Russ Alexander, Director - Programs and Development
Russ was involved with the first group of US study abroad students to come to Australia in the late 1980s. He studied abroad as a high school student for a year in Tyler, Texas and a semester at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Russ graduated from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, where he also became the Associate Director for Study Abroad. Russ joined the Study Australia team in 2000 and now directs the programs in Asia and is responsible for the educational design elements of our Australian/South Pacific programs. Russ is based in Chicago.
Favorite Destinations: Sydney, Australia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Helen Armitage, Resident Director, Queensland
Helen has been working in the International Education Field for over 11 years. During her undergraduate degree at Griffith University, she started working in their international office on a part time basis. This became full time after she graduated with a Bachelors in Communications in 1998. Following her role at Griffith she worked in the International and Study Abroad teams at Bond University and was responsible for marketing and developing the study abroad and full degree programs in North America and Europe. This role saw Helen travel extensively throughout these regions for many years. Helen is now the Resident Director in Queensland for Study Australia and is also completing her graduate studies in Education.
Christian Bonett, Resident Director, Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong
Christian was born in the English city of Bath, an Englishman by birth with Maltese, Spanish and French ancestry. The perfect recipe to encourage a thirst for knowledge, itchy feet and a love of adventure. Christian studied abroad in Bayonne, Bordeaux and Fontainebleau in France and Ettlingen in Germany as a high school student. Completed semesters in the National Academy of Art, Sofia - Bulgaria and Ecole des Beaux-Artes de Nantes, France as an undergraduate Fine Art student. After graduating and a few years living in London as a struggling artist, in 2005 Christian moved to Sydney, and enrolled into the University of New South Wales as a postgraduate Art Education student. Christian has been in Sydney ever since, working with TEAN in various guises.
Favorite Destinations: Sydney, Australia; Malta; New Zealand, Thailand
Solaro Chan, Resident Director, Beijing
Solaro was born in Calgary, Canada and grew up on the west coast in multicultural Vancouver, speaking 4 different languages (English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and French). He completed his BA (Economics) at University of Victoria and attained a TEFL certification prior to moving to China in 2004. Since then, he has worked in the education and youth travel industry where he has managed over 1000 travelers from around the world to experience the Chinese culture. Solaro has worked as support staff for The Education Abroad Network since 2008.
Megan Clavier, Resident Director, Cambodia
Megan finished college in 2006 and headed straight to the Burmese border to work with illegal migrant workers and refugees. In 2008 she returned to SE Asia to teach XO laptops to children in rural Cambodia. Megan has since moved to Phnom Penh, using her design skills to communicate the amazing work of small organizations to the outside world. Passionate about Cambodia, working with TEAN allows Megan to help students see the wonderful side of SE Asia that is often hidden from tourists.
Favorite Destinations: All of Burma; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Kampot, Cambodia; and Portland, Oregon.
Nancy Clarke, Campus Relations
Nancy has been a Regional Representative since 2006. She has lived abroad in Melbourne, Australia, and London, England. She has traveled in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire and a master's degree from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
Favorite Destinations: Victoria Falls, Whitsunday Islands, New Zealand's South Island, Italy, Machu Picchu
Robert Deng, Academic Director - China Programs
Robert holds a PhD in Communication Studies and is now Professor of Communications at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. A former journalist for the Shanghai Daily, he also served 4 years as the Assistant Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Global Online Magazine (Fudan Edition), and was involved with a number of World Bank projects as a technical interpreter and translator. Robert brings a balance of real world experience and academic life to the classroom and to our students. As the Academic Director for The Education Abroad Network, Robert delivers cross-cultural training with an emphasis on China for all TEAN China students each semester. His work focuses on increasing the academic and cultural integration of students and adds to the strong in-country support provided by our existing Resident Director network in Shanghai and Beijing.
