EF Academy International Boarding Schools

November 8, 2023 | Blog, Education

EF Academy International Boarding Schools are on a mission to open the world through education. With 3 dedicated school campuses located in New York, Pasadena and Oxford and students from over 60 countries, they are truly a global community. 

High school students enjoy a world-class international education, access to a range of academic programmes and plenty of extra-curricular activities and pursuits. EF Academy students receive excellent, highly personalised support when applying to universities, and many go on to attend prestigious institutions.

We asked EF Academy a little more about their educational philosophy, teaching methods and the benefits of growing up in such an international environment.

EF Academy International Boarding Schools

When and why were the EF Academies founded?

It all started with a unique vision for education. Bertil Hult founded Education First (EF) in 1965 with the belief that people learn best through immersion and hands-on experiences. EF Academy was founded in 2004, to build a better school, where Bertil Hult’s original vision is more relevant than ever.

What is your philosophy?

EF Academy’s mission is to educate people so they can be happy and successful in life. We unlock each student’s potential through a highly immersive education designed to ignite curiosity, growth, and well-being.

1) Classmates from 60+ countries: We are a truly global school. And we believe to be successful in today’s world, you need to make the world your classroom

2) Personalised education: One size never fits all. Every student is unique – that’s why every learning journey must be unique. We craft a custom pathway just for you.

3) Mastery of skills not memorisation of facts. Here you build essential skills and learn how to think – not what to think.



What are the key benefits of studying within an international environment?

With students representing over 60 nationalities, diversity is our common ground. We are proud of the miniature “United Nations” that walk our halls. The rich cultural perspectives and backgrounds this brings to the classroom enhance the learning experience and prepare students to construct a unique, yet united, world.

How best would you describe EF Academy’s teaching methods?

Learning by doing: We have always believed that students are more engaged when they are learning through experience. Knowledge, understanding and growth are achieved through action.

Individual pathways: As passionate educators, we know everyone is unique and capable of high achievement. Therefore, learning is personalized, and different academic programs are available so every student can thrive.

Global community: Your friends are from over 60 countries, so every experience incorporates different perspectives from across the globe.


What kind of background do the teaching staff have?

As lifelong learners themselves, our faculty are passionate about passing on their love of learning to students. Many members have advanced degrees and vast experience teaching in international settings, which they use to create stimulating, dynamic classes where students are consistently challenged by and engaged in the learning process.

What academic courses do you offer?

EF Academy offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, US High School Diploma and A-Levels. At our Pasadena campus, we also offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

We have more than 100 courses to choose from!

How much emphasis is there on ‘hands-on’ learning?

We are committed to hands-on learning experiences that combine theory with relevant real-world applications. Our students develop life skills, explore interests and problem-solve global issues through inquiry and exploration both in and out of the classroom.



What kind of extracurricular activities do your Academies offer?

We offer a range of extra-curricular activities for our students. We also offer students the opportunity to participate in our two-week internship every summer, to experience practical tasks and assignments.

Are all classes taught in English and what level of English do you expect from students?

All teaching at EF Academy is done in English, with the exception of the IB Diploma Language A courses. We don’t expect students to be completely fluent in English, but we do require enough of an understanding to keep up with studying in English. We offer a 1- and 2-term Bridge Program on campus for students who want to strengthen their academic English skills before starting the school year. Our Enrollment Consultants can also provide information on English programs for students to take in the months or years leading up to joining EF Academy.

Why did you choose the locations of the three campuses – New York, Oxford and Pasadena?

Our locations are strategically set in destinations that offer boundless learning and professional opportunities for students to explore. Whether in New York, Pasadena or Oxford, the experience of living and learning in each destination will broaden our students’ horizons and open doors to new possibilities.


Campus life with EF Academy Boarding Schools


What are the benefits of having an education within a campus?

Our welcoming campus community empowers you to come as you are and become who you want to be. Together, we create an inclusive environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Sharing everyday life—studying, eating, rooming, exploring, hanging out—is a priceless life-preparing experience.

What about boarding, how do you think that enhances students’ experience?

When you live where you learn, boarding school becomes your second home. Students at EF Academy have an entire community supporting their growth and achievements – from the admissions team in their home country to our campus body of teachers, guidance counsellors, residential staff, activities coordinators and friends from around the world. This family is at the core of what makes our boarding school environment welcoming, inclusive and easy to call home. The independence gained from living in a boarding school imparts essential life skills including decision-making, interpersonal skills and self-care, giving students the autonomy and tools to lead their own lives and learning.

Can you give us an idea of where some of the students go to University and their field of study?

We are immensely proud of the university offers our students receive, and the educational paths they pursue after EF Academy. 99% of our students are accepted to university and over the past five years, our students have been accepted to 28 of the top 50 universities in the world. 81% of our students in 2022 went on to attend university in the US or UK.

We have sent students off to study law at the University of Cambridge, chemistry at the University of Oxford, management at the London School of Economics, biomedical science at King’s College London, veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh and film at the University of Warwick, business administration at Boston University and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, to name a few.



Academically, where does EF Academy sit compared to other prestigious educational establishments around the world?

EF Academy students secure spots at the world’s top universities. The vast majority get into their dream school, and our immersive approach also ensures they graduate with the key knowledge and skills necessary for a successful career and a happy life.

In the past six years, our students have:

– Received offers from 45% of the world’s top 100 universities

– Received offers from 29 out of the US’s top 50 universities

– Received offers from 20 out of the UK’s top 20 universities

And so much more!


EF Academy Boarding Schools


What do you think students gain most from studying at EF Academy?

Our students gain immersive education that provides them with the tools to be successful in their university, career, and life, and to find happiness.

Describe EF Academy in 3 words.

International, immersive education, supportive.


Read more about EF Academy on MumAbroad.com

Contact Details:

+41 43 430 41 00

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

17 − ten =