Meet the team

Essex Abroad Team

A group of people pose for the camera

Discover the people behind our Study Abroad programmes

At Essex Abroad, we’re passionate about internationalisation. We’re responsible for the day-to-day operations of our inbound and outbound exchange programmes and short-term international experiences. So, whether you’re an exchange student visiting Essex or an Essex student preparing to embark on the adventure of a lifetime abroad, we’re here to help.

Essex Abroad Team

Kristi Connell - Essex Abroad Manager

Kristi is the Essex Abroad Manager and joined the University of Essex, taking on this role, in February 2019. Kristi is passionate about students taking on and exploring the idea of and international experiences, looking at opportunities which open their minds to the possibilities out there and learning about how it has made a difference. “It’s a big world out there and why not be a little fish in a big pond, rather than a big fish in a little pond. The Essex Abroad Team are here to guide you on your next new adventure...where will Essex Abroad take you? Where will you take yourself?”

Rosie Bonny - International Experience Manager 

Rosie joined the team in May 2019 having previously worked in the SWIS team at the University since 2017.  Rosie manages our short term programmes such as summer schools, volunteering and internships abroad.  Rosie also gets involved in most things across the team and loves supporting students to step out of their comfort zone and seize opportunities for personal and professional development.

Julie Procter - Essex Abroad Adviser

Julie joined the Essex Abroad Office from its conception and remains committed to the ethos of study abroad.

Working at Essex for over 30 years now, Julie comments that it is always challenging and she never stops learning from the students she supports in their journey. It is a marvellous opportunity for students to discover themselves as well as discovering the world, to grow and to develop.  For over 10 years Julie has worked with outbound students, supporting them from their initial interest, their completion of a period of study abroad and their return to Essex.

For Julie the most rewarding aspect of her role is to see the difference that a period of study abroad makes to a student, enjoying the marked increase in their self-confidence and self-belief.

Katherine Dickerson - Essex Abroad Adviser

Katherine joined Essex Abroad in November 2019 having previously worked in the administration team of the LiFTS (Literature Film and Theatre Studies) department. Katherine is the adviser for Incoming Exchange and Study Abroad students alongside Chelsea Morrell. Katherine is passionate about supporting students from the beginning to the end of their exchange programme and strives to help make their experience at Essex as fulfilling and enjoyable as possible. Katherine studied Italian at university, spending a year abroad in Italy and is fully aware of how enriching and important an international experience can be!

Chelsea Morrell - Essex Abroad Officer

Chelsea joined the team in August 2017. Chelsea works alongside Katherine coordinating the incoming study abroad and exchange programmes. Chelsea is very passionate in supporting students ensuring that all of our international students are able to fully enjoy and benefit from their experience at Essex. Chelsea is the key point of contact for advice and guidance to our incoming students and has helped manage over 1000 incoming students during her time in the Essex Abroad Team.

Joe Young - Essex Abroad Officer

Joe joined the Essex Abroad team in April 2020. After graduating from the Department of Sociology in the Summer of 2018 here at Essex, Joe went on to work as a Project Worker in the Sociology and Psychology departments. Joe then spent a year as the Project Assistant on the LEAP team before joining Essex Abroad. Joe supported the incoming team for the first four months of his time in the Essex Abroad team, before moving over to support our outgoing Essex students, whilst also coordinating our Peer Mentor programme. Joe is passionate about internationalisation in general and loves to see students trying something different, somewhere different, as it can have a hugely positive impact on them both personally and professionally.

Essex Abroad Peer Mentors

Essex Abroad peer mentors are here to help you. Whether you’re coming to Essex for the first time as an exchange student, or are preparing to say goodbye to Essex and study abroad yourself, our peer mentors are here for you. Navigating yourself through the unknown of all things abroad is scary, but our peer mentors have had the experience and want to support fellow students.

Our 2020-21 peer mentors are a group of friendly, knowledgeable and helpful students who have recently returned from a year abroad and are passionate about all things Essex Abroad and making your experience a positive one.

How do I get a peer mentor?

Only incoming students are assigned a peer mentor. You will be emailed the details of your mentor prior to your arrival at Essex and they’ll be in touch. 

Essex students preparing to go abroad are not assigned a peer mentor, but you can contact any of our peer mentors below and they'll be happy to help you. 

What do peer mentors do?

Incoming students

A peer mentor is another student with experience of the University and of studying abroad who can:

  • help you (the mentee) settle in
  • offer practical advice and information
  • point you in the right direction to services that may be available to you
  • help you to make the most of your university experience.

You might be feeling confused about where to find things on campus, how to use the library, who's who in your department, or how to get to know other students. Or, you might just feel like having a chat with someone who's had experience of adjusting to university life at Essex and abroad who can give you some tips on how to settle in.

Essex students

A peer mentor is a final year student with experience of undertaking a year abroad. They’ll attend department and country briefings to share their experience and advice to those preparing to embark on a similar adventure! If you’ve got a question about going abroad, check their profile and get in touch if it’s an area they can help you with.


2020-21 Essex Abroad Peer Mentors

Ben Hanson - studied abroad in France

Email address:

Ben studied abroad at Jean Moulin Lyon III in France.  Ben studies Economics at our Colchester campus and speaks English and French.

