Skip to main content

Meet Octavio di Leo 

At Verto Education, the Program Director is a key member of the on-site experience. Responsible for the day-to day management of all Verto Education programs at each site, the Program Director leads all student support functions, including, housing, health & safety, and Verto study center administration.

In this blog post, we interview Verto Education Argentina Program Director, Octavio di Leo!

What’s your background, and what brought you to Verto Education?

I was born and raised in Argentina, and graduated from the University of Buenos Aires in 1989. After several years in Berlin, I went to Yale to experience a US campus and earn a doctorate in Spanish and Portuguese. But it wasn’t until I started teaching at IES Abroad Barcelona in 2003 that I discovered the field of International Education, a path that eventually took me as Program Director to Rome and Rio de Janeiro. Back to my hometown after 30 years of living abroad, I am thrilled to share the lessons learned as a mentor to our Verto students.

What are some of the academic highlights of your location? 

Argentina, well-known for a long history of civil rights movements, has played a key role in the region during the globalization process. Our Political Science courses reflect this tradition, and students are able to volunteer for different organizations and become agents of change. Buenos Aires is also one of the richest hubs for the performing arts in the Spanish-speaking world, and our Music class has been an essential guide to the city. Finally, we offer hands-on Science and Lab courses, and our students visit local universities where they get to interact with some of the 800,000 students living in town.

What does support for students look like on-site? 

Buenos Aires is home to 14 million people and is ranked as the safest capital city in South America. Our Student Life team includes clinical psychologists and decades of experience with international students. We have a 24/7 emergency phone and a state-of-the-art hospital within walking distance from the Study Center, where students are able to use their health insurance at all times. In addition to this, students choosing to live in homestays find extra support from their host families, who in turn become lifelong mentors after their semester abroad. As educators, their growth and wellbeing are a priority for us.

What would you say to a student considering a semester in Buenos Aires with Verto? What is your favorite thing about your location? 

Argentina is a very welcoming culture and it plays a strategic role in the Global South. People are eager to make friends, and this is particularly true for Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan city with a European flavor. There are many ways to access the local scene, even without speaking Spanish, be it through sports (above all soccer), or the different culinary traditions, which are part of our popular Food and Cuisine course. It is also great to travel to neighboring countries, such as Brazil, Uruguay, or Chile, and to enjoy the most diverse music shows all year long. Te esperamos!

Want to see if a Verto start to college can work for you? Apply today to get started. 


*** Note: Specific programming and activities are subject to change semester by semester.