EF Education First Founder Bertil Hult Receives Lucia Trade Award

Swedish Entrepreneur Recognized for Breaking Down Barriers to Free Trade with International Education

Dec 04, 2012, 09:00 ET from EF Education First

NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- EF Education First (EF), an international education company with North American headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., today announced that Founder Bertil Hult has received the Lucia Trade Award from the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (SACC New York). SACC New York presents the annual Lucia Trade Award to an individual who has significantly contributed to fostering free trade globally as well as between Sweden and the United States of America. 

Named for Sweden's patron saint, St. Lucia, the Lucia Trade Award symbolizes light, hope and peace – values that SACC New York leaders believe are perpetuated through trade. Previous recipients include H.M. King Carl VXI Gustaf, Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric, Michael Treschow of Ericsson and Unilever, Jeffrey Kindler of Pfizer, and Ingvar Kamprad of IKEA. The first recipient was President Ronald Reagan.

"Bertil Hult is an excellent addition to the distinguished list of Lucia Trade Award recipients," said Frederick Johansson, Chairman of SACC New York.  "He has had an exemplary entrepreneurial career, devoted significant time to charitable endeavors, and pioneered the educational and language school industry. We are delighted he is this year's recipient."

In 1965, when he was a university student in Sweden, Hult took 400 Swedish high school students to England during their summer vacation to learn English. Hult's 'learn by doing' approach quickly grew to become EF Education First, which has helped millions of students become citizens of the world through cultural exchanges, language training, educational travel, and degree programs. 

"EF started as the most basic form of free trade – a trade of ideas, language and culture," said Hult. "For the past 48 years, this focus has enabled our customers around the world to become global citizens and embark on travels, studies and careers that may not have otherwise been possible. Educational opportunities and free trade are the foundations to the development of stable, peaceful and economically prosperous societies, which is why I am honored to receive the 2012 Lucia Trade Award." 

Today, EF employs 34,000 in more than 400 offices and schools in 55 countries. EF's online language learning platform, Englishtown, is the world's largest online English language school. Additionally, the Hult International Business School has campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai, and rotation centers in New York City and São Paulo. The School offers a range of business-focused programs including MBA, Executive MBA, Master and Bachelor degrees. Hult's one-year MBA program is ranked first in Post-Graduate Salary Increase by The Economist as well as first in International Experience by the Financial Times.

Bertil Hult and his family are also sponsors of the Hult Prize, formerly the Hult Global Case Challenge, which brings teams of bright students from all over the world together to generate solutions to the world's most pressing problems, such as clean water, hunger and housing. Since its inception in 2010, this project has allowed students from competing cultures to find common ground around important global issues. The finalists compete at the Clinton Global Initiative and the winner receives an accelerator grant to implement their idea.

About EF Education First

With millions of students worldwide, EF specializes in language schools, academic degrees, educational travel and cultural exchange. EF recently published the English Proficiency Index (www.ef.com/epi), which measures the English ability of adults in different countries across the world.  For more information, please visit www.ef.com.

About SACC New York

The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (SACC New York) is a private membership organization in New York. Founded in 1906, it is one of the largest Swedish Chamber of Commerce outside of Sweden, with thousands of member-companies and individuals, representing every major industry. As the first and leading Swedish-American Chamber, SACC New York provides a vast array of services aimed at promoting and advancing business relations between the U.S. and Sweden.

Adam Bickelman
EF Education First

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