Key Highlights

The Hybrid semester may be virtual, but there are no lecture halls at Verto. Paired with the high level of support all students receive on Verto semesters, you'll be setting yourself for success in college and beyond. Here are some of the unique features that make the Global Impact Year truly the best way to start college:

In-Person Spring Semester

Spend a full year with Verto! During the Hybrid Semester this fall, you'll connect with the classmates and instructors who will travel alongside you during your Verto spring semester. Before you even depart for your semester in Milan, Madrid, London, the South Pacific, Latin America, or Hawaii, you'll have a robust network of support dedicated to your growth.

Small Class Sizes

There is no back row in a Verto classroom. With small class sizes of 25 students or less, you'll receive personalized guidance and support from Program Leaders, Academic Support Coaches, and your instructors. Verto faculty go beyond preparing you to meet academic outcomes and genuinely seek to help you reach your highest potential.

Affordability

Verto semesters cater to you as a student and as an individual. Verto staff are passionate about setting you up for success, compete with a team dedicated to helping you forge a four-year plan that works for your college goals and your budget.

Highly-Engaged Learning Environment

This is not just another Zoom call. Verto partners with Minerva, a state-of-the art forum designed with student engagement in mind. In collaboration with Verto, the Minerva platform allows students to participate in virtual learning that is relevant, effective, and customized for your success in the modern world. Through unique technological tools, cohorts can dive deeper into discussion-based curriculum and learn from each other as if they were in a physical classroom.

Cross-Cultural Experience

Global citizenship is more important than ever and by joining the Global Impact Year, you're expanding your mind and your network by engaging with guest speakers from around the world. Learn about how COVID is affecting culture and society around the world from our teams in Fiji, Costa Rica, and England.

Coaching & Mentorship

Verto offers you unprecedented levels of support during your first year of college. You'll meet regularly 1-on-1 with your Program Leaders to help you set life, academic, and career goals that are meaningful to you. They'll get to know you as an individual and help you work through challenges on your path to an independent and fulfilling life of your own.

hybrid infographic

Hybrid Semester + Semester Abroad = Global Impact Year

Your First Year With Verto

We get it. This year is not what anyone expected. Many colleges aren’t opening their doors. You don’t want to pay a fortune to spend the year listening to online lectures, but you’re ready to move forward with your education and earn college credits.

With Verto’s Global Impact Semester, you’ll earn a full load of college credits that will transfer seamlessly to a partner university. You’ll take experiential courses to explore the world’s most interesting and relevant issues, using the Minerva platform. The Minerva platform is intentionally designed for immersive online learning with unique features that allow you to engage more dynamically with your instructors and peers.

Created by the partnership between Verto and Minerva, the fall semester is about diving into the world’s current affairs, with all of its complexity. With a global pandemic sweeping the globe and the 2020 election front and center, Verto’s Global Health and Truth and American Politics courses are incredibly relevant. Combined with our Critical Thinking and Rhetoric & Composition courses, the Fall online semester challenges you to meet the moment head-on as a thinker, scholar, and dynamic member of your community, your nation, and our world.

For two weeks during this fall Hybrid Semester, you’ll join your classmates and instructors in California for a transformative in-person Verto Summit. Through activities, workshops, and speakers, you’ll grow as a leader, hone in on your passions and motivations, and share with your peers how your identity, values, and beliefs shape your experience. As you bring your authentic self to the Verto Summit and build relationships with your cohort, you’ll be building the foundation for an unforgettable spring semester abroad.

Start College Right

A Safe & Affordable Option

Choose to take only the Hybrid Semester or combine it with a Verto Spring Semester of your choice for the full Global Impact Year experience! The Hybrid Semester is designed and priced to connect seamlessly to our semesters in Milan, London, Madrid, Hawaii, South Pacific, or Latin America.

*includes ranges for the Opportunity Grant and Early Deposit Grant

Your First Semester

Duration

15 Weeks, September 8th - December 17th, 2020

College Credits

15 Credits

Program Cost

$4,000 - $5,000

No Back-Row Classrooms

The Verto Curriculum

There is no back-row in a Verto classroom. No boring lectures. No easy answers. All of our learning, both online and in-person, is active, engaging, and relevant. In collaboration with our partner, Minerva, Verto has designed curriculum and a unique virtual platform that allows students and instructors to engage and learn remotely – this is not just another Zoom call. This fall, you’ll immerse yourselves in online courses that are designed to help you become a better thinker, scholar, and citizen. Our accomplished faculty won’t be just voices on a screen, they’ll be actively guiding you to think globally, creatively, and critically about social, cultural, and political issues from multiple perspectives. You’ll be encouraged to consider your own purpose and motivations, build effective study habits, and understand your place in the world around you.

