At-a-glance

VERTO OFFERS THE ONLY INTERNATIONAL, ACADEMIC TRAVEL EXPERIENCE THAT PARTNERS WITH COLLEGES TO GIVE FULL CLASS CREDIT SO STUDENTS GRADUATE IN FOUR YEARS.

Meaningful Academics

Verto Education’s Mission:

Our mission is to provide an affordable and innovative way for students to incorporate travel into their four-year college experience. Spending a few months abroad before diving into the typical college grind allows students to show up on campus rejuvenated with a better understanding of themselves and what they want to do with their lives.

Do it correctly

Verto Education’s Values:

Verto Education was founded to make travel the path of least resistance to a college education (and degree). We believe in inclusion, transparency, access, equity and, above all, the power of travel to foster empathy and kindness across cultures.

How it works

What Verto Education Offers:

  • An Affordable, accredited, overseas academic program for a half or full year

    Verto was designed to give students the opportunity to see new countries while graduating in four years at the same cost, if not less, than your typical semester of college. Our programs were intentionally designed to set students up for success at college.

  • Guaranteed admission to a top Verto partner college

    When students are accepted to Verto, they’re automatically accepted to at least one of Verto’s partner colleges. Students apply to the Verto program and partner colleges and universities simultaneously through a single common application. Accepted students are given a slot in the second semester freshman year or first semester sophomore year based on their preference.

  • A well-rounded international experience focused on personal growth

    Programs are designed to foster self-discovery through journaling, mindfulness training, mentorship, service learning programs, and a homestay experience. Weekly structured reflection gives students a sense of who they are and want they want from their university career.

Right for you?

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Programs

Verto Semesters Abroad

Before You Apply

Admissions & Enrollment Info

Get to Know Our Team

Our Team

VERTO WAS FOUNDED BY A TEAM OF PASSIONATE TRAVELERS AND EDUCATORS

Our team’s goal is to revolutionize higher education and make international experiences a core part of the college experience. With a collective 50+ years in international education, we understand how important and impactful traveling is to learning more about yourself and the world around you.

Mitch Gorden - Verto Education Team Member

Mitch Gordon

CEO & Co-founder

Mitch Gordon is the CEO/ Co-founder of Verto Education and the former Entrepreneur in Residence at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. Mitch is an entrepreneur, starting a number of companies in the field of travel & education.

He believes passionately in Verto’s mission: To change the world of higher education and put students first. His previous company, Go Overseas, with 1 million+ monthly visitors, is the most trusted resource for researching international education programs around the world.

Mitch is a frequent presenter in the areas of entrepreneurship, travel and international education. Mitch previously lived in Taipei, Taiwan for 5 years and currently resides in San Francisco. He completed his BS at Binghamton University and his MBA at UC Berkeley. When he’s not working you can find Mitch on a run, hiking, traveling or reading.

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Ben Welbourn - Verto Education Team Member

Ben Welbourn

COO & Co-founder

Ben is the COO/ Co-founder of Verto Education and an alum of a self-designed gap year, during which he hiked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, worked in a variety of industries, taught English in rural Peru, and led outdoor education programs in New Hampshire and Maine.

Ben went on to earn his degree in international relations from the College of Wooster in Ohio. Before joining the field of experiential education, he taught at a primarily Dominican-American school outside of Boston. Ben has since overseen international program development, student outreach and recruitment, and business development for a number of student travel organizations including Rustic Pathways and Winterline Global Education.

Ben spends equal parts of his free time exploring New York City, and escaping to the woods with his wife and dog.

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Mallory Meiser - Verto Education Team Member

Mallory Meiser

CPO & Co-founder

Mallory is the Chief Program Officer/Co-founder for Verto Education. She has a MA in Global Media and Transnational Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London and has spent her entire professional career in the field of International Education.

Prior to joining Verto, Mallory worked at Go Overseas as Director of Strategy, collaborating with volunteer, intern, language, gap year and high school programs all over the world to help empower more people to spend meaningful time abroad.

