Change the WorldVerto International Honors Program

Verto Education’s yearlong honors program is an academically rigorous, internationally immersive, and life-changing experience for students who want to change the world. This program attracts motivated and talented students who want to understand and develop solutions for today’s global challenges.

From constant political fluctuations, to worldwide pandemics, to civil unrest, to sustainability crises—the world is on the move and needs the next generation of problem-solvers. You don’t like to sit on the sidelines. You like to connect new knowledge with innovative ideas. You’re ready to learn, adapt, and develop solutions alongside expert college faculty and industry experts from all over the globe. You’re not satisfied by learning in a lecture hall, but want to go above and beyond by examining global issues firsthand.

If that sounds like you, read on.

It’s Time to Change the World

OverviewGo above and beyond with an Honors experience like no other

Verto’s Change the World Honors Program is your unique opportunity to dive into the world’s most troubling issues, like international politics, sustainability, and human rights. You’ll learn from the world around you by enrolling in an academically rigorous, credit-bearing year of honors coursework while traveling throughout 2 countries and continents alongside world-class faculty. You’ll join experts in the field and on the frontlines working to provide solutions to the world’s most daunting problems.

While all Verto semesters offer students the chance to transform personally and academically, Change the World students will go the extra mile. They’re looking for more adventure, more professional experience, more challenging curriculum, and more ways they can contribute to their communities, nations, and the world. They’re high achievers ready to make a big impact.

Key Highlights

  • Honors-Level Courses and Small Class Sizes

    The Change the World Honors Program takes Verto’s commitment to active, experiential, and community-centered learning and offers students an even more challenging and immersive curriculum. CTW students are not passive recipients of information, but engaged scholars who challenge traditional thinking and propose solutions to global challenges that traverse many academic disciplines. They deeply engage with their world-class faculty and talented peers to better understand complex issues through inquiry, collaborative dialogue, examination of scientific and political implications, real-world case studies, intensive writing, and vigorous debate. All honors courses are taught in a seminar style environment with no class larger than 20 students.

  • Community of Scholars and Changemakers

    Verto’s Honors Program provides an immersive learning environment where you will be surrounded by other talented students driven to learn, grow, and think through solutions for some of the world's most pressing challenges. You’ll be surrounded by students, just like you, who aspire and are driven to be future scientists, engineers, political leaders, environmentalists, activists, and CEOs who want to change the world.

  • Capstone Research Project and Retreat

    Throughout the semester, you’ll develop an interdisciplinary capstone research project to showcase not only your academic progress, but also to propose a real solution to challenges you’ve learned about and observed in your travels. Your yearlong immersive academic experience and coursework will culminate in a week-long retreat at one of Verto’s picturesque base houses to formally deliver the project. During the retreat, you’ll have the opportunity to work with industry experts, mentors, and other students to strengthen your delivery. The capstone project provides a tangible outcome of your year-long experience.

  • Leadership Development and Global Citizenship Course

    Honors students are enrolled in an innovative leadership course to supplement their learning. In order to change the world, you’ll need to develop the leadership skills necessary to make an impact. This course will provide you the tools and training to develop self-awareness, successful team engagement, problem solving across academic disciplines, intercultural competence, design thinking, and innovation. This course also serves as career support for your guaranteed summer internship at the completion of this year-long program, equipping you with the tools and confidence to begin your lifelong path to changing the world.

  • Guaranteed Summer Internship

    Upon successful completion of the Change The World year, top performing students will be guaranteed a summer internship. If you have another organization in mind that’s not within our network, we’ll provide the support you need to apply, interview, and land your dream internship. If a summer internship isn’t a part of your post-Verto goals, Verto’s team will guide you with career advising and mentorship to help you achieve your college and career objectives.

  • Pre-Semester Speaker Series

    Prior to the start of the Fall 2021 semester, you’ll engage in a series of interactive discussions with course topic experts and industry leaders from around the world. Throughout these sessions, you’ll be armed with a firm foundation of knowledge and insight into core concepts before you dive into global issues in the field.

  • Extended Homestay Experience

    Take cultural immersion and understanding to the next level by building long-lasting relationships with locals and community leaders during extended homestays. Homestay experiences, offered only within the Verto’s honors program, allow you the opportunity to live with, share meals with, and deeply engage with local families and communities. These hand-selected and vetted families will welcome you into their homes where you’ll have individualized time to learn local customs, discuss local challenges, and experience life within diverse cultures.

