Education First (abbreviated as EF) is an international education
company that specializes in language training, educational travel,
academic degree programs, and cultural exchange. The company was
founded in 1965 by
Bertil Hult in the Swedish university town of Lund.
The company is privately held by the Hult family.
As of 2014 EF had approximately 37,000 employees in 55 countries.
Bertil Hult dropped out of college to launch EF in 1965. He had
earlier dropped out of junior high and gone to work for a ship broker
in London, where he learned English by immersion; he had been unable
to learn it in school due to dyslexia. The company started selling
French language course to Swedish students seeking to study in France,
but he thought English was a bigger market so started offering
services throughout Europe. In 1972 a friend convinced him to open a
school in Japan, just when English-language keyboards were introduced
there, and the company experienced explosive growth. The company
expanded to the US in 1983, first establishing headquarters in
California, then in Boston in 1988.
Hult never took outside investment, growing the business with
revenue. By 2014 EF had approximately 37,000 employees in 55
countries. By that time Hult had stopped running the company and
had passed leadership to three of his sons, Philip, Alex and
EF Learning Labs publishes the annual EF English Proficiency Index, a
ranking of English language skills by country. The EF EPI claims
to show a link between a country’s adult English proficiency and its
EF has developed a standardized English test called the EF Standard
The company also offers e-learning program for adults called "EF
English Live", which was formerly known as "EF Englishtown".
Through a division called EF Tours, the company offers educational
tours, service learning tours, and conferences.
In 2018, they became the title sponsor of the Slipstream Sports
cycling team, which then became known as EF
EF Academy New York Campus
EF Academy Oxford Campus
EF Academy Torbay Campus
^ a b Johnston, Katie (April 9, 2014). "Mass. team will help Brazil
learn English for 2016 Olympics". The Boston Globe.
^ a b c Johnston, Katie (February 3, 2014). "
Education First aims to
bridge barriers with exchange". The Boston Globe.
^ "Bring in People Who Are Better Than You". The New York Times.
December 9, 2013.
^ "English where she is spoke". The Economist. October 24, 2012.
^ "English Proficiency Falters Among the French". The New York Times.
November 10, 2013.
^ "Countries with Better English Have Better Economies". Harvard
Business Review. November 15, 2013.
^ "Take A New Test Aimed At The World's English-Language Learners".
NPR. October 1, 2014.
^ "Englishtown, Inc.: Private Company Information - BusinessWeek",
Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved on 2010-10-21
^ "EF Opens Four New International Language Centers Abroad, to Meet
Young People's Demand for Hip and Exotic Study Destinations", 2010-10.
Digital Journal. Retrieved on 2010-10-22
^ "Sandwich Students Offer Helping Hands In Dominican Republic". The
Sandwich Enterprise. July 12, 2015.
^ Murphy, Colum (18 March 2014). "Cooperation on Flight Search Could
Help Boost U.S., China Ties". WSJ.
^ Westemeyer, Susan (September 9, 2017). "EF
Education First revealed
as Cannondale-Drapac's new title sponsor for 2018". CyclingNews.
Retrieved 2017-09-09. CS1 maint: Date and year (link)