Shannon Diegel, Assistant Program Manager
After Shannon studied abroad while attending Loyola University Chicago, she knew her life would never be the same again. A few months following graduation she moved to Bangkok, Thailand to teach English. She thought she knew what city life was like after living in Chicago, but Bangkok found ways to surprise her every day! Upon returning home, she began working in international education, helping American high-school students travel the world and study abroad. Shannon is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Education at the SIT Graduate Institute.
Favorite Destinations: All of Thailand; Luang Prabang, Laos; Istanbul, Turkey; Pokhara, Nepal; Madrid, Spain.
Lucy Ditzel, Resident Assistant, Perth
Originally from Maine, Lucy studied abroad at Macquarie University in Sydney in 2010. After graduating in 2011 from Simmons College in Boston and doing lots of traveling she returned to Australia, this time to Perth. Lucy now lives and works in Perth and has been working with TEAN since the start of 2012.
Favorite Destinations: New Zealand; Boston; and Sydney
Rachel Dorsey, Senior Program Manager
Through Valparaiso University, Rachel spent a semester abroad in Cambridge, England, which led to her passion for international education and cross-cultural exchange. Since graduating with a BA in History and Secondary Education, Rachel has taught geography in a high school setting and has traveled extensively throughout Asia and Oceania. Prior to joining us an Enrollment Coordinator, Rachel spent a year teaching English in Okinawa, Japan and was a luxury travel consultant in Chicago.
Favorite Destinations: Varanasi, India; Mui Ne, Vietnam; Lhasa, Tibet; Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Jess Dowling, Resident Assistant, Wellington
Hailing from Wellington, New Zealand, Jess is currently studying and working at Victoria University. She has been working with international students since 2008 – and even spent a year as a study abroad student herself at the University of Idaho. As well as living in the US, she has lived abroad in Peru and Australia and has visited numerous countries within South America and the Pacific. When not working, Jess loves to hang out at cafes, see a bit of theatre and host baking parties. She loves her hometown and is looking forward to showing it off to as many people as she can!
Favorite Destinations: Matakana, New Zealand; Seattle, USA; Copacabana, Bolivia; Ollantaytambo, Peru; Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay; Hideaway Island, Vanuatu.
Rachel Fenton, Resident Director, New Zealand
Rachel has an extensive background in international education student services, marketing and university relations. She spent several years living and working abroad first in Japan on the JET program, then in London, England and Guangzhou, China. On return to New Zealand, Rachel managed the study abroad and student exchange programs at Massey University; her alma mater where she was awarded degrees in Business Administration and Marketing. She is now working at the University of Auckland, as well as representing TEAN as the New Zealand Resident Director.
Favorite Destinations: Coromandel, New Zealand; Tokyo, Japan; Hanoi, Vietnam; San Francisco, USA
Rob Gaetano, Resident Director, Melbourne
Robert has been working with international students at Monash University on and off since 2001. Apart from a two-year stint in London, Robert has lived in Melbourne his whole life and loves everything Melbourne has to offer. Robert is very passionate about travel and having been to every continent (except Antarctica), he encourages everyone he meets to spend some time abroad! In his other life, Robert is an actor who graduated from the National Theatre Drama School in 2011.
Favorite destinations: London; Peru; Chefchaouen, Morocco; Italy; Austin, Texas and New York City, USA.
Lauren Gabell, Marketing Manager
Lauren's passion for international education was ignited after studying abroad at Boston College in 1997. Lauren has worked for the study abroad offices at both Monash University and Deakin University. At Deakin University she was responsible for developing the study abroad program, and marketing the university in Europe, North America and Thailand. Lauren joined The Education Abroad Network in 2004 as the Resident Director in Melbourne. Lauren is now based out of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and in addition to marketing responsibilities is also involved with TEAN's in-country programs.
