Architectural Rendering of Education First’s New Building in Cambridge
The term Global Citizen describes a person increasingly comfortable building a strong identification with the world as a whole. As national borders open to an increasingly globalized society, ease in travel, global trade and advances in technology have allowed for the expansion of cultural, value-based and linguistic exchanges.
A company on the frontier of these exchanges is EF Education First, the world’s largest educational organization. Located in Northpoint, Cambridge, EF’s North American headquarters is a 300,000 square foot architectural masterpiece with panoramic views of the Boston skyline. It recently broke ground for a third building at Northpoint that will create 300 new jobs and add public parks to the area.
Education First was founded more than 50 years ago by Swedish scholar, Bertil Hult, who spent time in England with a mission to learn the English language. From his British experience, Hult deemed experiential learning as the most effective method for learning a language. Over the half century, the vision for experiential learning continued to grow as EF developed its mission to promote language, education, travel and cultural exchange on a global scale. Today the company operates in 116 countries, has 539 office and schools and employs 46,500 employees across all continents.
EF opens up the world to a greater number of people from multiple backgrounds through its strong repertoire of products. Each product offers adventurers the ability to explore diverse cultures, embark on unforgettable journeys and study at one of EF’s academies or at the award-winning Hult International Business School.
On October 2, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker attended the groundbreaking of EF’s third new building, praising the company for its commitment to learning. “There is unity in what you do. You bring cultures together. You bring people who don’t know each other together. You bring people from different walks of life together. You do exactly in this day and age which we need most of all – which is people who know how to find common ground and help people build on it,” Governor Baker said.
“Today’s groundbreaking is an important moment for EF that also highlights how public-private partnerships can lead to economic development, jobs and the creation of beautiful public spaces that benefit our staff and students as well as the residents of Cambridge and Boston,” said EF’s North American CEO Dr. Edward Hult.
The inclusive and experiential nature of the company found its home in Cambridge, a neighborhood blooming with diversity, creativity and world-class education. Within the company’s open and communal office space, EF employees display a commitment to innovation and civic engagement that mirrors the City of Cambridge ethos.
Recently, the company opened a public wellness space close to its property in East Cambridge. Vice President of EF Properties, Shawna Marino, tells Boston Magazine, “Living a healthy lifestyle is one of our strong focuses here at EF. We are just so thrilled to share this part of our culture with the community.”
According to EF, the new 300,000-square-foot, 12-story building will be designed to a LEED Gold standard and is scheduled to open in late spring 2019. The ground floor will be completely dedicated to public space with a mix of uses throughout the upper floors, including new student housing for the independent, nonprofit Hult International Business School, general office and administrative space, and above-grade parking. The ground floor will include a public fitness center with a rock climbing wall, a small café, public restrooms, and hundreds of new public bike parking spaces.
EF’s communal company culture also resonates beyond its office block. EF is an active agent in the Greater Boston community as employees regularly donate their time in community service projects. Such projects include Charles River clean-up on Earth Day and the EF Cares volunteering club that works with EF’s on-site chef to cook meals for local families. EF’s Annual Holiday drive collects donations for Greater Boston Food Bank, Big Brother Big Sister Association of Greater Boston and Cultural Care Kids First Foundation.
Education First fosters a commitment to global experiential education and service that is unparalleled. In its quest for knowledge, education, innovation and excellence, EF emulates the true spirit of Massachusetts.