Working at EF Education First | Glassdoor

EF Education First Overview
Lucerne (Switzerland)
10000+ employees
Company - Private
Unknown / Non-Applicable
About EF Education First
We’re 40,500 small. We’re teachers and students, creatives and analysts, visionaries and doers. We are 120 nationalities—and counting. Together, we break down barriers of language, culture and geography and we do ... Read more

Mission: Opening the world through education

Company Updates

  • Our podcast, EF Outbound, celebrates transformative travel stories and the people who live them. Catch up on Season 1 or listen to the first episode of Season 2 that launched last week.

    EF Educational Tours | Outbound Podcast

    You know the power of travel: how it can bring a smile to your face, get your heart racing, and open your eyes. We've found a way to bottle up those emotions-those stories-and pipe them into your headphones.

  • Are you starting to make your summer travel plans? College Break explains 9 ways to travel smarter.

    9 Ways to Travel Smarter - EF College Break Travel Blog

    You've waited long enough for this moment, and your trip is finally here! You may feel a mixture of excitement, nerves, anticipation, hopefulness and everything in between. You're giving yourself one of the richest gifts in the world: Travel. Here are our tips to help you have an amazing trip: 1.

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EF Education First – Why Work For Us?

EF Education First is the world leader in international education.  

EF’s mission is simple: opening the world through education. With more than 500 schools and offices in 53 countries, EF's language learning, educational travel, academic degree and cultural exchange programs have helped people of all ages and nationalities become citizens of the world. Headquartered in Lucerne with major hubs in Boston, London, Shanghai, Zurich and Sao Paolo – and offices and schools worldwide – working with us can be a global journey. A career with EF combines the support and opportunity of a large organization with the spirit and energy of a small company. We look for thinkers and doers – creative, collaborative and motivated people who are excited by education, language and travel.

EF Education First has Four Divisions Comprised of 16 Businesses:


  • EF Learning Labs
  • EF Englishtown
  • EF Local English Language Centers
  • EF Local English Language Centers for Kids
  • EF International Language Centers
  • EF Corporate Solutions
  • EF Academy - International Boarding Schools


  • EF High School Exchange Year
  • Cultural Care Au Pair


  • EF Explore America
  • EF Educational Tours
  • EF College Study Tours
  • Go Ahead Tours


  • Hult International Business School, Graduate School
  • Hult International Business School, Undergraduate School
  • Hult International Business School, Executive Education

At EF, our work changes lives for the better – our products give confidence and freedom to people across the globe. This "for profit, for good" ethos is what motivates our teams to do better work every day and drives our business to grow year on year.  EF employees are a reflection of our customers: global citizens who are passionate about education and travel. 

We recognize that smart, driven and passionate people don't always follow a linear career path. At EF, staff are expected to make noise, reach for new opportunities and take responsibility for moving the business forward. EF staff are experts in:

  • sales and marketing
  • operations
  • creative roles
  • technology and innovation
  • teaching
  • finance
  • management 

Whether they want to transfer to another global office, propose new products, or create their own positions, EF is dedicated to growing its team into the professionals they want to be.

Staying Small While Growing Big

Our company culture is one of our most important assets. When we were founded 50 years ago, we were small and flexible.  We didn’t have any patents or special sauce—we just had to rely on our smarts, drive and creativity to succeed. This “EFness”—so difficult to describe—is our culture and our secret weapon.  As we grow, we focus on remaining small.  Small companies are smart.  Small companies are agile.  And small companies are fun to work at.  Long live smallness! No matter where on the globe you find one of our offices or schools, you’ll meet staff and educators who are passionate, innovative, entrepreneurial and intrepid. Our offices and schools are a reflection of our culture: they are light, open, minimal, elegant, fun and happy.  They’re designed to facilitate collaboration, creativity, teamwork, and fun.



Changing Lives through Technology, Education and Design

We're committed to making a positive contribution to the global community through key partnerships, support for good causes and cutting-edge research into improving the way people learn.  Here are just a few examples of how we’re paving new roads for learning using technology, education and design:


EFSET is the world’s first free online standardized English test. In less than 50 minutes, users get a detailed analysis of their reading and listening skills. Results are calculated immediately and shared only with the user.


The EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) is the world’s largest ranking of countries by adult English skills.  Hailed as the world’s most comprehensive benchmark of English proficiency, the EF EPI sparks debate around the world about the best ways to improve a country’s English level. The EF EPI is often cited by researchers, educators, governments, policy makers, and opinion leaders.