Mallory has volunteered abroad with IVHQ and GVI, worked for Global Experiences, studied abroad in Leeds and worked with dozens of programs abroad including Maximo Nivel, Jakera, Tico Lingo, Rustic Pathways and Intercultura. She is an avid ultimate frisbee player and wanna be foodie who always has a book on her.

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Program Leaders & Faculty

Program Leaders & Faculty

OUR PROGRAM LEADERS AND TEACHERS ARE THE HEART & SOUL OF VERTO EDUCATION.

They spend the entire semester with students facilitating daily activities and helping them to bridge their fieldwork to their coursework.

Verto Education Team Member

Lean Sweeney

Modern Latin American History

Lean Sweeney defended her doctoral dissertation, “Stateless Space and Nationless Citizens: Tools of State-Making on the Chiapas-Guatemala Border, 1821-1899” in April of 2019 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and received a Master’s in Mexican History from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico in 2004, publishing the Spanish language version of her Master’s thesis, “Survival of the Bandits: the Icaiché Maya and Frontier Politics in Southeastern Yucatán, 1847-1904” with the UNAM press in 2006. Ms. Sweeney has extensive experience teaching graduate and undergraduate level courses in Modern Latin American History, Latin American Popular Culture, Central America and the World, Latin American Film and Latin American Borderlands, in Mexico City, Boston, and Albuquerque.

Karen Straight - Verto Education Team Member

Karen Straight, Ph.D.

Anthropology, Public Health, & Sociology Course Director

Dr. Karen Straight earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  Karen first fell in love with international education and sociology while an undergraduate at the University of Oregon.  As an undergraduate, she studied in Spain and Scotland.  These experiences led to a life-long commitment to the value of international and experiential education.  Karen has taken students abroad to study health, culture, and development in India, China, South Africa, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica.  She encourages students to use social science perspectives to understand the world around them and the role they want to play in it while immersed in new and unfamiliar cultural environments.  With an emphasis on the importance of applying knowledge and connecting theory to experience, Karen takes an interdisciplinary approach to instruction.  She has enjoyed teaching in sociology, anthropology, and women’s studies departments for liberal arts colleges and universities.  She is currently a Professional Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wyoming.  Karen is thrilled to serve as Course Director for Identity, Politics and Equity, Cultural Anthropology, and Global Health.

Verto Education Team Member

Elizabeth A. Tuleja, Ph.D.

Course Director, International Business and Corporate Ethics

Dr. Tuleja earned an MS.Edu and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. A native of Philadelphia, she now resides in Chengdu, China where she is an executive coach and consultant for global leadership in education and business. She believes that the key to developing cultural competence is the ability to become self-aware and open to learning about our blind spots, and is an expert regarding cross-cultural assessment. For over 20 years, Elizabeth has been designing curriculum and teaching in the field of intercultural communication and cross-cultural management for business students in the US and in Asia, as well as leading study abroad programs in China and Hong Kong. Her most recent book is: Intercultural Communication for Global Business: How Leaders Communicate for Success.

Delia Steverson - Verto Education Team Member

Delia Steverson, Ph.D.

Rhetoric & Composition Course Director

Delia Steverson is an Assistant Professor of African American Literature at the University of Florida, where she frequently offers courses at the intersections of race, gender, class, and (dis)ability, as well as rhetoric and composition. A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Delia completed both her MA and PhD in English Literature at the University of Alabama. Delia has taught middle school Language Arts in the Dominican Republic.

Verto Education Team Member

Steven Sacks, Ph.D.

Course Director, Comparative Philosophy

Steven is Professor of Religion at Cornell College, and has an A.M. and Ph.D. from The University of Chicago. As a lifelong exponent and practitioner of experiential education abroad, Steven has designed and led courses that teach students about the intersection of philosophy and culture in Mongolia, Ethiopia, Italy and South Korea and, corresponding to his role as course director for Verto Education, in Thailand and Laos.

Verto Education Team Member

Ashley LaBoda, Ph.D.

Course Director, Spanish

Ashley has over ten years of experience designing and teaching Spanish language and Linguistics courses at the university level. She takes a communicative, content-based approach to curriculum design and is committed to teaching Spanish language and fostering intercultural competency through experiential learning. Ashley earned her Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics from the University at Albany, SUNY.

