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Rigorous Curriculum from World-Class Academic Providers

Discussion-Based Classes

Research shows that stand-and-deliver classrooms are markedly less likely to deliver student success than those which actively engage students with discussions or group activities. The courses delivered by Verto’s Academic Providers are organized around activities that prioritize stimulating and active learning methods to keep students engaged. This is made possible by our commitment to small class sizes of generally less than 25 students.

Experiential Learning

At Verto in partnership with our Academic Providers, we believe that learning happens best when students are actively engaged in the world around them, applying and assessing the ideas they read about and discuss in the classroom. That is why The Verto Experience emphasizes experiences outside the classroom. Hands-on, experiential activities include service learning, field trips, and presentations or panel discussions with local non-governmental organizations or community leaders.

A Diverse and Inclusive Curriculum

The curriculum provided by Verto’s Academic Providers is based on a foundational commitment to diversity and inclusion. All courses are intentionally designed to ensure that students are exposed to a broad range of perspectives and experiences while also being cognizant of the danger of a single story. Courses are specific to location with added emphasis on how students’ travel semesters impact the local community.

Differentiated Instruction

We value a participant body with diverse backgrounds and differing experiences but are also aware that participants will have varied learning strengths, needs, and interests. We therefore provide the relevant support to ensure that all participants succeed and thrive with Verto. Whether it be providing scaffolding to bridge learning gaps for those that need them, or assignments and assessments that challenge more advanced students, our goal is for everyone to be in their stretch zone. Our staff and student success coordinators meet students where they are to ensure everyone remains challenged but not panicked (or bored!) by their coursework.

Holistic Education

Learning should not just be about cultivating academic skills and intellectual knowledge. It should also be about building “non-cognitive” skills like self-awareness, social awareness, and responsible decision-making. Prioritizing collaboration, community-building, shared norms, and open and vulnerable dialogue, our courses promote not only academic but also social and emotional learning.

Verto’s mission is to help participants discover themselves and the world around them by making international education a foundational and accessible part of a four-year college degree. At the heart of our mission is the concept that international travel is in itself transformational and educational. When we pair incredible experiences outside the classroom with world-class curriculum delivered by highly respected Academic Providers, we get a Verto experience specifically designed so that all participants gain academic, social, and emotional skills required to not only thrive in college but to also make a positive and responsible impact in our wider diverse and global society. 

Sample Catalog of Courses Available from Academic Provider

Language Arts

Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing†

Course Description:

This course introduces students to the conventions of academic writing and the habits of critical inquiry they will need in university courses and beyond.  Students read and annotate texts on a topic (or topics) selected by the instructor, develop original avenues of inquiry through classroom discussion, and transform their questions into well-supported academic arguments.  Assignment sequences incorporate opportunities for research, drafting, revision, editing, and reflection to help students find writing processes that can be replicated in future courses and workplace projects that require only polished work.  Because different disciplines and career paths present different scenarios for critical thinking and writing, this course also teaches students how to adapt the conventions of academic inquiry to a variety of contexts.

  • Credits: 3
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Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing w/ Lab

Course Description:

This course introduces students to the conventions of academic writing and the habits of critical inquiry they will need in university courses and beyond.  Students read and annotate texts on a topic (or topics) selected by the instructor, develop original avenues of inquiry through classroom discussion, and transform their questions into well-supported academic arguments.  Assignment sequences incorporate opportunities for research, drafting, revision, editing, and reflection to help students find writing processes that can be replicated in future courses and workplace projects that require only polished work.  Because different disciplines and career paths present different scenarios for critical thinking and writing, this course also teaches students how to adapt the conventions of academic inquiry to a variety of contexts.

  • Credits: 3
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Writing for Digital Environments†

Course Description:

An introduction to the essential strategies needed to write and edit effectively in digital spaces for corporate and technical communications. Emphasis is placed on visual design, tailoring writing strategies to a variety of new media channels, and establishing interactivity with an audience.

