Meet the Team

alex ramsay colour

We started The Learning Adventure with a shared belief that some of the most rewarding experiences happen when travel and education meet. We have grown a lot since our launch in 2011 and continue to do so, taking dozens of schools and universities on educational tours and faculty-led programs every year. Both of us feel incredibly lucky to have found a team of like-minded former teachers and avid travellers, all passionate about providing life-changing academic travel programs.

UK Educational Tours Sales Manager

Amy Hamilton

Amy spent almost 4 years travelling and working across Asia, mainly spending her time in South Korea, Vietnam and China. Now in the London office, she is passionate about inspiring young people to see the world and to travel with an open mind. When she’s not exploring new destinations she loves to exercise and go hiking.

China & SEA Senior Operations Manager

Lesley Chen

Lesley was born in Guangdong province but has since lived in Tianjin, Beijing and Shanghai. Though she comes from a finance background she is now wholly devoted to tourism. She is always excited to show the real China to our learners and facilitate a great trip. She is a China school trips expert beyond par and believes that a school trip always changes students’ lives.

Japan Senior Operations Manager

Hana Jin

Hana loves travelling and taking photographs along the way. She studied in England for 1 year, which opened her mind to the world; she then spent 4 years living in Tokyo and was amazed that a country could be so close to China yet so different. Living by a work hard, play hard philosophy she makes the most out of living in Shanghai.

Educational Specialist Manager

Elisha Tran

During her undergraduate studies at Boston University, Elisha spent a transformative semester attending Technische Universität Dresden in Germany. She went on to teach students from ages 3 to 60 during her years in South Korea and later, at the German International School in Boston, Massachusetts. As of today, she has been to over 20 countries and believes that students who travel abroad come back with more compassion, resilience and valuable problem-solving skills. Elisha will work closely with you to create your ideal educational program.

UK School Trips Officer

Maria Antonia Panico

Maria is originally from Naples but has been living in London for the last 5 years. As much of a lover of travel as she is animals, she is the proud owner of 3 dogs. In her spare time she enjoys a trip to the theatre or getting stuck in to a good book!

China Operations Manager

Cherry Shi

Hailing from the mountainous Hubei region, Cherry has made friends all over China while travelling, studying and working in different places. She enjoys spending time with children and young people because of their laughter and fresh outlooks on everything. When she’s not organizing learning programs for thousands of students, she loves to travel!

China Program Manager

Karla Martinez

Karla was born in Veracruz, Mexico and moved to Shanghai from Mexico City. Travelling extensively growing up, she learned to respect all peoples and places. Now she works to make sure all our programs show students how to find beauty and meaning everywhere they travel. In her free time, she likes travelling, dancing, yoga, museums, and very complicated puzzles!

China Operations Manager

Lina C

A northerner of China, Lina was born in Hebei then studied in Liaoning. She gets along with almost anyone, loves to cook, and is always ready to try something new. She believes that books enrich the mind and that travel broadens horizons, two things that she always tries to integrate into our learning adventures.

China Client Officer

Kate Liu

A native speaker of both Mandarin and Cantonese, Kate has a degree in teaching and business. Kate is a dynamo in making sure our teachers feel prepared, ready and excited to travel in China with their students. Kate is a fan of hip hop and outside of work, likes to dance, sing and be happy!

China Senior Operation Officer

Gaby Gu

Gaby was born in Chengde, Hebei. She likes travelling, dancing and listening to music. She lives by the motto of “no pain, no gain” so you’ll certainly never see her back out of a challenging project! She loves operating trips for our learners because she learns something every day of the week.

Marketing Manager

Ian Fillingham

After Ian finished studying at Nottingham University, he jetted off to China to teach English in Wuxi. After a year of working, exploring, and eating too much tasty Chinese food he returned home and started working at The Learning Adventure. Ian’s a fan of music, films and – no surprises – tasty Chinese food.

Finance Manager

Henry Liu

Henry was born in Jiangxi province and is China’s no.1 Manchester United fan. He joined The Dragon Trip team after completing a degree in Finance. He enjoys travel and reading, as well as numbers! While most might think that numbers are boring, he thinks the exact opposite. He lives by the motto “Well begun is half done.”

Senior Finance Officer

Emily Wang

Emily majored in investment before joining our TLA family. She loves travelling because it is relaxing and offers a precious opportunity to experience cultures different to her own. A precocious writer, she always keeps a journal of travels along the way and her online works have clocked over a hundred-thousand downloads.

Japan Operations Officer

Dawa Yangzong

A native of Tibet, Dawa chose to study Japanese in university and is now fluent in the language. Though she might seem shy on the surface, underneath is a very keen wit. She tries to live by her core values of integrity and kindness every day and also while she organizes our learning programs in Japan.

Japan Sales Officer

Poppy Cosyns

Poppy is a born and bred Londoner but her heart belongs in Tokyo. She recently graduated from SOAS with a Master’s degree in Japanese Studies and hopes that she can share her love for Japan through her work at The Dragon Trip. Her other passions include cooking and her cat Luna.

Japan Operations Officer

Christy Che

Another member of our Japan team, Christy loves Japan because for their delicious food, kind people, and her favorite celebrity Ohno Satoshi! When operating our programs there she makes sure that our learners all come away with a love for Japan as well. Christy comes from Harbin but most recently studied economics in Rome, Italy.

Europe, Middle East & Oceania Educational Tours Officer

Nathalie van Dun

Nathalie loved travelling from a young age. Growing up in the Netherlands, she regularly  used to pop over the border to visit Germany, Belgium and many other countries in Europe. Now she’s ticking off countries a little further away. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading and exploring London.

Marketing Executive

Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa travelled all over Japan during her childhood before settling in Surrey, UK. Having grown up with two contrasting cultures, she thinks experiencing a fusion of customs and values fosters open-mindedness. On the weekend, you can find Alisa reading literary theory, on very long train journeys to see friends across the country, eating Asian food or all of the above.

Asia Educational Tours Sales Manager

Kate Hill

Kate has spent over 5 years working and travelling across Asia.  Having spent years working in sustainable tourism and education, Kate believes change starts with awareness, and she is committed to helping younger generations become aware of the world. Outside of the office, Kate spends her time running in ultramarathon trail races or discovering China’s secret gems with her two dogs.

Sales & Marketing Assistant

Erin Ruan

Erin Ruan joins our sales & marketing staff with experience at both start-ups and multinationals. She loves working in an international environment and cooperating with people from different cultures and has even done some internships overseas. Erin possesses a great passion for travelling and enjoys everything about the Learning Adventure so far!

China Operations Officer

Sheldon Deng

Sheldon is from the area of China most known for its spicy food – Chongqing. True to her roots – Sheldon loves to eat spicy! Sheldon believes that China is great to explore to its great size, and the variety of terrains, peoples, and cultures within. Her passion in life is travel, and that’s what she studied in university before joining us.

Educational Programme Developer

Geoff Mino

Geoff first came to China to teach writing and performance after finishing his master’s in France and a stint of goat farming in Texas. He joined the TLA Shanghai office after four years of teaching and curriculum development for a very wide range of student levels and interests. He is interested in supporting mixed ability, interdisciplinary learning on our programmes and sees location as a way to provoke insight in students.

Speak to our team

NAFSA educational tours


The Learning Adventure
133 Whitechapel High Street London, E1 7QA

+44 (0)20 3817 5974



The Learning Adventure 51 Melcher St
Boston, MA 02210

+1 (617) 334 7755


The Learning Adventure
Rm. 202, Building 4, 689 Xinhu Rd Baoshan District, Shanghai, PR, China

+86 021 61 50 32 00