Connect to the World
in Turrialba, Costa Rica
Between classes, soak up the tropical scenery and mountain landscape around Turrialba, Costa Rica. Explore the region’s natural beauty by hiking to waterfalls, rafting down rivers, and soaring through the jungle canopy on zip lines.
The local community welcomes you. Come ready to engage with and learn through language exchanges and community service.
This rich immersive experience will challenge you, and it will help you discover new interests and build intercultural confidence.
Homestay or Dorms
12-16 Credits from our Academic Provider, the University of New Haven
Local University Partner
before scholarships & institutional aid
August 28 – December 9, Fall 2023
January 22 – May 4, Spring 2024
Start College With Community
Live with other Verto participants and learn alongside a tight-knit community of staff, instructors, and fellow travelers. Our experienced staff is on-site to support you and guide you towards a transformative first year abroad experience.
Immerse yourself in Costa Rica’s scenery and culture as you dive into experiential learning courses offered by our Academic Provider, the University of New Haven. Study ecology while standing on top of a volcano, and do your Spanish homework with vendors at the local farmers market!
Engage with local communities through Merengue dance classes, permaculture farm work, NGO workshops, and more! You can also opt-in to exciting excursions like waterfall hikes.
Sharpen Your Mind
In the classroom, you’ll enjoy small class sizes, energetic and caring professors, and hands-on learning delivered by our Academic Provider, the University of New Haven.
Going to class will actually become the highlight of your day.
Earn College Credit
Earn college credit through a selection of courses offered by our Academic Provider, the University of New Haven.
Participants walk away from their time in Costa Rica with much more than incredible memories and transferable credits delivered by our Academic Provider; through one-on-one counseling and mentorship, you’ll build the confidence, self-awareness and clarity to thrive in college and in life.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Work with your personal Academic Success Coordinator and College Counselor to develop your game plan for an impactful college career. You’ll get a head start on how to manage your time, study effectively, and adapt to life on campus.
Find Your Purpose
Get clarity on your future goals as you contemplate what you’ve been learning and the type of impact you want to make on the world. Your Student Life Coordinator will help you reflect on your experiences through group activities and one-on-one check-ins.
Scholarships & Institutional Aid
Travel is a vital part of every individual’s education, and Verto is committed to increasing equity, access, inclusion, and diversity in study abroad and higher education—regardless of your financial background.
About half of Verto participants receive scholarships, financial institutional, or both. For eligible participants, Verto can significantly reduce the Costa Rica cost through Verto’s Opportunity Grant. You can also apply for external grants and scholarships to further reduce the cost.
Details About Verto Costa Rica Experience
Vertoans may choose to live either in a student dorm or local homestay. Participants should speak with their admissions counselors and onboarding advisors to determine which option is a better fit for them.
For homestays, participants will be paired with another Vertoan to live with a local family. Participants may share a room with another Vertoan or have their own room depending on the family’s housing situation.
Each homestay is slightly different, depending on the hosts, though all hosts are carefully vetted by Verto to ensure safety and comfort.
All Homestay Housing Includes:
- Full Room (Desk, chair, lamp for studying, and wardrobe)
- 3 meals per day (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Bed & bath linens
- Wireless internet access
- Room cleaning once per week
- Laundry once per week
- A fan
Homestay locations will be no more than 15-35 minutes by foot or local shuttle to where classes are held.
Please note that homestay options may be limited, and will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis. While Verto does it’s best to accommodate students’ requests, some students who select a homestay may be placed in campus accommodations, pending availability.
Campus Accommodations Include:
- Shared dorm rooms with single beds (may be bunk beds), clothing storage (may be shelves), and bedding
- Common areas for socializing or study
- Shared bathrooms
- Wireless internet
- Access to self-pay laundry facilities
- Limited access to kitchen, which includes microwave, dishes & utensils
Three meals per day are included in the semester fee. These include meals on campus, in the homestay, and on Verto-sponsored outings and excursions. On campus, meals are served in the cafeteria. Students living in the homestay will enjoy meals with their host families, and can bring a sack lunch to campus. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free accommodations are available, with advance notice. We’re not able to accommodate Kosher or Halal meals. On outings and excursions, meals may be picnic-style, or include box meals (such as a brown bag lunch).
