Meet the Team

Our philosophy

The team at Student Horizons all wholeheartedly believe in the philosophy of learning by doing. Our crew of diversely educated, well traveled individuals can all draw on personal learnings gained from overseas travel experiences.

We aim to positively influence young people by developing their awareness of the wider world and helping them figure out their role within it.

I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand

ConfuciusChinese Teacher and Philosopher (551–479 BC)

Jamie Wansey Jamie Wansey - Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Travel photo: A successful mid-winter summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with my wife, Brooke. An achievement my wife and I will never forget.
Owner / Managing Director

Jamie Wansey

Student Horizons is led by Jamie Wansey, who has extensive experience in international student group travel. Over the last fourteen years, Jamie has proudly organised over 700 successful school sports tours, music tours and educational trips. He has helped inspire over 14,000 individuals across a variety of international destinations. He has also cultivated an unrivalled global network of educational travel partners that are reliable and experienced with a staunch commitment to safety.

Jamie’s enthusiasm for organising international trips for school students stems from the benefits that he himself accrued travelling and living all over the world. Jamie has lived in the UK, South Africa, Tanzania, Australia, USA and New Zealand. He has travelled extensively within Europe, Southern Africa, South East Asia and North America. It is Jamie’s positive travel experiences that have fuelled his passion for promoting overseas educational and sporting travel trips as a critical pillar in a young person’s development.

Father of three young children, Jamie is incredibly proud to own and run Student Horizons, a market leader in experiential travel for young people that aims to challenge students to broaden their horizons and grow their confidence.

“23 years ago, at age 18, I said goodbye to my parents in London and left for Johannesburg, South Africa. Over a year later I returned home with thousands of incredible memories that would last with me forever. My time in Southern Africa coaching sport at a boarding school in Jo’burg, coupled with teaching English to Northern Sotho children in Northern Transvaal, had a profound impact on me as a young person. My experiences undoubtedly broadened my horizons and I gained confidence. Fundamentally, it helped to shape my views and opinions on the world we live in. In later years, I have returned to Southern Africa many times, leading student and teacher trips. Southern Africa is an awe-inspiring part of the world and a personal favourite of mine!”

Brooke Wansey Brooke Wansey - Cinque Terre, Italy
Travel photo: Brooke on one of her many European trips when living and working in London. Cinque Terre, Italy — a beautiful place.
Owner / Director

Brooke Wansey

Originally from the Northern beaches of Sydney, Brooke moved to New Zealand in 2008 with her husband, Jamie. After spending seven amazing years in Auckland, they relocated their family to Brisbane in 2015 to set up the Student Horizons Brisbane office.

After completing her tertiary education with diplomas in Business and Design, Brooke has worked in design agencies around the world including Sydney, London and Auckland, before setting up her own design business in New Zealand.

A passion for travel was evident from a young age, with family trips across the ditch to New Zealand to visit relatives. Brooke’s eyes were well and truly opened to the world outside of what she knew when she embarked on a high school Concert Band Tour of the USA, visiting LA, San Francisco and Chicago. With her saxophone in hand, Brooke had well and truly got the travel bug!

An ‘OE’ to the UK enabled Brooke to fuel her passion for travel with extensive travel into Europe, then subsequently to North America, East Africa and the Pacific Islands. Brooke does admit that travelling nowadays with two young children under the age of three is not quite the same!

“Having experienced an overseas school trip to the USA, and knowing how it gave me confidence, both musically and personally as a teenager, I am thrilled to be helping and inspiring today’s young people to achieve the same. Whether it be for music, sport or any other subject, travelling and experiential learning is such a great way to grow as a person and achieve a well-rounded view of the world we live in.”

Andrew Graham Andrew Graham - Beach in Scotland
Travel photo: Andrew taking a stroll on a beach in Scotland.
General Manager Finance & Data

Andrew Graham

Since graduating from university with a degree in accounting and finance, Andrew worked for many years in finance for a leading global manufacturer and Fortune 500 company. The exposure to how industry and business succeed inspired Andrew to broaden his expertise and further his career path in operational management.