  • Credits: 3
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Principles of Communication

Course Description:

The ability to communicate is the most fundamental skill needed to thrive in our society. It is essential to expressing joy and sorrow, to voicing thoughts and ideas, imparting knowledge, advocating, persuading, participating in our democracy and connecting with the larger community around us.  This course will address verbal and nonverbal communication, identity, culture, and listening.  Students will have the chance to structure, organize, develop, and present information in multiple settings, including interviews, group discussions, elevator pitches, and social media.

  • Credits: 3
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Introduction to the Theater

Course Description:

This course will introduce students to the approaches, practices, and considerations of theatre and performance. Through an exploration of the nature of theatre, the course will examine, assess, and demonstrate central tenets, purposes, and processes of the creative form. It will also examine production and performance elements involved in transforming a space and staging a play, from the writing, to the directing, to the designers, to the actors.

  • Credits: 3
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Elementary Italian I

Course Description:

Italian 1101 is an elementary course designed for students with no previous knowledge of Italian. The course promotes the acquisition of Italian language and culture and addresses all four language skills (speaking, reading, writing and listening), although emphasis is placed on language comprehension, communication, and oral proficiency. From the start, structured communicative activities (including role- plays, pair and group work) provide students with numerous opportunities to interact in Italian with other learners and encourage them to use Italian in everyday situations. In addition, Italian 1101 introduces students to the geography of Italy and to various aspects of everyday life and culture of Italians. 

 

Students are encouraged to analyze and compare aspects of Italian culture while making connection to their own culture and experience. The class is conducted entirely in Italian. Italian will be used in class at all times by both students and the instructor.

  • Credits: 3
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Elementary Spanish I

Course Description:

Focuses on the fundamental principles of grammar. Extensive vocabulary and pronunciation exercises. In SP 102 aural comprehension and pronunciation are tested by oral examination.

  • Credits: 3
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Elementary Spanish II†

Course Description:

Spanish 1102 is the second semester in the two-year basic language sequence. It is communicative in approach and emphasizes the acquisition of all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Since reading and writing can be practiced at home, class time will be devoted mainly to speaking and listening activities. You can therefore expect to speak and hear Spanish most of the time.

  • Credits: 3
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Intermediate Spanish I†

Course Description:

Prerequisites: SPAN 1101, SPAN 1102 or the equivalent. Stresses the reading comprehension of modern prose texts and a review of grammar necessary for this reading. Students are encouraged to read in their own areas of interest.

  • Credits: 3
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Intermediate Spanish II†

Course Description:

Prerequisite: SPAN 2201. Stresses the reading comprehension of modern prose texts and a review of grammar necessary for this reading. Students are encouraged to read in their own areas of interest. 3 credit hours.

  • Credits: 3
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Arts & Humanities

Diversity and Social Justice

Course Description:

Local and global communities are rapidly becoming more diverse.  Social, technological, and economic changes bring us in close contact with individuals of backgrounds that are unique from our own.  Successful engagement in this global society calls for greater reflection on our worldviews, challenging perceptions, developing empathy for others, and awareness of our biases and perceptions.  Further, it also requires critical consumption and production of knowledge, stories, and data.  This course will help students develop the tools to participate in diverse organizations, have productive—but courageous—conversations, determine what makes for good evidence, and apply evidence to the social world.  Developing these critical and empathic skills will prepare students to thrive at the University in their other courses, student organizations, and high impact education opportunities, and to act as educated, purposeful, and civically engaged citizens within their communities.

  • Credits: 3
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Introduction to Philosophy

Course Description:

The nature of reality and how it may be known, according to the great thinkers of the Occident and the Orient.

  • Credits: 3
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Philosophy of Religion

Course Description:

An examination of some philosophical notions used in religious discourse, such as meaning, truth, faith, being, God, the holy. 