Verto Education Team Member

Kaycie Lawson, Ph.D.

Course Director, Environmental Science

Kaycie is an instructor and researcher with diverse experience in interdisciplinary environmental science. Kaycie has a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University. Her nearly 20 year career working in environmental science has taken her to places around the globe. Included in her field research expeditions, Kaycie has traveled throughout southern Africa and to the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica to study interactions between biogeochemical nutrient cycling and climate.

Verto Education Team Member

Joseph McClellan

Field Instructor, Comparative Philosophy

Joseph McClellan earned a PhD in 2013 from Columbia University’s Department of Religion. He has taught religion, philosophy, and gender studies at several universities in the United States and Asia. Most recently, he has been teaching World Philosophies at The Pre-Collegiate Program of Yangon.

Verto Education Team Member

Tatiana Pacheco

Latin America Program Leader

Tatiana is passionate about working with children, adolescents and underprivileged communities around the world. She recently completed a master’s in Social Work with a concentration in International Social Welfare at Columbia University. Tatiana has led programs in Costa Rica, Thailand and Cambodia. Being from Puerto Rico, her favorite three things in life are the beach, tostones (fried plantains) and anything passion fruit. She is an adrenaline junkie who loves learning about people and trying new things!

Verto Education Team Member

Julia Coursey

Field Instructor, Rhetoric and Composition

Julia Coursey holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama, where she taught a variety of college English classes. Before that, she lived in Spain for several years, during which time she became fluent in Spanish and a staunch defender of naps. When she’s not teaching or writing, you can find her reading in a hammock, trying new foods, or learning the folklore of the places she visits.

Verto Education Team Member

Tyler Breen

Field Instructor, Global Health; International Development

Tyler Breen received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, focusing on geospatial analysis of forest dynamics. After graduation, he left for the Peace Corps in Paraguay where he worked with biodigesters, reforestation, and resource management. In 2015, Tyler started leading ecology and service based learning trips in the Dominican Republic and Cuba. He received a Master’s in Development Practice from Emory University, where his research looked at mapping socio-ecological systems in Kajiado, Kenya. Tyler’s research interests look at interconnectivity in the environment, energy, food, health, and human rights nexus. Aside from his research interests, he loves playing guitar, hiking, and keeping up on his Spanish and Guarani.

Verto Education Team Member

Brendan Fields

Field Instructor, Modern Latin America

Brendan was born and raised in Virginia, where he graduated from the College of William & Mary with a degree in History. He spent three years in the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps Volunteer working on childhood literacy and teacher training projects, and then completed an MA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies at New York University. Brendan has a passion for education, development, and learning languages. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys getting to know new people and places, reading about history, and searching for the perfect cup of coffee.

Verto Education Team Member

Maggie Musty

Field Instructor, Rhetoric and Composition

An enthusiastic traveler, Maggie loves exploring other cultures and learning languages. She has lived abroad in four countries, including Costa Rica this past summer. Maggie has a MA in International Education and is passionate about cross-cultural education and community development. She’s excited to embark on a new adventure with Verto Education this semester in Costa Rica!

Verto Education Team Member

Madison Raphael

Program Leader

Maddie has been working in Costa Rica since Summer 2017. Maddie took a gap year from college and spent time teaching English in a rural community in Panama. Through that experience, she discovered the impact that travel can have on education. She is passionate about experiential learning and exploring new cultures. She is driven by her own personal experiences with travel and wants that to be shared with future generations and global leaders. When she’s not working, Maddie can be found hiking mountains, skiing and exploring all things outdoors.

Verto Education Team Member

Jacqueline Broussard

Field Instructor, Identity, Politics & Equity

With a BA in International Relations and Spanish and an MBA in International Business, Jackie spent the early part of her career working and living in Latin America. Jackie’s first time traveling abroad was to study in Spain as a junior in college. Whether teaching marginalized youth in Guatemala, advocating for newcomers to the U.S. or mentoring high school students to become social entrepreneurs and leaders, she believes that the most profound challenges of our times can be overcome by building cross-cultural bridges.