  • Dedicated 1:1 Coaching and Academic Mentorship

    Your team, your posse, your crew. Whatever you want to call them, you’ll be coached and supported individually by a network of professionals who are experts in career development and academic exploration and advising. This team will help you problem-solve, support your individual needs, and challenge you to safely expand your comfort zones both inside and outside the classroom.

  • Specialized Activities Outside the Classroom

    In each destination, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in specialized and extended weekend excursions. You’ll take a deep exploration into global issues by learning from and working with local organizations specializing in the semester subjects. This may include participating in environmental conservation projects, deeper conversations with doctors within socialized medical clinics, immersive community service work, and so forth.

Academics with #CTW

2—Problem Solvers
3—Academic Pioneers
CTW students
just happen to be
all three

Enjoy Fall 2021 in London and Spring 2022 in Costa Rica



In London, students will focus on public policy as it pertains to issues such as international relations, sustainability, and human rights. From the center of the global metropolis that is London, England, dive into the economic and historical context of a nation that shaped world history. Coursework in subjects like Cultural Geography, International Relations, and Introduction to Business will provide a thought-provoking lens through which to view Costa Rica’s development in the second semester.

Costa Rica

Explore Costa Rica to consider modern society’s influence on the environment and marginalized cultures. You’ll gain a grassroots-level focus on community development study perspectives of indigenous populations and enjoy project-based learning and cultural immersion through a homestay experience.

Each course is designed to help you better understand the issues through a variety of perspectives as you travel the world. On Verto semesters, our curriculum is based on experiential learning, so you’ll be getting your hands dirty and actively participating as a member of each host community. The people, culture, economy, and political perspective of each country will form a lens through which you’ll navigate a range of important topics.

With your cohort, you are a member of a micro-community along the way. As CTW students, you’ll be held to a high standard of academic excellence. At the culmination of the year, you’ll present your final research project to industry leaders from around the world. We don’t expect you to convert your academic outcomes into a presentation that will be locked in an archive. We expect that your final capstone project will be the beginning of a lifelong series of investigations and solutions that will—you guessed it—change the world.

Who are CTW students? Not your typical honors program. But then again, you’re not a typical student.

The Change the World Honors Program Program is a highly-selective and competitive year-long Verto experience.

Change the World students are ready to take charge of their futures and make a difference. They’re not content to wait until college graduation to begin building a better future, they’re ready to immerse themselves in the challenges and develop solutions now. They’re not held back by perceived limitations. They fiercely pursue their goals. They are a diverse group of students with a growth mindset, who thrive on learning from one another and the world around them regardless of their backgrounds. They’re open to listening, adapting, respectfully sharing and challenging long-standing beliefs, and becoming global citizens.

Students are engaged and armed with Verto’s high level of support, including dedicated world class faculty, personalized college counseling, academic and career support, purpose-finding coaching, and a global staff dedicated to student success. To change the world, you don’t need to have every step planned out, but you do have to be open-minded and willing to walk the path to global citizenship. We can’t wait to see who you become.

We call it the “Change the World Honors Program.” You call it “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

    Admission to the Honors Program

    All qualified Verto applicants will automatically be considered for the Change the World Honors Program.

      Our team will reach out if you have been selected to apply to this program. Admission and enrollment for the Honors Program is done on a rolling basis. Applicants are evaluated holistically. Factors include:

      • Academic profile (GPA, test scores, if applicable, demonstrated academic success)
      • Writing skills, creativity, and critical thinking demonstrated in supplemental essay
      • Demonstrated Verto Honors defining qualities (see below) based on letters of recommendation, written responses, and the interview.

      These qualities define competitive applicants. Do you have what it takes?

      • Demonstrated success of challenging yourself academically through rigorous college prep, honors, AP or IB curriculum. While there is no official GPA requirement, competitive applicants typically have a 3.5 or higher cumulative unweighted high school GPA through their junior year.
      • Deep passion to be a positive force in society
      • Embrace the diversity of thought, people, cultures, and believe that can change the world
      • Intellectual curiosity and demonstrated commitment to academic excellence
      • Leadership potential
      • Have demonstrated relentless initiative throughout their high school career
      • Depth of character
      • Curiosity and creativity
      • Belief that collaboration and teamwork are the key to solving daunting world problems

    ApplicationRequirements and Process

    1. Submit both pages of your Verto Application (Part 1 and Part 2).

    2. Upon submission, eligible applicants will receive an email with instructions to complete the CTW supplemental application. The CTW Honors supplemental application requires the following.