  • Credits: 3
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Introduction to Digital Photography

Course Description:

This course is an introduction to the digital photographic process with an emphasis on the use of a manual camera as a tool for electronic photographic image making. The course will explore photography as a medium, critically examining the respective roles of technique, process, and methodology needed to produce creative artworks.

  • Credits: 3
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Drawing I

Course Description:

This course will introduce drawing through the concepts of line, space, form, and value.  An investigation of the historical and contemporary methods of drawing will align with the practice of observational study and rendering. Through this study students will critically analyze the form and content of drawing and examine their own work in relation to current and historical contexts.

  • Credits: 3
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History of Art I

Course Description:

This course introduces students to works of art from the Paleolithic to the Renaissance period. The course explores the expressive, social, cultural, political, economic, and technological aspects of societies as reflected in their art.

  • Credits: 3
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History of Art II

Course Description:

This course introduces students to works of art from the Renaissance period to the mid-20th century. The course explores the expressive, social, cultural, political, economic, and technological aspects of societies as reflected in their art.

  • Credits: 3
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Making Modern Latin America

Course Description:

Latin American nations formed as people around the world worked out what modern ideals like freedom and equality meant in the context of multicultural countries. In this class, students will engage with various historical methods and sources-with a focus on primary sources-to investigate how Latin American leaders and citizens balanced their desires for political ideals like equality and democracy and pressures to create modern industrial economies from the vestiges of colonial rule and ongoing imperial pressures. In addition to a basis for understanding modern Latin America, students will leave this class with solid experience analyzing documents and data that they can apply to future classes or their careers.

  • Credits: 3
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Early Societies and Civilizations

Course Description:

The aim of this course is for you to come to understand what it means to “think historically” – to be able to see how thinking carefully about past human experience is crucial to understanding who we are as human beings and how we as individuals can be better, more thoughtful citizens of our local communities, our countries, and of the world. 

 

In this course we will explore selected societies and civilizations from the earliest recorded histories down to the sixteenth century. This will include major cultural trends, interactions between society and economy, and analysis of cooperation and competition within and between various communities. You will develop an understanding and appreciation of various cultures that shaped past societies as parts of our shared human story. Examination of what it has meant to be human in diverse circumstances will provide you with powerful tools for better engaging their world today, and planning for our future.

  • Credits: 3
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Social Sciences

Politics of Globalization

Course Description: 

This course will provide students a clear understanding of the emerging trends of globalization with a special focus on what led to the beginning of these trends and what are its current patterns. The course will also focus on the most recent “global flows” and their impact including global economic flows as reflected in the growing international trade, global political flows as observed in the internationalization of political issues, global cultural flows as discerned through cultural convergences, and global technological flows as witnessed by the internet revolution. In addition, the course will study the politics of globalization with an analysis of the differential impact of globalization on the developing and the developed world. 

  • Credits: 3
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Introduction to Comparative Politics

Course Description: 

This course examines comparative politics as a subfield of political science that compares pursuit of power across countries. Its main focus is on a comparative research method as a way to collect and evaluate data, compare cases, test our assumptions, draw conclusions, and make predictions/recommendations. The course aims to answer the following fundamental questions of comparative politics: Why are national governments organized differently? What basic characteristics lead us to group countries together? What are political institutions and why are some institutions more likely than others to produce political stability and accountability? How do we measure the effectiveness of institutions? How do we differentiate opinion from empirical research? Some key concepts of comparative politics will recur throughout the course: nation states, political institutions, regimes, power, sovereignty, legitimacy, citizenship, patriotism, nationalism, ethnicity, human rights, political culture, geopolitics, political violence, globalization, and others.

  • Credits: 3
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Sociology

Course Description: 

The role of culture in society, the person and personality; groups and group behavior; institutions; social interaction and social change.

  • Credits: 3
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Introduction to Psychology

Course Description: 

This course will provide students with a basic understanding of psychology as a science. It will introduce students to research methods, principles of learning, development, biological bases of behavior, psychological disorders, and social psychological phenomena. Additional topics may include cognition, sensation and perception, sleep, intelligence, and personality. Ethical issues within the field will also be examined.