Verto Education Team Member

Brian Burger

Field Instructor, Spanish

Brian Burger is an educator with a passion for travel and the outdoors. Brian is the oldest of six and was raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Since graduating from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in political science and Spanish, he has worked predominantly abroad, teaching history and Spanish for a traveling high school and leading student travel programs. He currently calls the Columbia River Gorge home and is excited to explore and learn in Costa Rica this fall!

Verto Education Team Member

Kelly Chapman

Field Instructor, Cultural Anthropology; Identity, Politics & Equity

Kelly is an adventurer at heart, she’s most at home hiking in the mountains, backwoods camping, or taking long bike rides through rolling hills. When she’s not out in the wild, Kelly loves working with students to guide them in their college journey and help them make sense of this crazy, beautiful world we all share. Her academic background is in biocultural anthropology and public health, and she has conducted research on a variety of topics including epigenetic inheritance and cultural beliefs about women’s health in Haiti.

Verto Education Team Member

Cody Ward

Field Instructor, Rhetoric and Composition

Originally from South Florida, Cody worked in higher education domestically up and down the East Coast before transitioning into international education. Since then, he has worked professionally or traveled personally to over 30 countries, and loves experiencing new cultures, sights, and foods. When not traveling, Cody enjoys hiking, drinking a nice cup of coffee, or playing a good board game.

Verto Education Team Member

Mikaela Montanari

Field Instructor, Environmental Science

Mikaela grew up on the Pacific Northwest coast in Port Towsnend Washington. She’s an avid scuba diver, backpacker, and swimmer. Mikaela has a Master’s of Science in Natural Resources and has worked for the Seattle Aquarium, Washington State University Extension Beach Watcher program, and Pacific Marine Research Marine Science Afloat program. She is very passionate about ocean conservation and daily acts of sustainability.

Verto Education Team Member

Beth Eanelli

Field Instructor, Cultural Anthropology; Identity, Politics & Equity

Beth’s interest in the intersection of health, policy, human rights, sustainable development, storytelling and cross cultural exchange have allowed her to explore the world in various roles in her early career. She graduated from Bucknell University with a Psychology degree in 2013 and jumped into global health work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia where she worked on community health interventions aimed at improving maternal and child health. These experiences inspired her to explore programmatic and leadership roles throughout South and Southeast Asia as well as domestically. She recently obtained her Masters degree at Duke University, where she focused on both Maternal and Child Health and International Development Policy as well as refugee health in Durham.

Verto Education Team Member

Andrea Naranjo

Program Leader

Andrea finds the small details in life fascinating. Her passion for personal growth and understanding the emotional world led her to take her degree in Gestalt Therapy Psychology. She is an enthusiastic person, who really enjoys learning and spreading smiles. Another thing she loves is nature. In her free time you will undoubtedly find her working in the garden, taking care of trees and plants or reading about it. She also enjoys doing yoga, reading, running, doing crafts, etc. When you get to know her, you realize that the passion for life is a contagious attitude and it is possible to contribute to make the world a better place.

Verto Education Team Member

Kelley Reardon

Field Instructor, Environmental Science

Kelley’s appreciation for nature first began in her small hometown in Maine. She now holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Stonehill College and a master’s degree in environmental policy from Duke University. Kelley’s primary field of study was wildlife conservation. She had the opportunity to spend extensive time traveling abroad in Europe and Asia as a student. Kelley is also a certified yoga and meditation teacher and enjoys figure skating, hiking, baking, and learning new languages like Mandarin Chinese.

Verto Education Team Member

Becky Goncharoff

Course Director, International Development; Field Instructor, Rhetoric and Composition

Based in Northeast Thailand, Becky has spent over 7 years creating experiential learning opportunities for students studying abroad in Southeast Asia with CIEE, Rustic Pathways, and Thrival World Academies. Becky loves finding ways for local community members in Thailand and students from the United States to learn from each other and work together. She holds a BA in Political Science from Transylvania University and an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago. When she’s not working on study abroad programs, Becky is often supporting a group of women weavers fundraising environmental activism to protect their home through the Radical Grandma Collective.