Shortly after emigrating to New Zealand from the UK with his wife and two children, Andrew was delighted when the opportunity arose to join Student Horizons. Providing opportunities for young people to ‘Challenge, Discover, Achieve’, is one that Andrew finds most rewarding. Having had the chance to travel to many places himself; Kenya, Morocco, Turkey, Australia, France and the United Arab Emirates to name just a few, Andrew is well aware of the benefits and advantages travel brings. Andrew is proud to be part of a world class team delivering first class experiences and unrivalled service.

Andrew has many happy memories of time spent in Scotland visiting some amazing historical sights, beautiful cities, and of course getting out and about enjoying the great Scottish outdoors.

Paula Maxwell Paula climbing Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia
Travel photo: Paula climbing Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.
General Manager Product & Australia National Sales Manager

Paula Maxwell

Born and raised in New Zealand, Paula is now a fully immersed Aussie (except when it comes to the rugby!). Her understanding of the powerful impact of youth travel was sparked from her own experience as an exchange student to New Caledonia from Rotorua Girls High.

The week she spent in New Caledonia was plenty to give her a lifelong travel bug. It has driven not only her subsequent travel adventures, but a 20+ year career working for leading travel companies and hotels across the globe.

Paula is very proud to now call Student Horizons home, and feels privileged to be able to help the next generation experience how life-shaping travel can be.

Paula’s favourite places to explore include New York, London & Vietnam – but there is nothing quite like the South Island of New Zealand.

Steven Caunce Steve Caunce - Rugby World Cup in Japan
Travel photo: Steve at the Rugby World Cup in Japan
General Manager Marketing & New Zealand National Sales Manager

Steven Caunce

18 years ago, British-born Steve made New Zealand his home. He now lives in Auckland with his wife and two daughters, but his loyalties will always be with the Liverpool football team! His favourite place to visit is the far north of New Zealand. He is a keen traveller who is passionate about creating transformational experiences for young people.

Steve’s love for travel was ignited during his time at university. He took a month long adventure across Europe and spent a memorable summer coaching tennis at a summer camp in the US, before embarking on a road trip from New York to Los Angeles, via New Orleans.

After university, Steve and his wife, Ali, quit their corporate jobs and set off on a 10 month journey around the world. On a shoestring budget, they had amazing experiences in many different countries, but personal highlights were Nepal and New Zealand. It was on this trip that Steve fell in love with New Zealand, and all it has to offer.

Following a 17-year career at Fuji Xerox, Steve is now looking to follow his passion and make a positive impact. He is delighted to join Jamie Wansey and the awesome team at Student Horizons, in a role that will allow him to influence the lives of young New Zealanders.

 

Suzanne Whitlock Suzanne Whitlock in Barcelona
Travel photo: Suzy taking in the glorious views of Barcelona.
Head of Sports and Music Tours, New Zealand

Suzanne Whitlock

A born and bred Kiwi, Suzanne has had the privilege of being from a family of travellers and has been lucky enough to have explored New Zealand, as well as many parts of the rest of the world, from a young age. The travel bug has therefore, inevitably, been passed down to her, and she will forever be eager to travel anywhere and everywhere.

After completing her tertiary education with a Degree in Graphic Design, Suzanne realised that her heart wasn’t in it, and decided to pursue a career in the field in which she is truly passionate and therefore is thrilled to be part of the amazing team at Student Horizons.

Having participated in a student volunteer tour herself which took her deep into the Amazon basin of Ecuador, Suzanne can truly see the value of an experience such as this and how it can broaden the minds of young people, in much greater ways than what can be taught in a classroom.