Read more about the courses planned for Fall 2020 below:

Global Health

Considering the impact of  COVID-19 for all of us, and its outsized effect on historically marginalized communities, there may be no more relevant discipline than Public and Global Health. This poignant course examines the structures and institutions which are responsible for population health around the globe. In the course, you’ll explore the potential lived experiences and societal factors that shape our individual health narratives. With an expert instructor, you’ll dive into the cultural, political, economic, and geographic contexts of public health. You will gain comprehensive perspective on how communities all over the globe shape and define public health based on countries’ history, culture, and local policy. The class will be taught in a dynamic online seminar with topics ranging from women’s health to the ethics of research methodologies. As a class, you will build on core concepts of determinants of health through discussions and creative assignments to further our understanding of the intersection of policy, ethics, practice and health outcomes.

Truth and American Politics

Asking the essential question “Does our democracy require truth?,” Truth and American Politics is an active exploration of the importance of credible information in American society, specifically in politics and government. As you take this course during an election year, you’ll examine your own experience as a citizen and apply your new knowledge in real time. Analyze political discourse and the circulation of online information to determine credible sources, understand how to verify information, and how to debunk falsehoods. Through case studies and readings, this course builds students’ knowledge of the functions of government, politics, civil liberties and civil rights.

Critical and Creative Thinking

Logical reasoning, problem-solving, and mitigating cognitive biases are among the most fundamental skills to reach your highest potential as a student, professional, and citizen. In this course, you’ll systematically practice these skills, learning to apply them to concrete problems across relevant domains. You will gain a foundation in critical and creative thinking upon which you can build expertise in disciplinary knowledge and excel in your chosen major.

Rhetoric and Composition

Our Rhetoric & Composition course is designed to strengthen your writing mechanics and prepare you for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging, reflecting on, and processing the experience Verto students are having during their semester, whether that be virtual or in person. It connects to themes from your Global Health and Truth and American Politics courses as well as current events and your personal histories. As a student of this course, you’ll learn the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric. This course includes faculty-led seminars, writing workshops, peer reviews, and individual tutorials between students and faculty.

Sample Weekly Schedule

sample schedule

Academics

CORE SEMESTER COMPONENTS

Life Skills Course

Learn study habits, time management, financial literacy, and mindfulness skills that will help you be successful in college and beyond! You’ll also start preparing for your Verto spring semester by delving into the culture, language, and customs of your spring destination.

Lunch & Learn

Join a small group of classmates to discuss a topic of interest with an expert from around the world. Interested in philosophy? Robotics? Media? You name it – and we’ll have incredible leaders join us to share insights with you.

Student Clubs

As a Verto student, you’ll be mastering global citizenship and leadership skills, so we’ve created platforms for you to start utilizing these skills right away! With room for virtual student-led clubs, you’ll have the opportunity to meet more students, engage on a deeper level, and drive your virtual community by pursuing what interests you.

Hands-On Study Hall

In addition to the 1-on-1 support your Academic Success Coordinators provide, you can join weekly study halls throughout the week. Hop into a virtual room to collaborate with your peers or work your ASC directly to keep excelling in your coursework.

Friday Funday

Celebrate the end of the week with your peers! Go beyond the virtual classroom by engaging with your community by joining Verto virtual events specifically catered to your cohort. Dance class, language class, movie nights – we’ll facilitate fun, relaxing events where you can unwind and connect to your peers on a deeper level.

Your Mentors

The Verto Speakers Series

Julia Lipton

Founder Awesome People Ventures

Elizabeth Weil

Supporting the next generation of founders.

