to travel with Verto as it was a truly challenging and rewarding experience that made me a better and more educated person. Not only is it great for earning college credit and learning in new and strange environments, but it's extremely fun and you'll meet so many great people that become so important to you. Every experience is probably one you've never done before and one that you'll remember forever.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice is to just go with the flow. Crazy and unexpected things happen but just accept it and love every moment of it. The amount of times we got rained on or our computers broke or someone got sick or ran out of bug spray - probably too many times. It's all worth it. Eat the weird foods, meet new people, do new things. On the hard days, smile and think about where you are and how lucky you are to be there.
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Carla
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My daughter was in Fiji, when COVID-19 became a worldwide concern. The staff at Verto handled the situation beautifully. 100% concern was for getting all of those kids home safely. I was communicated with during every step and they made us feel as comfortable as possible! In addition, when she got home classes continued as planned and every effort was made to provide virtual experiences. There was a unity provided by Verto team; They made lemonade out of lemons. I know my daughter truly enjoyed her experience. She made an incredible connection with many of the staff members and students. She was very sad when she had to come home and even sadder the day virtual classes ended. She has always had a love for travel, but this has made her more eager to travel the world.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be careful with regards to what you pack. Do not over pack.
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Bayan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Verto team was very supportive and fun the entire semester, I had so many crazy and immersive experiences when we got to visit villages in Fiji and white water rafting in New Zealand. The classes and teachers were very interesting and informative. One of my favorite memories was being in Nausori village with my host family and learning all about the fijian culture and traditions. One day we woke up at sunrise and hiked to the top of the mountain with our host brother, on our last night there he took us to his farm and we had a bonfire on the edge of a cliff, it was one of the coolest things I've ever done.

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Brendan
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had already attended college for a year before I’m went on my Verto semester. The summer leading up to the semester took great preparation, for I have a lot of medications to handle due to being a heart transplant recipient. Nevertheless I was able to spend the 3 months in the beautiful South Pacific doing crazy things like bungee jumping and skydiving with no medical issues.
I would say that you have to be a very adaptable and patient person on this experiential learning journey. Most of the locations you go to are very rustic and remote. That be said these places offer any extreme amount of natural beauty and culture. Since it was such a small class size (13 students) we took the classes week by week, but it was sometimes hard to get work done with the amount of traveling we did. Often times during our down time we had to choose between doing work, catching up on sleep, or attending to our mental health. The semester was jammed packed with activity after activity, great meal after great meal, and kind and compassionate programs leaders that I am still in touch with today. I think about the everything that made that trip special to me on the daily. The strongest thing that I took away from my time in the South Pacific is having a better sense of the environment and cultural relativism.

What was your funniest moment?
A couple of things come to mind when I think of this question. I have two specific moments, both having to do with animals. The first happen at the Vaturu Dam in Fiji during a traditional kava ceremony. There happened to be a rat that was racing around the rafters of our cottage. I’m not a big fan of rats and so when I saw that bad boy I let out a scream and a jump right in the middle of a traditional Fijian ceremony. Everyone had a good laugh about my childish scream. The second happened in the Daintree rain Forest, another very rustic location. It was our first night at our accommodation and we having a meeting to break down the schedule for the week. During that meeting one of the largest beetles ( I think it was a beetle) I’ve ever seen FLEW right onto on of the students back. Chaos erupted. The student let out a reaction that made my rat scream look pathetic.
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Nayeli
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was my first time traveling out of the country, let alone to spend three months with people I’ve never met. At first it was intimidating, adjusting to the environment and getting to know everyone. When I got back from this trip people asked how it went. What I found was that this wasn’t just an ordinary trip. My experience abroad with Verto was unique. And what made it unique was the people, my personal journey, and the cultural experiences.

I loved my cohort! The professors were amazing, fun, and interesting people. Not only did I learn from them during class but also out of class they taught me a lot. Our guides were all around the best! They worked so hard everyday to make everything go as smoothly as it could go. Being responsible for a group is not easy! I know I can speak for my fellow classmates when I say that we made beautiful relationships and connections with everyone.

My personal journey was one that I will never forget. I learned so much about myself and yes there were hardships such as being homesick or just feeling overwhelmed or even more personal issues. But, without the bad I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the good. And looking back, if it wasn’t for everything that I endured whether that be good or bad I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It forced me to get out of my comfort zone and pushed me to try new things. This semester abroad not only shaped me personally but also academically.

I wanted cultural immersion and that is exactly what I got! Everyone was so nice and welcoming. Learning the culture around me didn’t make me feel like a tourist but more of a well rounded traveler. I learned phrases and words in different languages, I learned cultural do’s and don’ts, and I tried a bunch of tasty new foods! When you’re culturally immersed it puts you into a different perspective. You see all sides and not just your own. You learn why people do what they do and you experience the hardships that they go through as well.

A part of who I am is made up from my experiences abroad. This is a unique opportunity and if you have the chance to do it, go for it! Don’t overthink it and don’t talk yourself out of it. I promise this is life changing!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I have tried and ate many delicious foods but the most unfamiliar thing I ate would probably be eating a century year old egg in China.
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Emily
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with Verto was extremely unique because it was the first semester ran in the South Pacific in Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. In Fiji, I experienced different cultures and ways of life that have impacted the way I view the world today and forever. The semester was filled with adventure and personal growth. I loved the experiential learning aspect of the trip- we were not sitting in classrooms but rather experiencing and learning at the same time. I learned a lot about the environment by actually putting myself in different settings and learning how to create a more sustainable world. I found that I gained so much knowledge about myself, my perspective on the world, and ultimate understanding of the universe.

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the amount of time we were in Fiji (7 weeks) and balance it out more with New Zealand and Australia.