Castle Howard (near York)

Red Centre of Australia (2007)


After graduating from Newcastle University in 1984 with a degree in Agricultural Zoology (i.e. bugs), I worked for the Ministry of Agriculture for a few months before realizing that I couldn't stand staring down a microscope all day every day. I went back to university (York), gained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and then worked as a teacher of science, mathematics, and outdoor pursuits (mainly rock-climbing). After three years of temporary teaching contracts at different schools, I switched careers and became a medical sales representative for Lilly Pharmaceuticals. Two years later the "travel bug" hit me and I set off to travel around the world. I got as far as Japan!

I stayed in Fukuoka for one year (1991-92), doing the really tough job of teaching English conversation to flight attendants and "office ladies." I then returned to the UK, where I did a stint as a relief teacher before taking up a position in a school for hearing-impaired children.

I came back to Japan on the JET Programme in 1994, worked for one year as a high school ALT and then for two years at Fukuoka Prefectural Education Center. I studied for my masters degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) with the University of Surrey by distance learning from 1997-1999, while working as a part-time university lecturer and running my own private English school. It was a busy time!

I became a full-time university teacher at Fukuoka Prefectural University in 2002 and then moved to Fukuoka Women's University in April 2007. While teaching at university, I took groups of students on overseas study trips to the UK and I enjoyed this aspect of my work so much that I decided to quit university teaching in April 2009 in order to set up my own travel agency for students (and adults) wanting to study abroad. In my first year of operation I took around 100 students to the UK. After my return to Japan in October 2009, I opened an office and English school in Yoshizuka in the city of Fukuoka. You can find out more about my school and agency here: (Japanese only).

My personal hobbies and interests are many, but include travel, hiking, nature photography, diving, and watching movies.