Education First: Where Tradition Meets Innovation

Established by Swedish entrepreneur Bertil Hult in 1965, EF Education First (EF) provides immersive, intercultural and experiential learning experiences to students globally.  

Providing best-in-class learning for over 50 years, the educational leader—whose programs include offerings for middle schoolers and high schoolers—has planted roots around the world, including the UK and US.

The campuses of EF Academy, EF’s international private schools, offer competency-based learning programs and global certificates. The institutions have blossomed, creating a generation of resilient life-long learners and change-makers.

“At EF Academy, learning by doing is driven by task-based education. Rather than evaluating students based only on exams and theory, we evaluate them based on their mastery of the concepts or skills they have learned,” explains Norihiko Inoue.

Inoue, who is the Regional Enrollment Director at EF Academy, adds: “Leveraging the real-life experiences of learners means we have combined tradition and innovation, where our ultimate goal is to guide the students to have the tools to become successful and happy.”

Campus Life

Focusing on young learners, the EF Academy provides globally recognized diplomas, including the US high school diploma and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.

With campuses in Oxford, England; Pasadena, California; and New York, the academy’s program for 15-to-19-year-olds enables students to enjoy a private, international boarding school experience. 

EF Academy Oxford, for instance, is an international boarding school for pupils aged between 16 and 19  (Grades 11 to 12). Students there sit for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and A-Levels certificates.

In a similar fashion, EF Academy New York offers private school learning to students between 15 and 19 years old (Grades 9 to 12). Students can choose between the US high school diploma, including Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and the IB Diploma. 

EF Academy Pasadena, meanwhile, provides US High School Diploma and has the Advanced Placement certificate for students in Grades 9 to 12. The academy—a $200 million, 16-acre, state-of-the-art campus with day and full boarding—is in Pasadena.

Combined, these campuses have an unparalleled choice of three diplomas: IB Diploma, US high school diploma and A-Levels. This allows students not only the luxury of relying on parents and EF staff when choosing their education, but their own interests and aptitudes.

Built Different

EF Academy’s success is built on three main pillars, Inoue says. First, learning by doing. Second, experiencing a global community. Third, pursuing one’s own educational pathway. 

“Learning by doing, or competency-based education, leverages real-to-life experiences,” he explains. “In Pasadena, for example, we have a business challenge where students take on problems from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.”

In this case, learners brainstorm, develop, and pitch solutions for 17 challenges of the SDGs, such as eradicating hunger and poverty or reducing inequality. In some cases, EF Academy students have developed their idea in collaboration with companies.

“Second, the global community. We have offices all over the world, and some 60 nationalities and dozens of languages represented in our schools, so we have an international community within the classrooms.”

“If you visit our classrooms, you realize that there are a lot of discussions going on due to the diverse backgrounds of our students.”

Third, Inoue points out, “We like to talk about individual pathways. In the US system, for example, students normally start to talk about university placement when they are in the 11th grade. But at EF Academy, these discussions begin in the ninth grade.” 

While few students know what they wish to pursue in college while still in ninth grade, early discussions between parents, students, and EF advisers help learners sharpen learning based on their interest in—and aptitude with—a given field. 

Quality > Quantity

But there’s more. EF Academies stand out for their personalized, one-to-one learning environments, enabling students to learn in a way that fits their personalities, ambitions and interests—not to mention abilities. 

This is made possible because the educational provider prioritizes quality over quantity, and small class sizes over large ones. Indeed, EF Academy boasts a 7:1 student-to-staff ratio, with average classes having 13 students.

Further, the academy provides ample opportunities for co-curricular activities, each one with a goal of complementing each student’s education. 

At EF Academy Oxford, for example, art and drama and clubs such as Physics Olympiad are available. These are supplemented by a variety of sports teams, co-curricular clubs, and excursions at weekends.  

EF Academy New York, meanwhile, offers over 120 clubs and activities, a range of varsity sports, as well as field trips and excursions. Not to be outdone, EF Academy Pasadena has 30+ after-school clubs, activities, varsity sports, and experiential excursions.

“Our immersive approach to education combines world-class academics with a comprehensive co-curricular program that develops inquisitive, open-minded and worldly learners,” the company shares.

The upshot? EF Academy’s decades-long leadership in education is a diverse and customized educational experience that can boast a 99 percent university acceptance rate for its learners. 

Inoue points out that graduating from EF Academies is just the start, however. Awaiting them is an alumni community that is over 4,500 strong, and supported by reunions, exclusive events, and lifelong guidance support.

Early application deadline 15 November: 

Phone: 050-1743-1439
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