Favorite Destinations: Melbourne, Australia; Northern Thailand; Chicago, USA; South Island, New Zealand
Helen Han, Manager - China Programs
Helen obtained her MBA in Australia and has since worked in the youth study and travel industry for almost two decades in China and abroad. During the last decade, she has helped hundreds of international students to study as full-time or part-time students in China’s universities. In addition to her work with The Education Abroad Network, Helen also works in an international education company, utilizing her experiences in international education and cultural exchange to develop programs and strengthen the cooperation of the company with its partners around the globe.
Peter Heimerstrom, Manager Information Technology
Peter has been working for us since 1998 and has lived abroad in Australia. He is responsible for development, implementation and operation of our information systems and technology solutions. Peter is based in Sweden.
Favorite Destinations: Western Australia, Greece
Kate Hilby, Program Manager
Kate studied abroad with The Education Abroad Network at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia where her passion for international education and travel was ignited. Her study abroad experience impacted her so much that upon her return stateside, she became a TEAN Student Ambassador at The University of Iowa while completing her degree in Communication Studies. After graduation, she returned to Melbourne for a year where she worked for a university on the Marketing and Student Recruitment team.
Favorite Destinations: Melbourne, Australia; Gippsland Lakes, Victoria, Australia; Seattle, WA; Auckland, New Zealand; Washington DC
Tommy Kysor, Resident Advisor, New Zealand
Originally from Nashua, New Hampshire, Tommy was once a study abroad student himself at the University of Auckland. Since studying abroad he has made New Zealand his home after graduating from the University of Auckland. Tommy now lives and works in Auckland, and has been working with international students since early 2009.
Favorite Destinations: South Island, New Zealand; Cairns, Austrailia; Fijian Islands; Cliffs of Moher, Ireland; London, England; White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Sean Lennon, Director
Sean is a Director and co-founder of The Education Abroad Network. Since 1993 unil recently Sean was a resident of Perth, Western Australia. Sean has worked with international students attending the University of Notre Dame Australia and his other previous experience includes senior roles within the human resources consulting industry in both Australia and the USA. He earned a BA and MSA from the University of Notre Dame (Indiana), and is member of NAFSA and The Forum on Education Abroad. Sean is currently based in Perth, Australia.
Favorite Destinations: Sydney, Australia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Singapore; Dublin, Ireland
Kai was born in northern Thailand in 1958 and attended school in Chiang Mai before joining the Thai military in 1974. His military career was a highly decorated one and lasted almost 20 years. After leaving the military he returned to Chiang Mai University where he completed his BA majoring in Marketing. Kai had a strong desire to meet people from all over the world so he also undertook Thai Tourism training and became a licensed tourist guide.
He started his own company in 1999 and has focused on small highly educational experiences for visitors to Northern Thailand since then. Kai has designed and led many cultural and academic excursions for students from Australian and US universities over the past 15 years and brings an incredible knowledge of his region and Thai customs and a true cross-cultural understanding to his role as Resident Director for Thailand. He lives in Chiang Mai with his family, and his daughter just became the youngest concert violinist for the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.
Ramona Liu, Resident Director, Shanghai
Ramona is a native Chinese, and has extensive international and cultural experience through her studies and professional career. Fluent in English, Ramona obtained her Bachelor of Economics in China, before moving to Australia. She then lived in Australia for 5 years, during which time she obtained her Masters of International Business from the University of Wollongong. In her professional career, Ramona has worked extensively with multinational companies focusing on sales and marketing, business development, and training and consultation. Her academic background and professional experience allows her to effectively advise overseas students, as she understands their needs while studying in China.
Amanda Lord, Campus Relations
Amanda has been working in the field of International Education since 2002. She is originally from Rhode Island, and now resides in Hermosa Beach California where she is the West Coast Campus Relations Coordinator for The Education Abroad Network/Study Australia. Her experiences living in Australia in high school, as well as undergraduate and graduate school, led to her desire to make International Education her career. She completed her master's degree at the University of Rhode Island in the College Student Personnel program and enjoys working with and advising students about the many exciting options for studying abroad.
