The HSI team is made up of experts in the fields of education, languages and student welfare, and we all share a common goal: to provide the highest level of service to each and every one of our students.

Based in our offices in Brighton, UK and Dublin, Ireland, we are a diverse team with a variety of skills and experience. Some of us have been working on high school study abroad programmes for over 20 years, others are much newer to the education industry but no less passionate about what we do.

Use these pages to ‘meet’ our team, and please feel free to contact any one of us if you would like to know more about who we are, what we do, or how we do it.

Joanne Mallon

Position: Operations (Ireland)

Contact me for:

Current students' enquiries and programme operations

Since graduating from University I have been consistently working in teaching and administration and have taken on a huge variety of roles and duties in arts and education from Assistant, Drama and Theatre Facilitator and Tutor to Manager and Coordinator. Specialising in the social, creative, personal and individual development of young people, I have been working with children, teenagers and adults for twelve years.

For me the child is paramount and I strive everyday to ensure that our students are cared for and are getting the most out of the developmental opportunities that their international experience has to offer!

Rachelle Nelson

Position: Operations Manager (UK)

Contact me for:

UK programme operations

There are many aspects to my role, but it all boils to down to looking after our international students. As soon as a student arrives in the UK, it is my duty to ensure that they have a safe, successful and positive stay for the duration of their programme.

I have been a part of HSI since 2001 and love the small team environment and the people I work with. This role has also given me the opportunity to see more of the country when I visit schools and students.

Living so close to the South Downs, I’m always outdoors. I cycle everywhere and love the sense of freedom I get from exploring this area.


Paul Madden

Position: Finance Manager

Contact me for:

Finance Enquires

My role involves managing agency and student accounts, the day-to-day financial operations of Head Office.  In addition I oversee the area of IT and technical support.

I love working with a small team of people, having been part of larger organisations in the past.  The friendly, supportive environment of HSI makes it easier to get up in the morning and “go to work”.

Before HSI I worked in marketing and corporate affairs with a major international retail chain as well as in my father’s small wholesale business.

I play drums for fun … it keeps me insane!!

Tom Reed

Position: International Partnerships Director

Contact me for:

New business partnerships, general programme information and staff training

I look after all of our overseas agency partners. I’m the first point of call for new business partnerships, and I work closely with our existing partners to make sure their sales teams are fully-equipped to successfully advise students who are interested in our programmes.

My goal is to make HSI a valuable partner for any education agency who wants to promote British and Irish teen study programmes.

I’ve been with HSI since 2013, but held a number of similar roles (in very different industries) before then. Having experience in Tech, Consumer Goods and Construction, I can say with confidence that those of us who work in Study Travel are a very lucky bunch!

Michelle Gibson

Position: Placements Manager (UK)

Contact me for:

UK Enquiries & Enrolments and UK specific programme information

On a day to day basis I liaise with agents and schools overseeing enquiries and applications to the HSI programmes. It’s a very varied, and very busy, role where I work with agents and their students from the very first point of enquiry right through to assisting with visa documents and orientation details. I work closely with our partner schools in both admissions and programme developments and whenever possible get out and about to visit our schools.

I love the variety of the people contact as I get to work with people from all corners of the globe and Schools and Colleges from all over the UK. Working with a student from the moment they apply until the day they arrive, and beyond, is a wonderful process to be a part of and I really enjoy helping students to come to the UK to study. I am a firm believer in education and travel as essential life experiences and what better way to learn academically and personally than through studying in another country. I have a lot of respect for the HSI students who are coming to the UK to study when English is not their first language, it’s an adventurous thing to do and an experience that will undoubtedly enrich the rest of their lives.

Born in London, studied in Scotland, trained in Fine Art and moved to the South Coast in 1996. Started my employment life within what is now known as Sussex Downs College and quickly realised that the importance of Education was as deep a belief for me as Art! I worked with EF for a summer season before a stint in the travel business where I got to see a little of the world before heading back into Education. I worked at Study Group for over 6 Years within their University Placement service and more recently with their International Study Centres in the UK which is where I first became aware of HSI and the great team that is still going strong.  I started with HSI last November, covering for Katherine while she is on maternity leave and can honestly say that HSI is by far the best and most exciting company I have worked with to date.

I’m not someone who stays still for very long so when not sat behind an HSI computer you will find me in my studio drawing and painting and generally getting rather messy! I also love running around with my 8 year son who is great fun either on the beach, in the pool, in galleries, museums or sushi bars.

Lucy Singh

Position: UK Programme Co-ordinator

Contact me for:

Current students' enquiries and programme operations

My role is so diverse, but it mainly comes down to ensuring that our students programmes run as smoothly as possible and they have the best experience while here in the UK! You can think of me as the link between our agents and the schools but you could also find me organising the everyday needs for our office too.

After gaining a degree in Hospitability and Event Management, I took a step into the travel industry working as a coordinator for educational school trips around the world. I love working with young people and I understand how beneficial this experience is for our students.

I’m a people person who is always smiling. I love to travel and love to eat and drink my way around the world. If I am not watching the latest Sci-fi or Superhero movie, I’ll be on Brighton’s beautiful beach with my friends.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Niamh Mchugh

Position: Placements Manager (Ireland)

Contact me for:

Enquiries and Placements in Ireland

Hi, I’m Niamh and I’ve been working in the area of International education for over 20 years.

I am from Dublin and I live here with my family. I have also  lived in Spain, France, Switzerland, Poland and the Czech Republic.

My job is great, every day is different and you get to meet fantastic people. I know everything there is to know about the school system here in Ireland and I love helping students to find the best option for them. It’s wonderful to see the students grow during their stay here and know that they will always have great memories of their time in Ireland.

Eppie Silverman

Position: Groups Manager

Contact me for:

UK group enquiries

I welcome contact from anyone interested in the group programmes we offer, whether they have a firm idea of the kind of experience they are looking for or just want to know what is possible. I can arrange high school immersion experiences for single students looking to be a part of a group experience or ready-made groups of any size. I have been working with some fantastic new schools this year at HSI and am excited to share these with our upcoming groups.

I have worked with young people for almost a decade, originally as a teacher in secondary education and later specialising in working with overseas learners. My work has focused on student welfare and wellbeing as well as learning. I have led groups of students abroad and co-ordinated overseas study trips before working for HSI. I know how to ensure students have a fantastic time abroad full of learning.

Playing music and working on textiles projects is my favourite way to relax. I enjoy running, especially around Brighton with it’s fantastic scenery. I am passionate about the amazing sights we have in the UK and enjoy sharing them with our overseas groups!

Marco Fortis

Position: Sales & Marketing Manager

Contact me for:

General programme information and all sales and marketing queries

I started at HSI towards the end of 2017 and haven’t looked back since. My role is varied and is full of opportunities to learn new skills.

My journey to HSI has seen me in various sales and marketing roles across industries. From wine to technology, literature to finance, and even running my own toy shop.

I love travelling, which is well suited to this role. I’m happiest when I’m experiencing new cultures, trying new flavours and meeting new people.

Siobhan McElroy

Position: Student Services Coordinator

Contact me for:

Student services in Ireland