‘I have been lucky enough to have had many travel experiences, ranging from trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal to a six month working holiday spent in the winter wonderland of Whistler, Canada, from spending a summer in South Eastern Europe to completing the Inca Trail and witnessing the awe of Machu Picchu. I truly believe travel is the best education, and am so excited to be in a position where I can help others gain priceless experiences such as these with memories to last a lifetime!’

Kaitlin Samant Kait Samant - Stari Grad in Kotor, Montenegro
Travel photo: Kait enjoying a fortress hike over the Stari Grad in Kotor, Montenegro.
Head of Education Tours, New Zealand

Kaitlin Samant

Kaitlin is a born and raised Floridian who made New Zealand her home in early 2012. Born with an adventurous spirit, she jumped at the chance to volunteer at a youth sport camp in Mexico at the age of 14. That trip launched a lifelong commitment to globetrotting—a passion that has brought her around the world as a foreign exchange student to Japan, a backpacker to Europe, a yoga amateur to India, a hiker to the Pacific, and a volunteer to Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Russia.

Every trip has sparked educational interests for Kaitlin, who returned from France with a love of the language, from Russia with a love of the literature, and from England with a love of the art (she went on to study all three at university!). She believes strongly in the benefits of experiential learning and above all, that travel is the best teacher.

With a newly minted Master’s degree in Art History and an ongoing, insatiable interest in travel, Kaitlin is eager to contribute her Yankee enthusiasm to the dynamic global energy of Student Horizons.

Jared Daunt Jared Daunt at Giant Causeway in Northern Ireland
Travel photo: Jared discovering the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Head of Sports Tours, Australia

Jared Daunt

Jared was born in a small town in England while his father was playing Rugby League, however he only lived there for 3 weeks before moving to Brisbane, where he has lived ever since. Jared grew up playing many different sports and sport became his biggest passion.

This was then shown through Jared’s first major job: working for AFL Queensland as a Program Leader, aiming to promote AFL in Queensland and involve more kids in a healthy and active lifestyle. Jared absolutely loves Rugby League and is a huge supporter of the Roosters.

Jared graduated high school from the prestigious Nudgee College in Brisbane, where he very highly valued his education, mates, and sporting teams. He then went on to the University of Queensland to commence a Bachelor of Health, Exercise and Physical Education. After university, Jared travelled around Europe, and this is where his first love for travel began.

Whilst in high school, Jared was lucky enough to travel to England to take part in a cricket tour which saw him play against many of the top cricketing schools in England.

Andrew Johnstone Andrew Johnstone relaxing on the Gion Tatsumi bridge in Kyoto.
Travel photo: Andrew relaxing on the Gion Tatsumi bridge in Kyoto.
Technology and Innovation Manager

Andrew Johnstone

Passionate about travel, sport and music, it is safe to say Andrew fits right into the team at Student Horizons.

Andrew was born and raised in Queensland, attending school at St Laurence’s in Brisbane. Andrews has always had a passion for music, with fond memories of playing the oboe, flute, and bass guitar with the school orchestra and concert band.

After majoring in software engineering and drama at The University of Queensland, Andrew set off on his travels to the USA working at a summer camp and independently travelling around the States. He then spent six years in the UK working in IT and DJing on the side! Trips back to the USA from London were frequent, as Andrew attended Gala Choruses in Denver, represented Australia in a global choir, and also played rugby in the Bingham Cup. Of course, Andrew also made the most of living so close to mainland Europe, with plenty of experiences in countries such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal.

Returning home to Brisbane, Andrew spent 8 years in the Queensland Police in a senior role within their IT department. Andrew’s extensive experience in IT and web development is indeed an asset to Student Horizons, as the business strives to continually innovate and lead from the front.

“School tours are some of the best memories I have. Student Horizons delivers experiences that open up the minds of young people and it is great to be a part of that.”

Blair Whitlock Blair Whitlock in New Zealand
Travel photo: Blair doing a bungy jump in Queenstown.
Product Manager

Blair Whitlock

Kiwi through and through, Blair was lucky to be born into a family of keen travellers. Being able to go on overseas trips with his family opened Blair’s eyes to the wonder of international travel from an early age.