  • Credits: 3
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Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship†

Course Description: 

This course provides a framework for students to understand the decision-making process, and related strategies, followed by an entrepreneur or business start-up. The course will introduce students to business fundamentals while they synthesize information from multiple sources to solve a business problem or opportunity. Students will: Use elements of design thinking and a form of the Lean Canvas, and work in teams to design a business plan based upon one or any combination of the following primary themes –Water – Energy – Food; and learn the language of business, while they build business communication skills.

  • Credits: 4
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Diversity and Social Justice

Course Description: 

Local and global communities are rapidly becoming more diverse. Social, technological, and economic changes bring us in close contact with individuals of backgrounds that are unique from our own. Successful engagement in this global society calls for greater reflection on our worldviews, challenging perceptions, developing empathy for others, and awareness of our biases and perceptions. Further, it also requires critical consumption and production of knowledge, stories, and data. This course will help students develop the tools to participate in diverse organizations, have productive—but courageous—conversations, determine what makes for good evidence, and apply evidence to the social world. Developing these critical and empathic skills will prepare students to thrive at the University in their other courses, student organizations, and high impact education opportunities, and to act as educated, purposeful, and civically engaged citizens within their communities.

  • Credits: 3
Download Example Syllabus

International Relations

Course Description:

Forces and structures operating in the modern nation-state system, the foreign policy process, decision-making process, the impact of decolonization on traditional interstate behavior, economic and political developments since World War II.

Credits: 3

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STEM

Introduction to Environmental Science w/ Lab

Course Description: 

Today’s environmental problems have scientific, social, and political aspects to them. This course  which is required for majors and is suitable for non-majors will focus on the scientific aspects but  will not ignore the other two. The student will be introduced to the geology, biology, physics,  and chemistry behind the problems and to the social and political difficulties inherent in dealing with them. Through a combination of lecture, case histories, in-class discussions and exercises,  and observation of the environmental decision making-process at work, the student will gain an  understanding of the complex nature of environmental problems and of the choices that must be  made in solving them. Co-requisite: ENVS 1102

  • Credits: 4
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Biology I: Molecular Basis of Life w/Lab†

Course Description: 

Co-requisite: BIOL 2255 – you must enroll in a section of BIOL 2255 before you can enroll in  BIOL 2253. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MATH 1110. Part of a year-long foundation course for  science majors. The course explores the principles of biological organization with an emphasis on  cell structure and function. Topics covered include molecular cellular organization and function,  gene expression, cellular division, genetic inheritance, and processes involved in the synthesis and  metabolism of carbohydrates.

  • Credits: 4
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College Algebra†

Course Description: 

A review of the fundamental operations and an extensive study of functions, exponents, radicals, linear and quadratic equations. Additional topics include ratio, proportion, variation, progression and the binomial theorem. This course is intended primarily for students whose program of study requires calculus or business math.

  • Credits: 3
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Quantitative Reasoning†

Course Description: 

Placement into MATH 1104 or higher, or having completed MATH 1103 or equivalent with a C or higher. Topics include: sets, logic, elementary functions, number systems, functions and graphs, enumeration and elementary probability. This course does not serve as a prerequisite for any other course in mathematics. MATH 1104 does not serve as a pre-requisite for any further mathematics course.

  • Credits: 3
Download Example Syllabus

Spring 2023 Courses by Semester Location

Semester In London

Courses Offered:

  • Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing†
  • Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing w/ Lab
  • Introduction to the Theater
  • Early Societies and Civilizations
  • Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • Sociology
  • Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship†
  • Quantitative Reasoning†

*All courses and programming are subject to change.

Course offerings are based on faculty availability, student interest, and eligibility. Final course lists are updated prior to the start of the semester.

Courses with † in title require the successful completion of a placement test or other pre-requisite before students can enroll.

