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EF’s Most Memorable Moments from Rio 2016

EF Education First believes travel and cross-cultural immersion positively impact both travelers and the world around them. Along with the educational travel opportunities we offer for our customers, we also live and breathe the impact of travel as employees. As the Official Language Training Services Supplier to Rio 2016 this past summer, EF sent 25 staff members from all across the globe to participate in our EF Rio Volunteers program. As part of our dedication to opening the world through education, our volunteers were tasked with being English translators for athletes, trainers, coaches and media. Read on to learn about the impact that this once in a lifetime opportunity had on our staffs’ personal and professional development.


Alicia G, EF Boston, USA
Being able to facilitate translations between Spanish-speaking Olympic athletes and the English-speaking press and media was an honor and privilege. On top of that, being a part of what I would consider the most impressive international display of unity was truly inspiring.

In terms of my EF career, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. Being able to collaborate and network with EFers from across the globe (Bangalore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, to name a few) was extraordinary. Conversing over dinner about the different offices, our various roles, objectives and goals, as well as our personal and professional travel history, made me realize firsthand what a profound international presence EF has. As a group of 10 we spanned throughout the world helping teachers, students and professionals in such widespread ways.

Daniel P, EF New York, USA
Running our Language Youth Leadership Forum in Rio and working with over 30 kids from around the world was a wonderful experience. The children learned what it took to build a “nothing is impossible attitude” and it was rewarding to see how they improved their English language skills throughout our time in Rio. This transformative experience was amplified by connections these children made with others from different cultures and backgrounds and will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Akram A, EF Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
I made a lot of friends from around the world in this unforgettable experience! After returning from Rio, I asked myself: what is my limit? I personally found myself reaching and discovering new limits in terms of hard work, handling different tasks, and so on.

Professionally, I learned how great and important the service EF is providing to the world. Learning a language can open doors to so many people and help them achieve their goals whether socially, professionally, academically or even personally.

Laura T, EF Lucerne, Switzerland
The Olympics was a totally different experience and I definitely brought a bit of magic back to our office. The experience created a deeper understanding of what “once in a lifetime” really means and how our tours represent that for many students who travel with us.


Mona A, Hult, Dubai, India
The impact of Rio was substantial because it is focused on helping others and was an extension of what EF and Hult are all about: embracing diversity! I do have friends from Latin America but visiting and experiencing the culture was a real eye-opener. Even though Latin America is 19 hours away from home, it felt so different, yet so similar to the Middle East. The culture is warm, the city is breath-taking and the food is delicious!

With our employees having such an amazing and inspiring experience in Rio this summer, we are already getting excited for our next partnership. EF is fortunate to have been named the Official Education Services Sponsor to the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and we are expecting to more than double our EF Volunteer participation!

Did the Olympics leave you wanting to explore Rio? Discover the home of the 2016 Olympics with your students on an educational tour to Brazil!

Make sure to follow the hashtag #EFWinterGold on social media to keep up and join the conversation!

EF Staff

We’re a crew of lifelong learners and curious explorers who are passionate about seeing the world, both at home and abroad. Our staff includes everyone from Tour Consultants and product managers to copywriters, photographers, and Traveler Support Specialists. More than anything, though, we’re a group of EF-ers united by our belief in the awe-inspiring, perspective-shifting, life-changing impact of educational travel.

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