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EF breaks world record on 50th birthday

Fifty years on from its inception in a university dormitory in Sweden, EF Education First has celebrated its birthday in style by breaking the Guinness World Record for the “most nationalities in an online video album of people performing a choreographed dance”.

EF Hello 50 video. Photo: screenshot

"Even customers and suppliers got involved"

The project, which has been called EF Hello 50, saw EF students, staff and teachers from all over the world dancing in the record-breaking video. A total of 266 submissions were sent in from 47 different countries where EF offers education services.

Students got really involved, getting to various iconic or breathtaking locations to film their entries, such as a helipad in Istanbul; Waterloo Bridge in London; a waterpark in Shenzen, China; the desert in Namibia and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. And a full-body pink leotard is spotted in the crowd in Boston.

“The feedback we have had has been very positive,” enthused Anders Ahlund, EF’s president of international sales and marketing. “Participation has been beyond expectation. Even customers and suppliers got involved.”

The best submissions in each pre-determined category won a so-called ‘Effie award’ from the company as recognition for their fun entries.

Categories included “best location”, “best costume” and “best EF spirit”, with “the very best” submission awarded to Moscow’s submission, which featured some impressive outdoor gymnastics. “Best way to tie the knot” and “best selfie” were also awarded in ‘EF Hello 50’s special awards’.

The total number of views for all the video submissions is now in excess of 1 million.

EF Hello 50. Photo: EF

EF Hello 50. Photo: EF

EF currently employs 40,500 staff in 53 countries around the world, which is a substantial growth since its humble inception 50 years ago.

In 1965, Swedish entrepreneur, Bertil Hult, came up with the idea for the company from his university dormitory in Lund. At the age of 23 and with only $750 of initial capital, EF has developed into one of the world’s leading players in international education.

“EF is a fun and creative company,” continued Ahlund. “The song was written and composed by EF staff, and so was the choreography. Besides creativity and fun, a dance like this is about co-ordination and energy. It very much represents our company culture.”

EF remains owned by the Hult family.

Shanghai's entry

Shanghai’s entry

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