Blair is a sports nut, playing just about every sport available growing up. His passion lies on the football field, where he still plays competitively today. He is a die-hard Arsenal fan!

Blair graduated from Westlake Boys’ High School in Auckland. Representing the football 1st XI for three years, he saw the vast opportunities that can arise through competitive team sport. He then went on to study a Bachelor of Business Studies, before taking up a fantastic opportunity at Student Horizons.

Blair used his university holidays to travel to exciting destinations such as India, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Nepal and many more!

The opportunity at Student Horizons was a perfect fit as it encompasses Blair’s two biggest passions: sport and travel.

Stephanie Schwarze Stephanie Schwarze in New York
Travel photo: Steph in front of New York's Skyline.
Marketing Coordinator

Stephanie Schwarze

Stephanie was born and raised in a small town close to Berlin, Germany. Her passion for traveling started at a young age, with her parents being keen travellers and taking Stephanie and her brother on trips around Europe and Africa to places such as Greece, Spain, Turkey and Tunisia.

After completing her secondary schooling in 2009, Stephanie decided to do a Gap Year in Australia with some friends.

“My Gap Year in Australia definitely broadened my horizons, I was able to gain my first work experiences, and it provided me opportunities for adventure as well as challenges. I certainly can say that my Gap Year helped me to gain confidence.”

Seven years on, Stephanie finished her Master of Marketing at Griffith University in July 2016. During her university years and after her graduation, she travelled the world experiencing the vibrant city of Tokyo, the beauty of Bali and Vanuatu, the vast Australian outback, the architecture in Europe and the pyramids in Egypt.

Stephanie’s passion for travel, music, and marketing brought her to Student Horizons. She is very excited to be part of the prestigious ASPIRE International Youth Music Festival.

“I love creating extraordinary and wonderful experiences for the students and everyone else at the ASPIRE International Youth Music Festival. It is a great opportunity for the young musicians to share their passion for music with like-minded people from around the world, and to learn from globally renowned adjudicators.”

Jane Teitge Jane Teitge Windsor Castle, UK
Travel photo: Jane in front of Windsor Castle, UK.
Senior Programme Tour Coordinator

Jane Teitge

Born in Estonia to Russian parents, Jane developed a keen interest in different cultures from a very young age. Straight after school she left home for the UK, eager to try her luck in a different country. She graduated from one of the top UK universities few years later. Being fascinated by the constantly changing world we live in, she went on to do her degree in International Relations.

Throughout her university years and after graduating, Jane explored the world, travelling around India, South Africa, USA, Spain, France and Switzerland, to name few countries. Five years ago, one of these trips brought her to New Zealand and it took her two weeks to realise this was where she wanted to settle.

Since graduating, Jane explored a number of different professional fields, including human rights, sales and marketing, hospitality, and education. In the last few years, she worked in a number of language and business schools for international students in New Zealand, and travelled back to the UK to work at a Summer School, organising University Campus trips for high schools students around the world.

Her immense passion for travel and education brought her to Student Horizons.

“Travelling abroad not only teaches young people about the world, it also teaches them about themselves. They discover a sense of independence, and realise that there are no limitations and that they can overcome any challenge. I am thrilled to be a part of organization committed to helping facilitate this personal growth by providing young people with the opportunities of a lifetime.”

Taylor Ritchie Taylor Ritchie exploring Athens
Travel photo: Taylor exploring Athens.
Programme Tour Coordinator

Taylor Ritchie

Born and raised in the sunshine state of Queensland, Taylor moved to Brisbane to attend Boarding school whilst also having the opportunity to travel to Papua New Guinea for school holidays where her parents were based. During her schooling years she spent most of her time playing various sports such as Touch Football, Netball, Volleyball and Athletics. Taylor has also had a passion for travel from a young age, which encouraged her to go to TAFE to obtain a Certificate in Tourism and Events.