Hult Prize

In partnership with President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative and the Hult International Business School, the Hult Prize encourages university students from around the globe to solve the world’s biggest challenges with innovative ideas. The winning team is able to implement their concept with US$1,000,000 in startup funding and mentorship from the international business community.

Rio Olympics 2016 & EF

We are the Official Language Training supplier of the RIO 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Over the course of the next months, more than one million people will learn English with us – and be part of the world’s largest language training program in progress.


Join our Community of Global Educators, Innovators, Travelers and Doers

David Ogilvy, the advertising pioneer, said, “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” That’s the key to success in business. If you hire great people, all other problems disappear. Unfortunately, a lot of people feel a bit threatened by people who are better. That’s why we always say that no one ever lost their job because they’ve hired someone who was too good. To continue to grow our culture of innovation, we're adding more entrepreneurial thinkers and passionate doers to make an impact, build great things, collaborate, travel the world, and pave a dynamic career path. Find the opportunity that best suits your strengths and expertise at

EF Education First Reviews

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EF Education First CEO Eddie Hult
Eddie Hult
294 Ratings
  • "Great company and opportunities, under the right circumstances"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF Education First full-time (Less than a year)


    - Young, inspiring company and mission

    - Engaged, intelligent colleagues, everyone is "plugged in"

    - Significant growth opportunities if you manage to position yourself appropriately

    - Travel opportunities, truly global company

    - Amazing building and location, can't say enough good things about the park, the river, the views, the natural light

    - Amazing vacation policy when compared to US average, starting at 3wks, increasing to 4wks your second year. Many teams also get to experience annual or bi-annual tours to see the product first-hand.


    - Very steep pyramidal structure/hierarchy: tons of low paid salespeople at the bottom, and significantly fewer mid and senior-level positions. "Climbing the ladder" is difficult and cutthroat, especially if you start in sales, which results in high turnover. However, if you manage to differentiate yourself, they will provide you with an incredible amount of responsibility and opportunity that I have not seen at any other company.

    - Relatively low pay, take the average for your title/position and geography and subtract ~15%. Note: this has improved slightly but has not been resolved, theres still a stigma associated with working at EF

    - They will milk you for all you're worth, incremental increases in responsibility or title with little or no increase in compensation. Definitely some exits due to "straw that broke the camel's back" scenarios.

    - Private company, lots of opaque business decisions and mandates, if you're someone who constantly asks "why," you might get discouraged.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to introduce established/industry recognized training programs and educational opportunities for specific roles and departments. The opportunities for inexperienced employees at EF are amazing, but when everyone is trying to "grow into their role," theres no one to learn from and everyone ends up running around with their heads cut off trying to figure things out as they go (tenured employees and managers that have worked their way up through the company may have developed bad habits or incomplete knowledge of their subject area by developing this way). This could be significantly improved with more formal training. Eg. bring in outside consultants, sponsor online training initiatives, start team-specific lending libraries of best sellers in each subject area (sales, marketing, IT, etc). Also, just because an education program isn't "accredited" doesn't mean its not valuable (many "seminars," "bootcamps," etc, aren't accredited). Loosen up on education reimbursement requirements, it'll benefit the employees and the company.

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EF Education First Photos

EF Education First photo of: The EF Hiking Club spent Earth Day hiking Mt. Pemigewasset in Lincoln, New Hampshire
EF Education First photo of: Day 2 of Wellness Week! Our CEO Eddie Hult led a bootcamp session in North Point Park!
EF Education First photo of: View from Charlestown Footbridge
EF Education First photo of: North American Headquarters
EF Education First photo of: Like and Escher Drawing
EF Education First photo of: So Chill
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EF Education First Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    EF360 Global Management Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at EF Education First (Cambridge, MA) in March 2017.


    Very relaxed and informal. First round was through campus recruiting, the interview was more like a conversation about my interest, experiences, and personality traits. Second round was onsite, met with multiple senior executives back to back, again more of semi-formal conversations about my passions, interests, and experiences than strictly formal interviews. Loved everyone I met, and felt that culture fit was a large part of the equation!

    Interview Questions

    • What kind of leadership style do you require in a manager?   Answer Question
See All 377 Interviews

EF Education First Awards & Accolades

  • 10 Companies That Make Work Inspiring, The Muse, 2016

Work at EF Education First? Share Your Experiences

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