From heartwarming moments of community to historic milestones, 2022 was full of significant events for EF Education First. We’ve compiled a list of ones we think are worth celebrating! So, without further ado, here are our top ten moments of the year.
1. We furthered our commitment to carbon neutrality
When someone asks, “What does carbon neutral even mean” we answer through action. This year we continued our Hello Zero vision by working with Eden Reforestation Projects to voluntarily offset our global carbon emissions. Planting trees helps to combat climate change, improve air quality, conserve water, protect soil, and provide habitat for biodiversity. As of December 1, 2022, EF’s funding has resulted in 5,500,138 mangrove trees planted by local community members in Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique.
2. We did a global cleanup
In 2022 we got up from our desks and went into our communities to focus on the planet. In honor of Earth Day in April, EF team members from Vietnam, Boston, Seattle, London, and Miami hosted trash cleanups. This event had no boundaries, expanding beyond our EF offices and schools and into local natural spaces giving back to the earth and the communities that support us!
3. We supported another groundbreaking venture through the Hult Prize
This year the winner of the Hult Prize for innovative social start-ups was EcoBana, from St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya. EcoBana aims to end period poverty through environmentally-conscious work that embraces organic and natural solutions. Using the concept of a green and circular economy, EcoBana will manufacture biodegradable sanitary pads using banana fibers.
4. We innovated virtual language learning with EF Hyper Class
Virtual learning allows for accessible and personalized educational experiences. In 2022 EF’s digital classroom for language learning, EF Hyper Class, won the #ELTons award for Digital Innovation. EF Hyper Class transforms language learning by blending virtual environments and interactive content, helping students access course materials and attend classes from anywhere with an internet connection.
5. We opened the doors of EF Academy Pasadena
EF Academy Pasadena welcomed its inaugural class with students from over 75 countries this past fall. These students, and the ones in years to come, will receive immersive cultural experiences, global leadership opportunities, and a US high school diploma upon graduation. As part of the opening, the school announced that it would offer full scholarships to local high school students and dedicated a nearly one-acre public park to Pasadena.
6. We celebrated the 50th anniversary of EF Japan
For half a century, EF Japan has welcomed people from all stages of life to Tokyo for immersive language learning. In celebration, they invited speakers from the Swedish embassy to share their wealth of knowledge through storytelling and panels. EF Japan will continue to be a hub of cultural experience for EF students by taking language learning beyond the classroom.
7. We promoted pay equity in women’s pro cycling
EF is racing toward the future by sponsoring a top-level women’s cycling team: EF Education-TIBCO-SVB. In addition, we’re helping set the standard for equal pay for women in sports by ensuring our full-time riders are paid at least the same minimum salary as men’s WorldTour riders. The women’s team made cycling history this year by racing in the first Tour de France Femmes in a generation.
8. We helped Ukrainian refugees learn English through a new app
English Live – Help Ukraine is an app designed to give Ukrainian refugees who were forced to flee their homes the opportunity to learn English. The 12-month free course is taught by more than 400 EF teachers who volunteered their time. With Help Ukraine, Ukrainians can gain confidence through language skills they need.
9. We researched communication with the EF English Proficiency Index
The EF English Proficiency Index, or EF EPI, uses the test results of 2.1 million adults in 111 countries & regions to understand English language proficiency around the globe. Every year the EF EPI uncovers the most common pitfalls and highlights the most effective strategies for improving English proficiency. In 2022, the Netherlands was ranked #1 in English.
10. We asked team members about the best part of working at EF
Our staff took the spotlight and shared what makes EF an outstanding place to work. Whether specializing in language training, educational travel, academics, or cultural exchange, our team members see the impact of their work every day and are passionately committed to opening the world through education.