Kate first traveled abroad as a participant of The Education Abroad Network, studying in Australia at the University of Queensland in 2002. Her time overseas allowed her to examine English literature from a fresh, new angle and have a proper introduction to Australian literature. Before joining TEAN, Kate also served as a National Admissions Advisor for a fashion & interior design college as well as a technical writer for a sport technology company. Kate holds a BA in English/Communications from Saint Xavier University and earned her M.A. in English at DePaul University, both in Chicago. Since her time at UQ, she has continued her travels throughout Europe and the U.S., but she will always have a soft spot for Australia.
Favorite Destinations: Edinburgh, Scotland; Noosa Heads, Australia; Pahoa, HI
Oliver McSurley, Program Manager
As an undergraduate student majoring in History, Oliver studied abroad through The Education Abroad Network in 2002. At the University of Queensland in Brisbane, he studied Australian history, politics and Aboriginal culture. Prior to joining TEAN, Oliver taught secondary-level Geography and Global Issues, European History, and US History. He holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a Masters of Education from DePaul University.
Favorite Destinations: Shanghai, China; Isle of Skye, Scotland
Alice Milne, Resident Assistant, Dunedin
Alice, a native Kiwi, had her first exchange experience during high school when she spent a year living abroad in the north of France. Since then she has participated in two additional exchanges at L'Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie in New Caledonia and at La Sorbonne in Paris, as well as travelling extensively around Europe and New Zealand. In 2012, Alice was a ‘Kiwi Host’ in the University of Otago’s international student accommodation program, making sure the students made smooth transitions from their home universities to life at Otago. Alice is a recent Otago University graduate and is looking forward to showing off her city to TEAN students.
Favorite Destinations: Routeburn Track, Coromandel, New Zealand; Rarotonga, Cook Islands; Dordogne, France; Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.
Nooy has worked in Thailand’s tourism industry for over 30 years. Originally based in Bangkok, Nooy moved to Chiang Mai almost 20 years ago. A graduate of Chiang Mai University’s Master of Arts in Tourism Industry Management, Nooy enjoys getting to know the students and providing an insight into Thai life and culture. Nooy loves the markets of Chiang Mai and considers herself an expert shopper. You definitely want to go shopping with Nooy when you’re in Chiang Mai.
Daniela Papi, Advisor, Cambodia
Daniela is the director and founder of PEPY, an educational development organization working in rural Cambodia. PEPY focuses on building the capacity of teachers and communities to increase access to quality education. Daniela is active in the "Voluntourism" sector speaking regularly on the potential negative effects of this growing trend, while encouraging industry players to be self-reflective and proactive in measuring their impact. PEPY was the winner of the Notre Dame Social Venture Business Plan Competition and a 2009 National Geographic Geotourism Challenge Winner. Daniela, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, has lived and worked in Asia for the past eight years and is based in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Favorite Destinations: Cambodia (of course!) and Papua New Guinea
Ba Tan Pham, Resident Director, Vietnam
Tan studied English at Haiphong University in the north of Vietnam and is also a graduate of Saigon Travel-Tourism Training School in Ho Chi Minh City in the south of Vietnam. He has been working in the travel and tourism industry in Vietnam for the past 6 years. In his free time, Tan enjoys reading, working out, traveling in SE Asia, and sipping on a nice latte at the many wonderful cafes in Saigon. Although a native of the north, Tan loves living in the south of Vietnam and is passionate about helping foreigners discover his beautiful country, The Timeless Charm of Asia.
Cameron Shepherd, Assistant Program Manager
Cameron was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. His passion for travel was sparked by a trip to Italy with his high school Latin Club. In the years since, he has traveled through much of Europe and Asia. After completing his degree at Ball State University, Cameron promptly packed his bags and moved to South Korea, where he lived and worked for over a year as an arts administrator. Upon his return to the States, he took up residence in Chicago, a city he adores.
