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Meet the Team

Cara Simon – Director of Institutional Relations and Student Services
Email: cara@learninternational.ie

424395_10151691249061068_325572915_nCara is originally from upstate New York, where there are lots of trees and no sky-scrapers. She earned a BA from SUNY Geneseo and then pursued her MSW from Stony Brook University, followed by a stint in the South Pacific. After working as a Wilderness Therapist and Clinical Social Worker, she decided to switch careers into International Education. Cara completed a MA in Higher Education Administration, with concentrations in International Education, Student Services, and Disability Student Development from the University of Arizona. Cara‘s background within IE encompasses working with inbound and outbound programs for study abroad, exchange and ESL at various US institutions.

Cara partnered with Learn International in 2014 as Director of Institutional Relations and Student Services and loves her work. She is currently working on her Professional Certification in International Education from Forum on Education Abroad; an enriching experience, despite training herself to do homework again!

She adores the field of IE and the impact it has on student growth, success and development; there is not a day she regrets changing her career path to pursue her passion.
Cara lives for travel and exploring new places, cultures, people, which has guided her to live and work in Australia, Honduras and Costa Rica prior to the Republic of Ireland. She loves anything outdoors, a good book, and that she can access Netflix from almost anywhere in the world.


Chris Lawlor – Director of Institutional Relations and Program Development
Email: Chris@learninternational.ie



Chris embraces education in all its forms. He is either building international education programs for Learn International’s partners or enrolling in post grad programs to ‘keep the brain healthy and alive!’. After completing his undergrad with a double major in Archaeology and Geography, he completed a M.Sc. in Sustainable Development which included a multi-country European study abroad trip. From that point on, the wanderlust was instilled in Chris and he went on to live and work in international education in New Zealand, Australia, France, USA before returning to Ireland to work with Dublin City University. He undertook a second M.Sc. in Business & Entrepreneurship before starting Learn International in 2013.

Despite the considerable amount of work travel that he does, Chris remains an avid adventurer and jumps at any chance to visit and explore new countries and destinations. He is currently working towards his third Marathon and failing miserably at mastering kite-boarding.


Katie Kelly – Education Abroad Coordinator
Email: Katie@learninternational.ie

katiepic4katiepic2Katie graduated with her BA (honours) from Maynooth University in Ireland in Music (concentration on Performance) and Anthropology. During her undergrad she worked as a Student Ambassador and was actively involved with the International Office on campus. Katie was a Coordinator for the Maynooth International Summer (MUISS) where she became passionate about International Education. She was introduced to the Learn International while they were managing the MUISS, and soon after became member of the Learn International team.

As an Education Abroad Coordinator with Learn International, she is involved with many aspects of program development, planning and coordinating faculty-led programs as well as student advising and marketing.  Katie loves interacting with students, helping them learn about new cultures and ​observing their cultural awareness ​grow throughout their study abroad experience. Katie never had the opportunity to to study abroad herself, so she finds great satisfaction to helping others have a study abroad experience. In her free time, Katie is also an avid musician, playing regularly in local musical events; she loves to go to music festivals, and travels whenever she has the chance.


Rossella Pisconti – Internship Abroad Coordinator
Email: Rossella@learninternational.ie

fullsizerender3Prior to her appointment with LI, in September 2014, Rossella took up a position as Student Services and Internships Co-ordinator in London for ISA – one the largest student services provider worldwide.   Before that she was working as Resident Mentor and Student Coordinator for International Students at the University of Exeter (INTO), UK.

She worked also as  a part-time Customer Assistant for transport disabled passengers and  Language Tutor at the Polyglot Association in Falmouth (UK).

She is a graduate in Political Science and worked as Visiting Scholar at the University of Cardiff and Exeter (UK).  Prior to that she was awarded a MA in European Politics from University of Bari (Italy) in 2006 and a MA in Communication and Ethics from the University ‘La Sapienza’ Rome ( Italy) in 2008.

Rossella’s interests include social communication, philosophy of language, politics and working with homelessness charities. She has a deep passion for travelling and helping endangered animals, particularly sea turtles. In her free time, she loves going to local music shows and art galleries.  She has studied and worked in Italy, England, Wales, and Republic of Ireland.


Bernadette Silva, Marketing Coordinator
Email: Marketing@learninternational.ie


Bernadette assists with graphics and visual communication materials for Learn International. She is the marketing guru. She has a Bachelor of Individualized Studies with specializations in English, History, Digital Filmmaking and Animation/Visual Effects from New Mexico State University.

She has also studied at Maynooth University in Ireland and the University of Kent in England and served as a Congressional Page at the U.S. House of Representatives with the 111th Congress. Bernadette also works with Lipstick Angels, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing comfort and dignity to hospital patients.


Deirdre O’Keeffe, Accounts Coordinator
Email: Accounts@learninternational.ie



Deirdre is native to Ireland but has lived and worked abroad in the United Kingdom. She joined Learn International in 2014 and loves to stay busy. She adores working in international education sector, as it’s so different from her previous accounting roles. The exposure she has had to people from around the world, not to mention all the currency conversions, there is never a dull moment.

She loves numbers…or maybe that’s a lie…more like numbers love her. When she has free time, and is not chasing her 3 kiddos around, interior design is a secret passion of hers and admiring a good piece of art. She also dislikes her photo taken, so ‘cartoon Deirdre’ is all we get!



Operations Coordinator, Senior – Mark Mullally (bios coming soon)
Education Abroad Coordinator – Emmalyne Smith (bios coming soon)