Rob Cohen

Senior Advisor 2U

Phillip David Ellison

Phillip Ellison

Manhattan Borough Advocate at the Office of the NYC Public Advocate

David Tisch

Partner at BoxGroup

David Berger

Managing Partner and Co-Founder at 10X Impact, Co-Founder at Trilogy Education

Christian Wayne

Christian Wayne

Economic Attache to the Kingdom of Morocco, CEO and Founder of Fresh Trade

Michael T. Moe

Founder and CEO, GSV

Patrick Cook-Deegan

Founder + CEO at Project Wayfinder // Founded at Stanford's d.school

Deborah Quazzo

Deborah Quazzo

Managing Partner at GSV Ventures

The Verto Summit

Duration

2 Weeks, November 6th - November 20th, 2020

Location

California

Program Cost

$0 - $4,000 (sliding scale)

In Person Experience

The Verto Summit

We’re thrilled to be offering the first ever Verto Summit! During your two weeks on site, grow in your understanding of yourself and your capacity as a leader and creator of change through activities designed to foster self-reflection and build self-awareness. Through facilitated discussions and physical activities like ropes courses and team-building challenges, amplify your ability to work as a member of a team and create strong relationships with your peers, many of whom will travel with you during your spring semester abroad. Your collaboration at the Verto Summit will pay off as you navigate new adventures and challenges together in 2021. While classes will slow down during the Verto Summit, students continue to gain perspective on major global issues such as education, environment, politics, and health.

Taking Precautions

Health & Safety

During the Summit, we are committed to preventing the spread of illness amongst students and staff including Covid-19. We’ll do this by:

  • Ensuring frequent daily disinfection of common and communal areas (bathrooms, classroom spaces, etc.) and touch points (door handles, activity equipment, etc).
  • Offering hand sanitizer throughout the Summit grounds.
  • Reminding students to wash their hands throughout the day with mandatory washing before all meals, after restroom use, before/after activities, and before bed.
  • Likely requiring the use of masks or face coverings for the first week of the Summit, whenever social distancing is not possible, and whenever indoors.
  • Performing daily temperature and symptom checks of all students and staff.
  • Preventing any outsider(s) from visiting Summit grounds including delivery services.

The Summit

What To Expect

We’re committed to providing you with the best in person experience possible this fall. Here is what you can expect to find at the Verto Summit:

  • Meet the students you will be traveling with and the amazing Verto team who will be supporting you abroad. We’ll also have out international team calling in to say hello and answer all of the questions you have about your destination!
  • Spend the day with guest speakers and complete workshops on entrepreneurship, group dynamics, diversity, and motivation & empowerment.
  • Participate the Verto Color Olympics! Compete for glory and prizes in relay races, puzzle changes, and more.
  • Enjoy live concerts, S’mores at the campfire, stargazing on the hill. We will also be showing a movie every night.
  • Help yourself to three meals a day, served by our organic California Catering team. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated.

Sample Schedule

Breakfast & Morning Wellness

The day starts with an open breakfast bar and several morning wellness options including: Redwood Yoga, Sound Bath Meditation, Journaling with a View, Boot Camp, and a Nature Walk. Also to ensure everyone’s wellness there will be copious amounts of delicious coffee and tea.

Wayfinding Workshop

What do you want to do for your career? What kind of person do you want to be? How do you want to impact our world? We guide students through activities to help them reflect on life’s big questions and help them chart a path forward.

Lunch & Collaborative Group Sessions

Afternoons at the Institute are all about getting to know your peers, sharing experiences, and learning to work as a team. Through activities, workshops, and team-building challenges like ropes course, this is the foundation for a positive group dynamic this semester and beyond.

Dinner & Evening Unwind  

Most evenings, you’ll choose your own adventure: Relax and listen to live music, go on a walk, watch a film, play games, unwind with some arts and crafts, or continue to engage in meaningful dialogue with peers and staff. Some evenings throughout the Summit, planned nighttime activities will continue to help you learn about yourself, each other, and our world.

Summit

Highlights

Learn the art of tea, sample different kinds, and relax in the tea tent.

Speaker series featuring entrepreneurs, educators, and activists.

Live acoustic music and bonfires.

All-Team competition, relay race, and photo scavenger hunt!

Summit Details

What are the dates and length of the Leadership Summit?

The summit will last 14 days from November 6 – 20, 2020.

Is transportation included?

Airfare to/from San Francisco International Airport is the student’s responsibility. Transportation from San Francisco International Airport to the Leadership Summit location is included in the Summit cost.

Can I drive myself to the Summit?