      • High School Transcript

        Unofficial transcript accepted

        In addition to your transcript, you’ll need to upload a copy of your senior year schedule (or current schedule). This can be a screenshot or uploaded pdf document in the application.

      • Two Letters of Recommendation

        At least one letter of recommendation must be from a teacher and provide insight into your academic profile

        Your additional letter of recommendation can be from a teacher or administrator (college counselor, school counselor, etc.) who can speak to your academic profile or character

      • Supplemental Essay

        Submit an original essay of 500-750 words, responding to the following prompt: “How will you change the world?”

        CTW review committees will be evaluating the essay for creativity, writing skill, critical thinking, and demonstration of Verto Honors defining qualities (see above).

        In your essay response, consider including the following.

        • Your unique background and experiences that shape your perspective: how those will contribute to your growth on the CTW Year and to your cohort at large
        • Global issues that resonate with you and why. Examples include (but are not limited to): climate change, poverty, access to education, food security, gender inequality
        • What you hope to learn from your host countries regarding these issues or how you plan to address them in alignment with your academic and professional goals
      • Activities Résumé (Optional)

        You may choose to provide an activities résumé to demonstrate your school and community involvement. As students are evaluated holistically, this is an opportunity to tell the committee more about your experiences beyond your academic profile. Résumés may include but not limited to:

        • Extracurricular activities (examples: clubs, organizations, sports, educational travel, and other curricular and co-curricular activities)
        • Community service, leadership and other volunteer activities
        • Work experience
      • Test Scores (Optional)

        You may choose to provide test scores to demonstrate your academic performance and strengthen your application

    3. Required interview with our staff. After you complete your application, Verto staff will contact eligible applicants to set up informal interviews and learn a little more about you.

    Tuition, Fees, & Financial Aid

    The program cost (including tuition, fees, Verto programming, and room and board) of $60,000 can be reduced significantly based on demonstrated need and Verto’s merit scholarships.

    Verto is committed to working with successful applicants to ensure that they can fit Change the World into their college experience. We encourage competitive students of all financial backgrounds to apply.

    Grants and scholarships for the Change the World: Honors Program are awarded on a competitive basis.

    Find AnswersFrequently Asked Questions

    How is it different from a typical first year of college or another study abroad program?

    Make no mistake about it, this is the first year of college. Verto semesters set you up to earn transferable general education credits that will keep you on track for graduation in four total years. It just also happens to be the most transformative, immersive, and adventurous first year of college out there.

    Unlike a traditional university environment, you’ll learn while traveling. Our coursework is immersive and experiential, so you learn in and outside of a “classroom” environment. Beyond academics, Verto semesters are focused on preparing students to face life with clarity, purpose, healthy introspection, and a global mindset. You’ll also have unprecedented support from Verto staff and faculty, who will help you with every aspect of your journey. Joined by your cohort—a micro-community with whom you’ll take your courses and travel—you’ll make bonds that will last a lifetime.

    By taking your first year education out of a traditional classroom environment and into the real world right away, Verto students are better prepared to make the most of the rest of their college years and beyond. We don’t encourage students to have just a fulfilling first year, we encourage them to pursue a fulfilling life.

    What happens after the CTW Year?

    After completing a full year of Change the World honors curriculum, students are ready to matriculate into a partner college. Like all Verto students, Verto credits are guaranteed to transfer seamlessly as general education requirements to partner colleges, so students can stay on a four-year graduation timeline.Before and throughout the Change the World program, students have access to Verto's College Counseling resources. Alongside our college counseling team, students develop a shortlist of best-fit schools for their values, interests, and goals. Your Verto application also serves as the application to our partner colleges, so once students are ready to apply to their selected schools, Verto's team will send the application on the student's behalf and receive admissions decisions in as soon as two weeks.

    How is the CTW Year different from other transformative Verto semesters?

    As Verto's International Honors Program, CTW students are ready to take on new challenges. Compared with other Verto semesters, the CTW semesters have more rigorous curriculum and higher academic expectations. These semesters require a willingness to go the extra mile on projects, essays, and the capstone presentation. In return, the semesters include the following:

    • Deeper engagement with local communities through field work, observations, interviews, and daily immersion.
    • Interdisciplinary approach to rigorous curriculum to help students grapple with global issues and develop real solutions.
    • Mentorship from industry leaders, in addition to career coaching, networking opportunities, and summer internship placement.
    • Capstone project with expert feedback to propel students toward future research and academic pursuits in their course of study.