Ben is part of the Rugby Society and would be happy to answer anything about how to find events, enjoying a night out, useful Essex apps to have, what to expect from lectures and classes and how to join a society or sports club.

Clara Kelley - studied abroad in Hong Kong

Email address:

Clara studied abroad at University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.  Clara studies Psychology at our Colchester campus and speaks English and has a basic understanding of Spanish.

If you an exchange student Clara can help you with sports clubs, societies, travelling in the UK and student life in Colchester (activities, sports, food and shopping).

If you are an Essex student Clara can share her experiences abroad and guide you with what to research when searching for universities abroad.


Dani Adams - studied abroad in France

Email address:

Dani studied abroad at Jean Moulin Lyon 3, in Lyon, France.  Dani studies Language and Linguistics at our Colchester campus and speaks English and is learning French.

You can ask Dani about societies at Essex, studying in France and life on campus. 

Dolapo Ayofemi - studied abroad in USA


Dolapo studied abroad at Mercer University in Georgia, USA.  Dolapo studies Law at our Colchester campus and speaks English and Yoruba (Nigeria).

You can ask Dolapo about Nigerian student society, studying in America, and Faith/Christianity.

Eve Killelay - studied abroad in USA


Eve studied abroad at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in USA.  Eve studies in the Government department at our Colchester campus and is also familiar with our Southend campus.  Eve speaks English and is currently learning French with the aim to become fluent.

You can ask Eve about studying abroad in USA, attending sports socials and games, volunteering at Essex and Eve is also part of the Refugee Teaching Programme.

Inna Budzak - studied abroad in Netherlands

Email address: 

Inna studied abroad at Maastricht University in Netherlands.  Inna studies International Relations in the Government Department at our Colchester campus.  Inna speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Russian!

You can ask Inna about sports clubs at Essex, societies at Essex, studying in the Netherlands, study spaces on campus, International Relations, volunteering, living on campus, anything about Colchester campus and town, and travelling in Essex.

Lucy-Ella Snyper - studied abroad in South Korea


Lucy-Ella studied abroad at Pusan National University in Busan, South Korea.  Lucy-Ella studies Computer Science and Electric Engineering at our Colchester campus.  Lucy-Ella speaks English and some Korean.

You can ask Lucy-Ella about  events on campus or remote events and what it is like to study in Korea.

Marina Gjoni - studied abroad in Austria


Maria studied abroad at University of Vienna (Uni Wien) in Austria.  Maria studies Law with Business at our Colchester campus. Maria speaks English and is also fluent in Albanian.

You can ask Maria about Law related societies such as Bar Society and Barbri, what it is like to live and study in Vienna, sports clubs, the university gym, best places to study, cute places to dine out and the most instagramable places around campus!

Maria Makanjuola - studied abroad in USA


Maria studied abroad at Southern New Hampshire University, located in New Hampshire, USA.  Maria studies in the Law department at our Colchester campus and speaks English.

You can ask Maria about the Nigerian society, Christianity & faith, studying in America, and studying law at Essex.

Nicole Smith - studied abroad in USA


Nicole studied abroad at Fayetteville, Arkansas, in USA.  Nicole is part of the Interdisciplinary Studies Centre in the School of Philosophy and Art History.  Nicole speaks English and can also understand Korean.

You can ask Nicole about religious societies at Essex (Nicole served on the committee for the Christian Union for a year), studying in the USA, and setting up a society.

Praveena Ketheeswaran - studied abroad in Canada


Praveena studied abroad at The University of Western Ontario in Canada.  Praveena studies in the Economics department at our Colchester campus and speaks English and Tamil.

You can ask Praveena about studying in Canada, studying Economics, societies at Essex and volunteering with the V Team.

Rohan Lakhani - studied abroad in Italy


Rohan studied abroad at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.  Rohan studies in the Business School at our Colchester campus and speaks English.

You can ask Rohan about anything related to studying abroad in Italy, getting used to the country and also planning and organising for the year.  Incoming students can ask Rohan about the Essex Business School and sports at Essex.

Steph Horn - British Council Assistantship in Spain


Steph completed a British Council Assistantship in Mazarrón, Murcia - Spain.  Steph studies Modern Languages at our Colchester campus and speaks Spanish and has good levels of French and Italian.

You can ask Steph about how to apply for a British Council Assistantship, universities in Spain and living in Spain. 

Tatenda Nyamande - studied abroad in Australia


Tatenda studied abroad at the University of Southern Queensland in the Toowoomba campus in Queensland, Australia. Tatenda studies in the Literature, Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS) department at our Colchester campus.  Tatenda speaks English and is also learning British Sign Language.

You can ask Tatenda about the LiFTS department at Essex, sports clubs at Essex, societies at Essex, studying in Australia, media departments at Essex and things to do in and around Essex.


Antonio Ferreira - completed a remote internship in China with Absolute Internship


Antonio completed a remote internship in 2021, via Absolute Internship, with a marketing research company based in China.  Antonio studies in the Psychology department at our Colchester campus.

You can ask Antonio about Absolute Internship (he is an ambassador for the programme), what it's like to take part in a remote internship and what it's like to study Psychology at Essex.  Antonio is also a mental health ambassador and takes on many initiatives for mental health.

Essex abroad
Find out more

We run lots of different sessions throughout the year to provide you with essential information about going abroad. From first year and second year briefings to funding chats and country low-downs, we've got it covered.