Yes, students can drive themselves to the Summit if they choose. We will gladly provide you with address and logistical information closer to the Summit’s start date. Please note: once at the Summit, students should not plan to leave the property until the last day (November 20th).

Are meals included?

Yes, all daily meals while at the Summit, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, are provided and served by our organic California Catering team. Personal dietary and allergy restrictions will be accommodated. We can also offer meals that meet the dietary requirements for Halal and Kosher, although our kitchen is not “certified” for those faiths.

What activities will students do while at the Summit?

Throughout the summit, students will be participating in various fun and friendly activities focused on team building, outdoor activity, and group bonding. Activities will consist of Color Olympics and Playshop Sessions. 

      • Color Olympics: Students will be randomly divided into six “Color Teams” at the start of the Leadership Summit. Over the two weeks, teams will compete against each other in friendly relay races, puzzle challenges, and absurd games to claim Color Olympic glory and prizes. Each group chooses participants for different events, ensuring that each person finds an activity that suits them. Some are physical, some are mental, some are just silly.
      • Playshop Sessions (optional throughout the summit): Playshops are small group activities of approximately 12 people or less that allow students to bond in small groups based on interest and activity (all equipment is provided). Some past options have included archery, arts and crafts, volleyball, lawn games, stilt walking, food making, coffee roasting, and board games. 

Will students need to perform any health requirements prior to the Summit?

Yes, the health and safety of our students is always at the center of our program planning. Prior to the Leadership Summit, students and Verto staff will be required to:

  • Attend a Health & Hygiene virtual session hosted by Verto’s programming team.  
  • Monitor personal health including daily temperature and symptom checks for 14 days leading up to the Summit. Verto will provide a documentation method for tracking these actions.
  • Asked to quarantine or limit unnecessary exposure to the general public for 14 days leading up to the Summit’s start date.
  • Asked not to attend the Summit if symptomatic (refund may be available).
  • Perform a diagnostic / viral covid test (such as a nasal swab) within 7 days from the start of the Summit. Negative results will need to be shared with Verto Education prior to student arrival at the Summit.
  • Verto will be providing a health & hygiene kit to each student prior to departure that includes hand sanitizer, mask, and disinfecting wipes for use during transit to the Summit. 

Will students need to perform any health requirements prior to the Summit?

Yes, the health and safety of our students is always at the center of our program planning. Prior to the Leadership Summit, students and Verto staff will be required to:

  • Attend a Health & Hygiene virtual session hosted by Verto’s programming team.  
  • Monitor personal health including daily temperature and symptom checks for 14 days leading up to the Summit. Verto will provide a documentation method for tracking these actions.
  • Asked to quarantine or limit unnecessary exposure to the general public for 14 days leading up to the Summit’s start date.
  • Asked not to attend the Summit if symptomatic (refund may be available).
  • Perform a diagnostic / viral covid test (such as a nasal swab) within 7 days from the start of the Summit. Negative results will need to be shared with Verto Education prior to student arrival at the Summit.
  • Verto will be providing a health & hygiene kit to each student prior to departure that includes hand sanitizer, mask, and disinfecting wipes for use during transit to the Summit. 

Second Semester Abroad

Duration

12 - 13 Weeks, February - April

College Credits

12 - 16 Credits

Program Cost

$5,000* - $25,000 (based on location)

Madrid

Spain Campus Semester

Semester Academic Focus:

  • Spanish Economics within the European Union
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Spanish Immersion
  • European History

London

England Campus Semester

Semester Academic Focus:

  • European History
  • International Business
  • Politics of Britian and Europe
  • Sociology

Milan

Italy Campus Semester

Semester Academic Focus:

  • Leonardo da Vinci in Renaissance Milan
  • Reading Milan and Italian Cities
  • Comparative Philosophy
  • World Literature

South Pacific

Fiji, New Zealand, & Australia

Semester Academic Focus:

  • Identity, Politics, & Equity
  • Rhetoric & Composition
  • Environmental Science
  • Cultural Anthropology

Latin America

The Dominican Republic & Costa Rica

Semester Academic Focus:

  • Public Health
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Studies
  • Spanish Immersion

United States

Hawaii

Semester Academic Focus:

  • Environmental Science
  • Rhetoric & Composition
  • Identity, Politics & Equity
  • Cultural Anthropology