Verto Education Team Member

Hugh Harvey

Program Leader

Hugh began leading experiential education programs in Thailand 2013. After a few years living and working in San Diego, he moved back to Southeast Asia in 2017 and has since worked full time running programs for high school, gap year, and university students.

Verto Education Team Member

Alison Swank

Field Instructor, Rhetoric and Composition

Ali has worked in the South Pacific since 2015 leading travel and community service programs for high school and gap year students. Prior to her time in the South Pacific, she spent five years in the traditional classroom teaching secondary English. Ali never travels without a non-fiction book, a French press, and a bright-colored nail polish. Originally from Florida, she feels most at home with sand between her toes.
Verto Education Team Member

Stephen Lee

Field Instructor, Environmental Science

Stephen Lee is a recent graduate from Clark University with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and Policy. Prior to graduate school, he accumulated several years experience working professionally in the field of environmental science. Steve has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso, where he taught Biology and led classes focused on malaria prevention, family planning, and gender equality. Steve enjoys hiking, sailing, photography and playing music.

The Verto Admissions Team

Admissions

MEET OUR REAL LIFE SUPERHEROES WHO ARE TRAVELING THE U.S. WITH A MISSION TO CHANGE HIGHER EDUCATION.

They are here to make sure all your questions are answered, no matter how big or small.

Interested in meeting with an Admissions Team member or inviting them to your school? Email admissions@VertoEducation.org

Verto Education Team Member

Barbara Calixte

Admissions Representative
Southeast

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Verto Education Team Member

Daniel Marion

Admissions Representative
Mid-Atlantic

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Verto Education Team Member

Gabriela Granote

Admissions Representative
Midwest

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Verto Education Team Member

Michael DeRosa

Admissions Representative
New York/ New Jersey

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Verto Education Team Member

Shaunene Edwards

Admissions Representative
Pacific Northwest

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Verto Education Team Member

Layni Pistone

Admissions Representative
Northeast

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Verto Education Team Member

Stephanie Collens

Admissions Representative
Texas/ Four Corners

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Verto Education Team Member

Josh Sadagursky

Associate Director of Admissions
California

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Verto’s Advisory Board

Advisory Board

THE ADVISORY BOARD GUIDES VERTO ON ITS INITIATIVES FOR STUDENT SERVICES, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND ACCESS, CURRICULUM, PARTNERSHIPS, AND STUDENT RECRUITMENT.

Verto’s Advisory Board members were each selected for their demonstrated commitment to college access, their leadership in the field, and their expertise in educational advising.

Verto Education Team Member

Nicole Cote-Crosskill

DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL COUNSELING
FRYEBURG ACADEMY

Verto Education Team Member

Liz Le

DIRECTOR OF STUDENT SERVICES & LEAD REGISTRAR, FUSION ACADEMY

Verto Education Team Member

Kelli-Cannon

DIRECTOR OF INSTRUCTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, ASPIRE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Verto Education Team Member

Jeff McAdam

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE COUNSELING, KENTS HILL SCHOOL

Verto Education Team Member

Debbie Rosen

FOUNDER
THE STUDYPRO

Verto Education Team Member

Danielle Jakob

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE COUNSELING, UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Verto Education Team Member

Blair Parker

UPPER SCHOOL DEAN & COLLEGE COUNSELOR, RIVERDALE COUNTRY SCHOOL

Verto Education Team Member

arun ponnusamy

MANAGING PARTNER & CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER, COLLEGEWISE

Verto Education Team Member

Alex Steinert-Evoy

INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

Verto Education Team Member

Suzanne Crossman

DIRECTOR OF TRANSITION AND GUIDANCE, LANDMARK SCHOOL

Verto Education Team Member

Beverly Low

DIRECTOR OF GUIDANCE & COLLEGE COUNSELING, MANCHESTER ESSEX REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

Verto Education Team Member

Sarah Persha

PARC DIRECTOR, PACIA ACADEMIC RESOURCE CONTINUUM

Verto Education Team Member

Allison Matlack

DIRECTOR, MATLACK EDUCATIONAL CONSULTING