Please indicate any food allergies, particularly if you have life-threatening ones, along with any dietary needs in your health & wellness form. This will be completed during the onboarding component of your Verto journey. Also please note that while we can accommodate most diets, some are particularly difficult or impossible for us to guarantee. If you have special dietary needs, speak with your admissions counselor or student onboarding advisor to be sure that your needs can be met.
All students, regardless of their housing selection will have the option of buying snacks and meals at the campus café and gift shop, International Club, and from local vendors, some of whom provide delivery service. Student residencies have a shared refrigerator and microwave for student use as well. Students living with families will be able to store food in the kitchen and access a microwave, but are not permitted to cook in the family’s kitchen.
Airfare: Students are responsible for booking, and paying for, their flights to and from the program site at the beginning and end of the semester.
* Please confirm with the Verto team before purchasing any flights, and get informed about the entry requirements for Costa Rica here. Verto will make reasonable efforts to ensure that up to date information is communicated to students.
Ground transportation for program arrival, departure, and Verto-sponsored events is included in the program fee. Verto-sponsored events include academic excursions on the weekends, class experiential learning outings, and extra-curricular (non-academic) events, on specified weekends and weekdays. Cost for non-Verto-sponsored transportation and activities is the responsibility of the participant.
Examples of Possible Verto Excursions:
- Two-day excursion to a Caribbean beach town in neighboring Panama
- Tours of coffee, cacao, and sustainable farm operations
- Trek over a volcano for vistas of tropical landscapes
- Exploration of urban life in a Latin American capital city
- Trip back in time with a tour of archeological ruins and ghost towns
- Brave rapids on a whitewater journey down one of the world’s most picturesque topical rivers
*Activities and excursions offered vary by semester.
Spending a Full Year with Verto
Why choose just one location? Sharpen your comparative lens by learning in two amazing Verto abroad locations. Spend your first semester in Costa Rica and your second semester elsewhere in the world! If your heart is set on spending two semesters in the same city, we won’t blame you! Let us know and we’ll advise you to ensure this is the best option for you. Participants are limited to earning 30 credits in one location.
Spring 2023 Key Dates
FOR LONDON, FLORENCE, BUENOS AIRES, & TURRIALBA
Arrival Date: January 23
Orientation: January 23 – 27
First Day of Classes: January 30
Add/Drop Period: January 30 – February 3
Mid-term Week: March 13 – 17
Course Withdrawal Deadline: March 21
Finals Week (Last Week of Class): May 1 – 5
Final Day of Class: May 5
Departure Date: May 6
Fall 2023 Key Dates
Arrival Date: August 28
Discovery Week (Student Orientation): August 29 – September 3
First Day of Classes: September 4
Add/Drop Period: September 4 – 8
Midterm Course Evaluations: October 16 – 20
Midterm Grades Due: October 20
Last Day of Classes: December 8
Program End Date / Student Departure: December 9
Final Grades Due: December 13
Unofficial Transcripts to Partners: December 18 – 19
Since all expenses are included in this first year abroad experience, any money participants will need is for small purchases such as personal items, snacks, and souvenirs. We recommend between $100-200 per month.
The Cost of Your Experience Includes:
- 3 meals per day on campus or in homestays and during Verto-sponsored excursions
- All accommodations on campus or in homestays and during Verto-sponsored excursions
- All scheduled events and entrance fees
- Drinking water
- Books and other course materials
- Airport pick up and drop off during the window of time for start and end dates
- Travel Medical insurance
The Cost of Your Experience Does Not Include:
- Souvenirs and gifts
- Laundry on campus. Laundry is included with homestays
- Visa fees
- Optional activities and associated equipment
- Food, travel, and accommodation when traveling to, from, or between programs
- Airline change fees or new tickets for flights to and from the abroad location
- Any costs associated with early departure from the abroad location
Visa, Passport & Age Requirements
Participants must be 17-years-old by the program start date.
