We can accommodate participants 17 to 22 years old who meet our eligibility requirements. Most participants are between 18 and 20 years old.
Our programs are designed for positive, open-minded students with keen interests in experiential learning, adventure, and cultural exchange. Be ready for mental, emotional, and physical challenges! For more information, view our Essential Eligibility Criteria. While many students can benefit from a gap year program, those who are adjudicated, court-mandated, or requiring regular in-field therapy are beyond the expertise of Verto.
Current semester program costs are listed on our individual program pages and typically run from $12,000 - $18,000 per semester depending on the location(s) chosen.
Program costs include all meals, accommodation, ground transportation, and activities not marked as optional. Optional activities such as weekend excursions, snorkeling and SCUBA will be available at an extra cost. The cost of travel to and from the program’s start and end location is not covered, but all travel while on the program is covered.
Verto has rolling admissions so students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
Yes, when you are accepted to Verto you are simultaneously accepted into one of our partner universities for the spring semester. Your acceptance letter will be expedited through the Verto application process.
Accommodations during your program will be a mix of family homestays, hotels and guesthouses. Homestays will ALWAYS be other students from the program. While accommodations may be basic at times, we carefully check each location to make sure that it meets our safety standards.
Transportation will include a mix of private vans or buses, public transportation when appropriate, and internal flights where dictated by the program, such as from The Dominican Republic to Costa Rica or between Fiji, New Zealand, Australia or Thailand, Laos and China.
Internal travel during your program is covered as part of your tuition. To make life easy for you and your family, we offer our services to book your To/From program travel, so you don’t have to.
We can cater to most dietary requirements, including vegetarian and vegan diets. It is very important that you advise us of any allergies or special dietary needs at the time of your application as well as on your medical forms. Please know that we may not be able to accommodate all dietary/allergy restrictions.
Visa requirements depend on both your nationality and the particular country you will be visiting. Though it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you meet the entry and exit requirements for each country, our program partners with G3 Visas and Passports, a well-known visa service provider, to help make this process easier. We will provide you with more information once you’ve enrolled.
As a leader in our industry, Verto Education and our partner, Rustic Pathways, takes the health and wellbeing of our students extremely seriously. We have comprehensive risk management and crisis response systems in place and go to great lengths to educate and train our leaders in first aid. In addition, we thoroughly screen each of our participants. Nearly all of our full-time operations staff, including Program Leaders, are certified as Wilderness First Responders.
To complement these efforts, we are partnered with International SOS (ISOS), one of the world’s leading providers of global medical and emergency services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways have access to the International SOS’s benefits through the Rustic Pathways’ membership. Click here for more information on the services provided by International SOS and to learn more about our Safety and Risk Management policies. Please note, the membership provided by ISOS is not health or travel insurance.
By planning ahead, reading all material, and following the rules, the vast majority of our students are able to complete their chosen programs. We encourage all participants to purchase a travel insurance policy that allows for more flexibility and covers cancellations that occur outside of the refundable period of our cancellation policy.
Phone and internet service are often readily available to our students. However, there are portions of our programs during which students will need to go up to two weeks without access to phones or internet. We encourage students to limit communication with their parents to a phone call or message no more than once per week. This ensures group cohesion, the building of trust among students and leaders, and allows for the most culturally immersive experiences. We suggest that students and their parents create communication plans that set clear expectations around the frequency of and reasons for contacting each other. In urgent situations, students and parents have access to our 24-hour emergency line, which they can call for immediate assistance.
It will be the responsibility of the traveler to make sure you bring enough medication for the duration of your entire program and to let us know what you are bringing. Please remember some countries might not have the meds you prefer. If you normally get a smaller dosage than you will need for your entire program, you will need to apply for a “vacation waiver” from your doctor, as sending prescription medications overseas is usually met with difficulties when it arrives into country and often does not make it to the recipient.
We are here to help with this, but legally cannot provide direct medical advice on vaccinations and inoculations. However, We suggest you visit this page for up-to-date information. Additionally, when you participate in our programs, we provide you with an included membership to International SOS, our partner for global emergency and medical services. This is a great resource for specific regional information and travel consultation. Prior to travel, you should review these websites, consult with your local travel clinic, and discuss your travel plans with your physician. Be aware that some immunizations involve a series of shots or medications, so don’t put this off for the last minute.
Let us know how we can help. Someone from our team will get back to you ASAP.