Favorite Destinations: Galway, Ireland; Rome, Italy; Seoul, South Korea; Thailand
Chris Shepherd, Director and Co-Founder
Chris has been the Director for the U.S. operations since 1995 and co-founded The Education Abroad Network and Study Australia, LLC. He has twice lived abroad in Australia and has traveled extensively throughout Australia and Africa and has visited New Zealand, China, Greece and numerous countries within Southeast Asia. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a member of NAFSA and The Forum on Education Abroad.
Favorite Destinations: Capetown, South Africa; Santorini, Greece; Fremantle, Western Australia
Simon Shi, Staff Assistant, Beijing
Simon was born in Zhejiang Province in 1978 and moved to Beijing in 1987 to attend Yongdingmen School. Following his graduation from school, Simon joined Integrated Education Services Global Limited upon the opening of their Beijing office in 2004. Since that time, he has gained international exposure and developed the skills necessary for working with students in the education industry. He is also currently researching the viability of home stays in China, as he has strong aspirations of developing this particular industry in China. Simon joined the Education Abroad Network as a Staff Assistant in the Fall of 2008, putting to use the skills he has gained over the last several years working in the education industry.
Katie Smith, Resident Assistant, Brisbane
Katie has been working in international education since 2006 and has extensive experience working in student services. She is originally from Rhode Island but relocated to Brisbane, Australia where she first studied abroad and discovered her love for travel and for Australia. Katie completed both her Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of Rhode Island. Since then she has worked with several universities in the US and Australia and other education abroad providers developing and promoting programs.
Favorite Destinations: Boston, USA; Durban, South Africa; Moscow, Russia; Stradbroke Island, Australia
Joanne Wong, Director - China Programs
Joanne has been involved in international education for over 15 years. For the last 10 of those years, she has been very active in developing networks within China. In addition to being the China Programs Manager for The Education Abroad Network, Joanne is the Director of an international education company which fosters cultural awareness through teaching and internship exchange and has responsibility for the operations in China. She has established a network of quality education providers in China, as well a strong links to government which are now an integral part of the program. Her experience and knowledge of international education in China has been a great asset to The Education Abroad Network.
Matthew Wong, Student Liaison, Beijing
Matt has been with the Education Abroad Network since the Fall of 2008. He was born in Sydney, Australia and has been living in Beijing, China since April 2008. He completed his Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting/Marketing) at Macquarie University, and has worked in the accounting field for over 4 years whilst maintaining an interest in marketing and business development. He has travelled extensively throughout the world visiting such locations as England, Canada, USA, Pacific Islands and many Asian countries. Matt is currently based in China as he fulfills his aspirations to work in business development and marketing. He sees China as the ideal location for this line of work as it has as much to offer him as it does to the rest of the world.
Favorite Destinations: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Canada; USA
Kati Yantos, Assistant Program Manager
Kati, a California native, had her first adventure abroad in 2004, spending a semester living in Vienna, Austria. She traveled throughout Western Europe meeting amazing people from around the globe. Each interaction abroad has greatly enriched her life. While stateside Kati worked at Sierra Community College helping International and ESL students. She earned her BA from the Hutchin’s School of Liberal Studies in the heart of California’s best wine country, Russian River, and Alexander Valleys. She is now on a new adventure as a transplant to Chicago, IL, which is in her eyes the best American city.
Favorite Destinations: Chicago, IL; Vienna, Austria; Budapest; Hungary; San Marino, Italy; Lake Tahoe, CA
John Yocum, Program Manager
John studied Public Relations at Illinois State University then went on to earn his MBA from the University of Phoenix. Although he never studied abroad he has a passion for travel and different cultures. Prior to TEAN, John held roles in business development and education advisement.
In addition, The Education Abroad Network utilizes several Program Representatives and support staff in the United States and overseas to help administer and market the programs. All of the support personnel have previously studied, lived, or worked abroad and can provide unique insight into the study abroad experience.