US passport holders do not need a visa to participate.
All passports should be valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of the abroad experience. If this is not the case, you must renew your passport as soon as possible. Follow our step-by-step Passport Guide.
Non-US passport holders should check with the local consulate and will need to obtain the proper visa to participate.*
*Verto Education is not responsible for any participants’ inability to obtain the correct visa for any given abroad location, and cancellation fees will apply if an individual is denied the proper visa. Verto Education cannot overturn any decision made by any Consulate or Embassy official.
Why the Verto Costa Rica abroad experience?
The Costa Rica study abroad experience is a great fit for participants who are excited by…
Outdoors & Adventure Activities
Individuals on Verto’s Costa Rica abroad experience are comfortable – possibly happiest – when disconnected from their phones, but strongly connected with the elements, including the rain (there’s lots of it!). They are excited by the freedom to explore the sounds, smells, and sights of exotic plants and animals. (Participants can generally expect access to the internet but should be aware that the strength of the wifi varies depending on weather and environmental conditions).
In Costa Rica you can look forward to experiencing the natural beauty and many outdoor activities that draw thousands of tourists to this country each year. Opportunities abound for adventures away from campus like whitewater rafting, zip lining, mountain biking, and jungle hiking. Plan to explore natural areas by day and by night, to experience the rich biodiversity protected by this conservation-friendly country. You can expect to enjoy warm, white sand beaches and cool, misty cloud forests.
Co-Living & Learning
You get to choose between experiencing the warm hospitality of a local Tico Family or living on a beautiful campus situated on over 1000 hectares in the low mountainous region of central Costa Rica. Regardless of your housing option, you’ll study on this lush campus that boasts a lake where you can observe the many birds found in the region, and a spectacular botanical garden where you’ll learn about the many tropical fruits, roots, and tubers that are grown in the area.
The campus includes classrooms, a dining facility where meals are provided (for students living on-campus), access to microwaves for homestay students to heat their lunches, student residences, outdoor space, and more. Some staff live onsite, others live in town. This is a great fit for individuals who are excited by a home base within a tight-knit rural community and campus environment where they will be surrounded by their peers, staff, and instructors.
Small Town Vibes & Close Verto Community
Verto’s Costa Rica Program is situated in Turrialba, a small agricultural town where students can enjoy a (small) handful of restaurants, shops, and the local farmers market. Vertoans will be able to meet locals in town, but will largely spend time with the Verto community and local people they meet during excursions off-campus.
Students who live on campus are within a short commute to town, which is accessible via a local shuttle or taxi/Uber. Students who live with host families will be able to navigate the town by foot or bus, and can pick up a shuttle to campus for classes, activities, or to just meet up with friends, faculty, and staff.
More Pre- Planned Activities & Routine
Participants should expect indoor classroom sessions during the mornings, from Monday – Friday. Individual class sessions range from 1 – 3 hours in duration (with breaks).
Participants should also count on afternoon class sessions for 2-4 days a week. These are experiential learning laboratories with a duration of 3 hours. These are immersive, out-of-the classroom activities.
There is time to do homework or projects in the afternoons (when not in session) and the evenings and some weekends.
Participants will also attend required academic excursions. Material covered on these excursions will be integral to the successful completion of each course, so attendance is required.
A first year experience in Costa Rica gives young adults plenty of opportunities to pick up, or hone, Spanish skills. Participants can enroll in language courses (multiple levels are offered), use Spanish with local staff and faculty, and practice it with locals in town and on excursions.
Safety & COVID-19
The health and safety of our participants is always our top priority. We’ve developed stages of planning to address the specific concern of COVID-19.
How to Apply
Verto’s application is quick, free, and non-binding!
Fill out Verto’s 10 minute application: vertoeducation.org/apply
After your application is submitted, you will be matched with a counselor who can answer any and all of your questions. Learn more about Verto’s decision process here: vertoeducation.org/admissions
P.S. Did you know that Verto participants can use their Verto app to apply to many of our 70+ partner colleges for free?! Learn more here.