View London Semester Page

Semester In Italy

Courses Offered:

  • Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing†
  • Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing w/ Lab
  • Principles of Communication
  • Elementary Italian I
  • Drawing I
  • History of Art II
  • Early Societies and Civilizations
  • Politics of Globalization
  • Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship†
  • College Algebra†
  • Quantitative Reasoning†

*All courses and programming are subject to change.

Course offerings are based on faculty availability, student interest, and eligibility. Final course lists are updated prior to the start of the semester.

Courses with † in title require the successful completion of a placement test or other pre-requisite before students can enroll.

View Italy Semester Page

Semester In Spain

Courses Offered:

  • Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing†
  • Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing w/ Lab
  • Principles of Communication
  • Elementary Spanish I
  • Elementary Spanish II†
  • Intermediate Spanish I†
  • Intermediate Spanish II†
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • History of Art II
  • Diversity and Social Justice
  • Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship†
  • Quantitative Reasoning†
  • College Algebra†
  • International Relations

*All courses and programming are subject to change.

Course offerings are based on faculty availability, student interest, and eligibility. Final course lists are updated prior to the start of the semester.

Courses with † in title require the successful completion of a placement test or other pre-requisite before students can enroll.

View Spain Semester Page

Semester In Costa Rica

Courses Offered:

  • Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing†
  • Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing w/ Lab
  • Elementary Spanish I
  • Elementary Spanish II†
  • Intermediate Spanish I†
  • Diversity and Social Justice
  • Introduction to Digital Photography
  • Making Modern Latin America
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Environmental Science w/ Lab

*All courses and programming are subject to change.

Course offerings are based on faculty availability, student interest, and eligibility. Final course lists are updated prior to the start of the semester.

Courses with † in title require the successful completion of a placement test or other pre-requisite before students can enroll.

View Costa Rica Semester Page

Semester In Buenos Aires

Courses Offered:

  • Elementary Spanish I
  • Elementary Spanish II†
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • History of Art II
  • Politics of Globalization
  • Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship†
  • Quantitative Reasoning†

*All courses and programming are subject to change.

Course offerings are based on faculty availability, student interest, and eligibility. Final course lists are updated prior to the start of the semester.

Courses with † in title require the successful completion of a placement test or other pre-requisite before students can enroll.

View Buenos Aires Semester Page

About Our Academic Provider

Academic Quality Assurance by Accredited U.S. Universities

Verto participants earn official college credit for their courses through Verto’s Academic Provider.

Academic Providers are accredited U.S. higher education institutions who deliver the courses, award credits, maintain all official academic records, and provide an official transcript for the Verto Study Abroad Experience.

These institutions oversee course offerings, faculty hiring, academic policies, and more, to ensure the overall academic quality of Verto’s programs.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN (UNH)

University of New Haven logoAs a Verto Academic Provider, The University of New Haven (UNH) provides oversight to support high quality academic experiences for all Verto participants.

A private university, The University of New Haven is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). UNH is an experienced leader and innovator in education abroad and recognized for academic excellence by The Princeton Review and the U.S. News & World Report.

All students who complete courses during the Verto Study Abroad Experience will receive an official transcript from UNH.

Academic Team

Our staff and the accomplished faculty of the Academic Providers work together to develop and deliver rigorous collegiate curriculum and support to Verto participants. Throughout the semester, students are encouraged to engage directly with the faculty during office hours and study halls. They’re also supported by Program Leaders who build community and Academic Success Coordinators who ensure students have the academic support to excel in their Verto experience and beyond.

Paige Butler, Ed.D.

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Karen Masters, Ph.D.

Director of Academic Affairs

David Collier, Ph.D.

Senior Associate Director of Academics

Janice Johnson Shephard

Senior Associate Director of Academic Success

Colleen Dutton

Assistant Director of Academic Scheduling and Registrar

Steven James Mockler

Academic Affairs Manager

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