Verto Education

You’ve got some questions

We get that

Let’s get you some answers:

Verto Education is an opportunity to start college differently, so we’re sure you have some questions. We offer a globally-focused first year of college, giving students the opportunity to explore the world and consider their path forward, while simultaneously earning transferable college credit through Richard Bland College and staying on their original 4-year graduation timeline.

One application to Verto Education and Richard Bland College allows you to submit a common application for over 70 (and quickly growing) partner universities throughout the U.S. and the world, with lower tuition than most.

Below, you’ll find some of the most common questions we get about our first year abroad experience, but if you don’t find what you need, you can submit your own question below and someone from our team will quickly get back to you.

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

The Q & A

Let’s Dig In

Admission & Cost

Is Verto Education legit?

Yes! Verto Education was founded in 2017 and we have provided transformative study abroad experiences to over 900 students since then!

We officially partner with 70+ well-known U.S. colleges and universities nationwide. To see our list of partners, please visit our Partner Colleges page.

If you’re curious to hear from students who have attended or are currently attending our abroad experiences, we recommend checking out our Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, and Testimonials page.

Looking for a way to meet some of the faces behind Verto?! Come to one of our Virtual Open Houses! At our Open House you can meet our counselors, counseling team, abroad staff and more! We usually have a past or current student in attendance as well. Register here!

How old do I need to be to study with Verto?

In general, Verto can accommodate students 17 to 22 years old who meet eligibility requirements. Most students are between 18 and 20 years old.

Minimum age requirements vary by abroad location, with some locations only available to students who are 18+ due to in-country laws. Please check the “Details about” section on each semester page for that location’s specific age and birthday requirements.

If you have any questions please speak with your Admissions Counselor.

Do you have any medical requirements for participation?

Our first year abroad experiences 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!  While many participants can benefit from a Verto experience, those who are adjudicated, court-mandated, or requiring regular in-field therapy are beyond the expertise of Verto to monitor and will not be permitted to join our abroad experiences.

I'm worried about financials, what does Verto cost?

Roughly 50% of Verto participants receive a combination of scholarships and/or institutional aid.

Depending on your Expected Family Contribution (determined by the FAFSA), the cost for studying abroad with Verto Education may be reduced by as much as 67% through Verto’s Opportunity Grant. Pell/Stafford Replacement Grants and external grants/scholarships may be applied to further reduce the cost as well.

Current Verto study abroad costs are listed on our individual location pages and run from $18,000 – $30,000 per semester (before Pell/Stafford Replacement Grants and scholarships are applied).

What does Verto cost cover?

Verto Costs Includes:

  • Study abroad experience
  • Accommodation for the duration of the study abroad experience
    • Inclusion of meals vary by location. Please see semester pages for each location’s details.
  • In-country support team
  • Airport pickup / drop-off
  • In-country orientation program
  • Tickets/entry fees for sponsored programs
  • Study tours and excursions
  • Books and other course materials
  • Medical insurance and treatment***

Does Not Include:

  • Flight to/from location of study
  • Internal Airfare for Optional Independent travel
  • Snacks and additional drinks 
  • Souvenirs and gifts
  • Laundry
  • Visa fees (only applicable on Italy and Spain semesters)
  • Optional activities and associated equipment
  • Food, travel, and accommodation when traveling to, from, or between study abroad locations
  • Airline change fees or new tickets for flights to and from study abroad locations

Do you have different payment plan options?

Yes! We offer two convenient plans for you to pay for your Verto experience:

Option 1: You can pay the study abroad fee in a lump sum.

Option 2: You can split the study abroad fee into 3 equal monthly payments.

***Deadlines for each payment plan vary by location. Email [email protected] for more details.

When is the deadline to apply?

Verto has rolling admissions and our experiences fill up quickly. We encourage you to apply as early as possible so that you can secure a spot!

How do I get accepted to a partner college?

As a committed Verto participant, you will have direct access to a dedicated counselor that will help you research and apply to any of our partner universities. Check out the College Counseling Resource page for more information!

Can I use Federal Aid to help pay for my study abroad experience with Verto?

Verto is not eligible for any federal financial aid programs. If you qualify for federal financial aid at other institutions, you may be eligible to receive a Verto Promise Grant in a similar amount to the federal funding you might have received at an eligible program. We do have a cap on the number of participants eligible for the Promise grants, so apply now.

Can international students attend a Verto experience?

Yes! Verto Education welcomes participants who are non-U.S. passport holders to apply to our study abroad experiences, so long as they meet the admissions requirements.

Students who are not a U.S. passport holder may have different visa requirements for entry into the host country. It is the responsibility of the student to research the immigration requirements of the host country, and secure the appropriate visa.
For students whose first language is not English, or if your current school is not taught in English, you are required to submit your English language proficiency test scores:
  • TOEFL, PTE Academic or IELTS Academic results are preferred
  • Minimum score required for acceptance with credit via Richard Bland College: TOEFL IBT – 80, PTE Academic – 53, & IELTS Academic – 6.5
  • Alternatives to TOEFL, PTE or IELTS are considered on a case by case basis

 

How does spending a full year with Verto Education work?

You can choose to spend your year abroad immersing in one Verto location or choose 2 locations to explore!

