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 semester (or year) of college, giving students the opportunity to explore the world and consider their path forward, while simultaneously earning transferable college credit, keeping students on their original 4-year graduation timeline.

Verto’s application allows you to submit a common application for over 65 (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 programs, 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

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

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

Verto welcomes students who have reached the age of 18 to their programs in Italy or Spain. Laws in those countries, and the EU in general, consider students under 18 yrs of age a minor and require a guardian onsite. Students who are 17 yrs old and looking forward to starting their college experience with Verto may enroll in our Hawaii and Costa Rica programs. See each semester page for specific birthday requirements.

If you have any questions please speak with a Verto Admissions counselor.

Do you have any medical requirements for participation?

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!  While many students can benefit from a Verto semester, 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 semesters abroad.

What does Verto cost?

Current semester program costs are listed on our individual program pages and run from $5,000 – $25,000 per semester (before federal financial aid), depending on the location(s) chosen and the student’s grant eligibility.

What does tuition cover?

The Cost of Your Semester Includes:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodation for the duration of the semester
    • Inclusion of meals vary by semester 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***

The Cost of Your Semester 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 programs
  • Airline change fees or new tickets for flights to and from programs

***Please note that insurance is NOT included in the Hawaii semester tuition.

Do you have different payment plan options?

Yes! We offer three convenient plans for you to pay for your Verto Semester:

  • Option 1: You can split the semester fee into two separate payments: One by March 15th (after FAFSA is distributed), and one by June 1st.
  • Option 2: You can pay the semester fee in a lump sum by March 15th and receive a 5% overall tuition reduction.
  • Option 3: You can split the semester fee into equal monthly payments, with the last payment due by June 1st.

When is the deadline to apply?

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

If accepted, will I receive an acceptance letter from the college?

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.

Can I use FAFSA to help pay for my semester with Verto?

Yes! Financial aid (loans, scholarships, grants) is available for all Verto Education semesters. If you are eligible to receive financial aid, you’ll be able to apply it to your semester abroad with Verto.

Can international students attend a Verto semester?

Yes! Verto Education welcomes students who are non-U.S. passport holders to apply to our programs, 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 Admission: TOEFL IBT – 80, PTE Academic – 53, & IELTS Academic – 6.5
  • Alternatives to TOEFL, PTE or IELTS are considered on a case by case basis

 

What should I do if I plan on using funds from a 529 plan to finance my semester?

If you plan on using funds from your 529 plan, please submit this invoice to your 529 College Savings Group. The payment can be mailed to Verto Education at the following address:

Verto Education

Student Financial Services Department

3055 NW Yeon Ave #8822

Portland, OR 97210

 

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 semester, students are paired with one or more roommates. Depending on the selected program and the accommodations, students can have multiple roommates.

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

Can I travel on my own during a Verto semester?

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

Who books my travel to/from my semester?

Students are responsible to book travel to/from each semester location. Verto will provide a suggested flight route and 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 semesters are self-catering (i.e. kitchens available to cook for yourself), and this could be a good option for students who want more control over their diet.

Do I need a Visa?

Some Verto programs will require students to get a student visa. Visas depend on both your nationality and the semester 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 program 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. 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 program 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, 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 program staff and students will share some of what they have learned throughout the semester. 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 students’ 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 semester!

Safety & Risk Management

What safety and risk management measures are in place?

Verto Education takes the health and wellbeing of our students 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 semesters have a robust Emergency Response plan in place for current students which would also apply to Verto students.

Do I need travel insurance?

Verto students travelling to our international destinations of Italy, Spain, England, and Costa Rica have travel health coverage through Cultural Insurances Service International (CISI) included as part of their program cost.  This travel health insurance, specifically designed for students, provides coverage for the duration of their program. Verto students studying in Hawaii must provide  their own health coverage, which can be a simple call to their current provider to verify coverage for any illness while traveling.  Verto partners with AXA Travel Assist to provide emergency evacuations, medical evacuation or repatriation for all Verto Students.  Read more here 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 academic and conduct standards, 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.

How will family be able to communicate with me while on the program?

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

In the field, 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.

On all programs, 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. In urgent situations, students 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 student 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.

Do I need immunizations?

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.

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

Verto strives to support students who use service animals to navigate their daily activities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act while studying on Verto programs in Hawaii, where the ADA applies. Requests to bring a Service Animal should be made to a Verto Admissions Counselor, Student Success Coach, or by emailing safety@vertoeducation.org. Emotional Support Animals (ESA) do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not allowed on a Verto semester.

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