For 55 years, EF Education First has offered every imaginable way to see the world, experience another culture, learn a language, or earn an academic degree. While we love helping our travelers and students broaden their horizons, things don’t always go as planned. When help is needed, our global team’s size, location, and expertise set us apart. It’s helped us weather countless storms, from geopolitical events to natural disasters, and now, pandemics.
While most people don’t need to tap into our vast support network when they travel or learn a language with us, they have the reassurance that it’s there should they need it. How much do you know about our worldwide footprint? Here are five things you might not be aware of:
1. EF is wherever you go.
When we say we’re global, we mean it! EF is the only educational travel organization with its own network of 600 physical schools and offices, including regional hub offices in Boston, London, Stockholm, Mexico City, São Paulo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Zurich. Our staff live and work in more than 50 countries, so wherever you go, an EF staff member is almost always just a short distance away.
2. EF never sleeps.
Because we have staff everywhere, we have support everywhere. Whether you’ve missed a flight or get separated from your group, there are staff members available to help get you back on track. We don’t count hotel workers, agents, or bus vendors as support staff; if you have hit a snag, our EF team will help.
3. EF communicates with the world.
While English is our lingua franca (and our original educational offering!), many of us speak multiple languages. In fact, our employees speak an average of three languages and often use their multilingual skills to communicate on-the-ground when help is needed.
4. EF is ready for anything.
You learn a lot when you move as many people around the world as we do and for as long as we have. EF has staff trained in emergency response stationed around the world; no matter the time zone, someone is always ready to respond when help is needed. We’re prepared to help with any situation, whether it’s a lost passport, an airline strike or a natural disaster – or anything in between. What’s more, we have team members in nearly every destination we travel to, meaning we can be there to support you when you need us. For example, we had thousands of travelers abroad when COVID-19 travel restrictions were announced. Our infrastructure allowed us to bring them home within 48 hours – an industry-leading turnaround following an unprecedented disruption.
5. EF is agile.
EF is an expansive organization: We’re comprised of 17 businesses and associated organizations focused on language, travel, cultural exchange, and academics. Our staff are of nearly every nationality, and their experience at EF helps them navigate cultural differences in almost any situation. They’re also eager to help; we frequently deploy staff from one division to assist customers in another, anywhere in the world, whenever needed.
When you travel with EF, you do so with more than just your fellow travelers or students; you’re supported by the thousands of EFers worldwide committed to creating positive experiences for you. Our people make our culturally immersive education experiences possible, and our global network is ready to help you every step of the way.