Question 1: Why do you support a travel community?
Every trip is a unique and personal experience that stays vivid when shared. As a tour operator, we know particularly well how customers gather information before a trip, and that reading or listening to authentic experiences is very important. They often are crucial for the decision to go on a trip at all or to choose a specific destination. This is why we also have our EF Ambassador Club with former EF travelers who love to tell potential customers about their trip and who are able to answer all of their questions. With Traxplorio, you are doing something very similar, just in a different setting – we think that’s a great idea and worth supporting.
Question 2: What does travel mean for you? Is there perhaps an exciting story about your company?
Traveling is an incredible way to expand your horizons, especially if you are deliberately looking for contact with locals. They help you with getting a different view of the world and with being more tolerant. That’s the great thing about EF: the whole staff is crazy about traveling, and every time you talk to a colleague, you get new inspiration for your next destination. It’s hard to pick only one story – every day we see how incredibly enriching just two weeks of language holidays in Malta can be, looking at the stories and experiences of our clients. To see that quite often this even lasts for the rest of their lives makes us proud.
Question 3: How would you describe the spirit of EF?
EF is always looking for new, innovative opportunities. This is how a one-man language travel company has grown into one of the largest private international educational organizations, with further offerings such as High School Year, Aupair, the Hult International Business School, and our EF Academy international boarding schools. In addition, there are great partnerships and projects: For example, we have been sponsoring language training at the Olympic Games for many years and have our own professional cycling team, EF Pro Cycling. No matter where you travel privately in the world, you combine it with visiting colleagues on site and looking at language schools – we are all one big EF family with like-minded travel & language enthusiasts and we deal with each other in an open, non-hierarchical way.
Question 4: Why is language travel the best way to learn a language?
On a language trip, you don’t simply learn the language in the classroom, you apply it in ‘real-life’ – whether it’s leisure activities, living with a host family, or in a residence with other language students from all over the world. This way, you can really immerse yourself and also pick up the live spoken language, an original accent, and slang expressions from native speakers in everyday situations instead of just learning by the book. Learning through experience consolidates what you have learned much more than learning by reading about it.
Question 5: How was your company founded? Can you remember any moments in particular?
EF Education First was founded back in 1965 in Sweden – then called Europeiska Ferieskolan (“European Holiday School”). Our founder Bertil Hult is dyslexic and on a trip to England, he realized how much easier it was for him to learn English there than in a classroom. This is how the idea for language travel was born and the credo that you learn a language best where it is spoken, which is still valid today. We are still a family-run business to this day, with over 40,000 employees worldwide nowadays!
Question 6: What makes your company unique? Why should we keep you in mind?
We offer language courses in 10 different languages in one of 50 locations in 20 countries and the same principle applies everywhere: they are EF-owned language schools run by EF staff, just like us in Germany in our offices in Düsseldorf, Berlin and Munich and all other local offices around the world. This means that we offer a one-stop service and can provide very flexible solutions, e.g. starting your course in one place and finishing it in a completely different one. Everywhere we teach with our own innovative learning method. It guarantees maximum learning progress through a combination of regular classes, interactive exercises, the use of modern media, and the immersion in the local culture.
Question 7: Which are the most popular language schools and destinations? 🙂
The Mediterranean island of Malta, for example, is one of the all-time favorites – the perfect combination of a beach holiday and an English-speaking environment. In addition to classic destinations associated with English education, such as Oxford, or dream destinations in the US, such as New York or San Diego, more exotic places, like Cape Town or Singapore, are also very popular. There of course you have the wonderful opportunity to leave the cold season behind and flee towards the sun, just like you can do it with our language schools in Australia or New Zealand. In recent years, Korean and Japanese, in Seoul and Tokyo respectively, have also become increasingly popular.
Question 8: Can you go on language travel at any age?
Absolutely! A language trip is a great enrichment at any age. We see how life-changing the first trip without parents can be for children as young as 10 years old and with specific offers for adults, they don’t have to be afraid of missing out on their needs and sharing the classroom with children either.
Question 9: What about travel opportunities in the current special times?
Even now our language schools are open – of course, in strict compliance with hygiene measures and local regulations everywhere. The size, creativity, and flexibility of EF help us tremendously to find suitable opportunities for each school and client. Where necessary, we temporarily switch to online teaching, have students rebooked to other destinations, and set up completely new offers at short notice. In the summer of 2020, for example, we offered English lessons in temporary schools in Greece and in the Swiss Alps, when the Corona situation was better there than in most other countries, and our schools in Málaga and Nice offered English as well as Spanish and French respectively.
Question 10: What do you really want to tell the Traxplorio community?
Language holidays are not just for nerds 😉 The combination of learning and varied leisure activities in the most beautiful places on earth and the possibility of varying the number of lessons depending on the learning objective offers the right type of holiday for everyone. Especially for people traveling alone, it’s a great way to automatically get to know plenty of people on site.