<div class='caption'><div class='year'>1965</div><div class='description'>Bertil Hult starts EF in a university town in Sweden. The first courses focus on summer language programs for youth. Within 10 years, EF has offices all across Europe.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1971</div><div class='description'>EF expands throughout Europe and broadens its product offering to include language courses for children, adults and professionals.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1972</div><div class='description'>Restrictions on foreign companies in Japan are lifted, and EF opens its first Asian office in Tokyo.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1976</div><div class='description'>EF starts a high school exchange program and sets up a non-profit in the US. A few years later, the Boston office is opened.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1979</div><div class='description'>EF acquires a travel company In Mexico and opens its first Latin American offices in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. </div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1983</div><div class='description'>EF starts offering educational tours to groups of American school students.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1985</div><div class='description'>EF commemorates its first 20 years with its millionth traveler.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1988</div><div class='description'>EF opens an office in Seoul and is chosen as the Official Language School of the Seoul Olympic Games.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1989</div><div class='description'>EF establishes the Cultural Care Au Pair program</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1993</div><div class='description'>Paul Rand redesigns the EF logo. The meaning is officially changed to mean EF Education First to reflect the company’s evolution into a global education company.
</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1994</div><div class='description'>EF opens its first local language school teaching English in Mexico City. Over the next decade local language schools are opened across Russia, Indonesia and China. 
</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1995</div><div class='description'>EF collaborates with Apple to explore technology and education. As a result, Englishtown is born. Today, Englishtown is the world’s largest online English school.
</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>1998</div><div class='description'>EF sponsors two boats in the sailing Whitbread Round the World Race. The “EF Language” boat finishes in first place, skippered by Paul Cayard.
</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2000</div><div class='description'>EF builds a new building for its North American hub in Boston. Senator Edward Kennedy dedicates a portion of the Berlin Wall at the entrance.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2003</div><div class='description'>EF acquires Hult International Business School. Today Hult is ranked in the top 25 U.S. business schools (Economist) and in the top 100 global business schools (Financial Times). </div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2007</div><div class='description'>EF is announced the Official Language Training Services Supplier of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games- Bertil Hult is to carry the Olympic Torch.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2008</div><div class='description'>EF opens its first private high school. Within a few years, campuses are opened in Torquay, New York (pictured), Oxford, Singapore and Brisbane.
</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2009</div><div class='description'>EF is named one of the top 50 foreign companies in China.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2010</div><div class='description'>EF and the University of Cambridge announce a groundbreaking collaboration to research language learning.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2010</div><div class='description'>EF Labs develops a free Mobile English app to let students learn anytime, anywhere.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2011</div><div class='description'>EF releases the first-ever world ranking of general English for 44 countries, the EF English Proficiency Index</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2014</div><div class='description'>EF is helping to prepare Brazil for the 2014 Brazil World Cup.</div></div><div class='caption'><div class='year'>2014</div><div class='description'>EF has been chosen as the Official Supplier of Language Programs of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in the City of Sochi, Russia.</div></div>

How We Started

Bertil Hult started EF in Sweden in 1965. Because Bertil suffered from dyslexia (difficulty with reading and writing), he understood that traditional classroom-based teaching was not always the most effective way to learn. He came up with the idea to take a group of Swedish high school students to England to learn English. It was a simple business idea - traveling abroad to learn a language - but one with an enormous future.

From Sweden To the World

EF quickly realized that many people were interested in traveling and studying abroad. In the 1970s, EF expanded rapidly opening offices in most of Europe, as well as in Japan and Mexico. In the 1980s, EF opened in the United States, starting our high school exchange and educational tours programs. In the last decade, we have continued our expansion by, among other things, opening English schools across China, the world’s largest market for education. Today we operate in more than 50 countries around the world.

Embracing Innovation

EF has always been dedicated to finding the most effective way for people to learn - thirty years ago, we started the world’s first advisory board specializing in language teaching. In the 1990s, EF launched a major technology initiative collaborating with Apple to design an online school of the future, which has evolved today to become the world's largest online English school with over 14 million students.

More recently, we have established a partnership with Cambridge University, and we now run research centers in Shanghai, Zurich and Cambridge. Today we employ over 300 linguists, scientists and designers to ensure that we remain at the forefront of our field.

The Future

Over the years, the scope of what we offer has widened, and today we offer a broad range of educational and travel-related programs. But our mission - "to break down barriers of language, culture and geography" - is as valid today as it was in 1965. Going forward, in everything we do - from running a top-ranked MBA program in San Francisco to teaching English to young children in Vladivostok to bringing American teachers and their students to see Europe’s wonders - we will continue to put Education First.

EF Education First