Life During the Program

Where will I live?

Accommodations vary depending on semester location, see specific location pages for details.

All accommodations will be fully furnished with beds, wardrobe, linens, etc. We carefully check each location to make sure that it meets our safety standards.

Will I have a roommate?

On a Verto experience, participants are paired with one or more roommates. Depending on the selected location and the accommodations, participants can have multiple roommates.

While we do our best to accommodate cohort and roommate requests for each location, we cannot guarantee or share roommate assignments ahead of the semester. Vertoans report that they enjoy befriending other participants and meeting new people in their accommodations – it makes the study abroad experience even more transformative!

Can I travel on my own during a Verto experience?

Specific policies for independent travel vary by location. We require that all participants who plan to leave the city of study fill out the Independent Travel Form to get approval. 

Who books my travel to/from my study abroad location?

Participants are responsible for booking travel to/from each study abroad location. Verto will provide an arrival timeframe, and our team will be waiting for you at the airport!

Verto partners with Student Universe so that if you and your family would like support making flight arrangements, you are welcome to use their services. Going through Student Universe will involve an additional fee.

What dietary options are provided (gluten-free, vegan, etc)?

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, depending on the need and your semester location.

Some of our study abroad locations are self-catering (i.e. kitchens available to cook for yourself), and this could be a good option for Vertoans who want more control over their diet.

Do I need a Visa?

Some Verto abroad locations will require participants to get a student visa. Visas depend on both your nationality and the study abroad location you’ve selected. It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you meet the entry and exit requirements for each country. Once you’ve enrolled, we’ll provide you with more information specific to the visa application process for your location of study. We’re here to help make this process as smooth as possible.

Can parents, guardians, and families visit?

Academic and attendance policies remain in place for students regardless of visitors; students are expected to attend class, complete coursework, examinations, and assignments as scheduled in order to receive credit through Richard Bland College. Families who visit students during the semester may be disappointed in the amount of time they are able to spend with their student due to the demands of their study abroad experience including courses, experiential learning activities, and weekend trips. Students whose families visited in the past have experienced more intense homesickness as a result of the visit.

Families are welcome to visit at the end of the semester. Once students have completed their coursework and other academic commitments towards receiving Richard Bland College academic credit, they will be able to host their families and travel freely. For families that make the trip, there will be an open house in which they can meet our staff and Vertoans will share some of what they have learned throughout the study abroad experience. From there, families can decide how to spend their time together independently. Details on end-of-semester family receptions will be provided by August 1.

Virtual Family Weekend / Open House

In addition to bi-weekly emails providing details about the participants’ experience, we also facilitate a weekend of virtual opt-in events for families like student-led campus tours and cooking demonstrations.

Do I need to be able to speak the local language?

No – except in the case of our foreign language courses, all courses will be facilitated in English. It helps if you’re able to speak a bit of the local language, so it’s in your best interest to learn a few key phrases in advance of your study abroad experience!

Safety & Risk Management

What safety and risk management measures are in place?

Verto Education takes the health and wellbeing of our participants extremely seriously.

We’ve developed stages of planning to address the specific concern of COVID-19. Please read about our COVID-19 safety plan here.

We have comprehensive risk management and crisis response systems and go to great lengths to educate and train our leaders in first aid and screen each of our participants. Each of our Academic Partners for our on-campus locations have a robust Emergency Response plan in place for current participants which would also apply to Verto participants.

Do I need travel insurance?

Verto participants traveling to any of our international destinations will be provided with travel health coverage through Cultural Insurances Service International (CISI) included as part of their experience cost. This travel health insurance, specifically designed for students, provides coverage for the duration of studying abroad. Verto partners with AXA Travel Assist to provide emergency evacuations, medical evacuation or repatriation for all Verto participants. Learn more about CISI travel insurance and AXA Travel Assist.

What happens if I get sick and have to come home early?

Each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Generally, by planning ahead, reading all material, and abiding by Verto policies and conduct standards, the vast majority of our participants are able to complete their chosen study abroad experience. 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.

How will family communicate with me while on the abroad experience?

We suggest that participants and their parents create communication plans that set clear expectations around the frequency of and reasons for contacting each other. While on-location participants will have access to wifi and mobile data readily, this is not the case with our in-the-field study abroad locations.

In the field, phone and internet service are often readily available to our participants. However, there are portions of our study abroad program during which participants will need to go up to two weeks without access to phones or internet.

On all experiences, we encourage participants 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 Vertoans and leaders, and allows for the most culturally immersive experiences. In urgent situations, participants will have access to our 24-hour emergency line, which they can call for immediate assistance.

How are prescription medications handled?

It will be the responsibility of the participant to make sure you bring enough medication for the duration of your entire abroad experience and to let us know what you are bringing. Please remember some countries might not have the meds you prefer or need. If you normally get a smaller dosage than you will need for your entire abroad experience, 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.

Do I need immunizations?

Please see the Verto Vaccination Webpage for more information on required vaccinations.

Can I bring a service or emotional support animal with me on a Verto experience?

Requests to bring a Service Animal should be made to an Admissions Counselor, Student Success Coach, or by emailing [email protected] Emotional Support Animals (ESA) do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not allowed on a Verto study abroad experience.

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