After graduating high school Taylor went to the United Kingdom as part of the Student Horizons Gap Year Scholarship and worked within the school’s sport department. There she was helping coach various sports such as Netball, Cricket, Football, Athletics, Rounders and Hockey. She also got the opportunity to play Rugby and underwater hockey for herself.

During the school holidays Taylor got the chance to travel to many European countries ticking off 24. The Swiss Alps, Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece and Poland were just a few of her top picks during her two years in England.

Taylor believes traveling at a young age broadened her horizons to be able to experience and understand new cultures as well as take on the many opportunities to immerse herself in the many activities and experiences.

Emma Slater Emma Slater in Iceland
Travel photo: Taking in the spectacular Icelandic scenery.
Programme Tour Coordinator

Emma Slater

Emma is a Queenslander through and through and calls Brisbane home.

Her love of travelling started at a young age after a three month adventure around the world with her Mum when she was just 10! The experience was life changing in all of the right ways and Emma credits this experience as the most educational and influential of her life.

She has travelled to numerous destinations and has set herself the goal of travelling to every continent in the world and with only two left she is well on her way! Her travels have taken her around Australia and to Asia, Africa, North America and Europe with her favourite destinations including Thailand, Egypt, Paris, the UK and Iceland. Emma is always looking forward to her next adventure and cannot wait to explore more of the world.

Her love of travel and organisation led her to earning her Bachelor or Business with a double major in Events Management and International Tourism and Hotel Management from Griffith University. After graduation Emma went on to work for a professional conference organiser for a number of years before finding her way to the Student Horizons team and looks forward to providing educational travel experiences to others.

Alana Hislop Alana Hislop in Iceland
Travel photo: Alana doing a Glacier Hike in Iceland.
Programme Tour Coordinator

Alana Hislop

Student Horizons felt like a match made in heaven for Alana as the Travel Sports Coordinator role combines her 2 passions – sport and travel.

Alana is a true kiwi, born and raised in Auckland. Alana completed a Bachelor of Health Science, majoring in Health Promotion at Auckland’s University of Technology.

Just recently Alana has returned to New Zealand after living in the UK for 2 years. Alana based herself in Edinburgh and absolutely loved it. Alana’s best way to describe Edinburgh is as `a real life Harry Potter’. Alana was fascinated by the history in Scotland.

While living in the UK, Alana managed to tick off 17 different countries during her time. This OE truly reinforced her passion for travel and exploring new places. Croatia and Iceland were her top 2 picks from the countries visited.

Alana is also a very keen sportswomen and enjoys being involved in any team related sport. Football is where she is most comfortable, playing competitive football for over 10 years.

“I have been fortunate to be a participant in both national and international football tournaments which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I strongly believe a sports tournament can provide so much more than a sports game. I also believe travel is a great form of education and learning about yourself. This job excites me to share my passion and encourage others to get among Student Horizon tours for priceless experiences and memories.”

Theo Betteridge Theo Betteridge in Peru
Travel photo: Theo at Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain in Peru.
Programme Tour Coordinator

Theo Betteridge

Born and raised in New Plymouth, New Zealand, Theo grew up playing any sport he could get involved with – whether on a team or in the backyard with his brothers. Rugby, cricket and darts remain his biggest passions.

Theo attended New Plymouth Boys’ High School, where he was fortunate enough to complete a Student Horizons rugby tour to California. This opportunity sparked his love for travel and remains one of his fondest memories. He is excited to provide the same experience for other young people.

Theo studied towards a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Public Policy at Victoria University of Wellington. During this time, he spent a year on exchange in Medellín, Colombia. He travelled extensively in Colombia, through Peru, Brazil and Central America. He developed a great love for this area of the world and he values pushing boundaries and experiencing the different cultures and people around the world.

After completing his degree, Theo left windy Wellington to join the Student Horizons team in Brisbane.