Welcome to AIIU, your gateway to transformative educational experiences!

With a head office in Brisbane, our dedicated team of AIIU staff is committed to providing study tours for international students seeking enriching and immersive learning adventures.

Our team is a group of passionate professionals, each bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise to ensure your study tour is not only educational but also an unforgettable journey. The team at AIIU embodies the spirit of cultural exchange and academic exploration.

Join us on a study tour that goes beyond academics, fostering cultural understanding, building friendships, and creating memories that last a lifetime. Explore the world with AIIU – where education knows no borders!

To start your journey, find out more, or just ask a question, please:

Contact us

Ken Okamoto

General Manager

Ken’s love of international education has been lifelong. After graduating from the University of Sydney with a TESOL degree, he taught at a local high school and other schools for 10 years.

In 2001, he moved to the study abroad industry and after 15 successful and enjoyable years he was appointed as General Manager of AIIU in 2015.

Ken believes that using a new language every day is key to success and that study tours and term programs give students a taste of what they can achieve.

Lesley Spencer


Lesley has worked for AIIU since 2000 and been a director since 2006. She has been heavily involved in the evolution of the company over these years and committed to fulfilling the company’s mission of growing global citizens.

She firmly believes that building friendships on a personal level result in much deeper understanding of other cultures and desire to see and understand more about the world.

Melissa Di Pasquale

National Program Manager

Melissa’s passion for Japanese culture and Martial Arts sent her on the journey of a lifetime where she lived and worked in Japan for approximately 10 years teaching, translating, and working in the corporate sector.

Melissa applied her interest in Japan by studying a Bachelor of International Studies Majoring in International relations and Asian Language and Culture (Japanese).

On her return to Australia Melissa worked at Deakin University and then the private corporate sector before starting her career at AIIU.

Melissa’s real passion lies in working with and providing programs for students from all over the world and giving Aussie kids and families those same opportunities through our outbound programs.

Yoshimi Fraser

Regional Manager for New South Wales and Client Liaison Officer

Born in Nara, Japan, and attending school In the USA, Yoshimi taught English conversation in Japan including running her own English school in Kyoto. She now lives in Sydney with her husband and two children and brings more than 10 years of experience teaching both English conversation and Japanese in Sydney to her current role.

Yoshimi’s own experiences as a young student in America have fuelled her lifelong passion to support students from around the world in positive experiences of English, people, culture, environment and language.

Starting in AIIU staff as a Group Coordinator with AIIU, Yoshimi is now the Regional Manager for NSW and the organisation’s Client Liaison Officer.

Kylie Cleary

National Administation Manager and Acting Regional Manager for Queensland

Kylie has been an AIIU Staff member since 2011 in various accounts and data entry roles. Kylie is now the National Administration Manager and Acting Regional Manager for Queensland. Kylie is an amazing mentor and support to the other staff in the organisation.

Kylie has hosted students many times and loves being a part of the memories and friendships made during the hosting experience. She has stayed connected with many of her previous students and has watched them grow up into global citizens, enjoying travel, different cultures and language.

Working in student exchange is really rewarding to Kylie, and she truly enjoys making lifelong friendships and memories across the world.

Kate Bamford

Regional Manager for Victoria

Kate has a High School Teacher background specialising in Japanese and Humanities. Kate is passionate about Student Exchange Programs, having participated in her own long-term exchange in Japan – a program that changed her life and created a love for travel and languages.

Since then, Kate went on to gain her Masters in Asian Studies and has worked with various high schools as a school-based Exchange Programs Coordinator. Kate has now taken on the AIIU staff role of Regional Manager for Victoria and is excited to work for AIIU.

Kate lives in Melbourne, Victoria, with her husband and twin boys and hopes that one day her own children will also be able to experience being an Exchange Student.

Linda Abu Lashin

Regional Manager for Western Australia

After 11 years of working as an ESL teacher In Japan and travelling the world, Linda has also gained experience teaching Japanese in a Primary School, and in Local Government as a Cultural Engagement Officer.

AIIU Staff member Linda has also worked for a few Japanese tour companies, including AIIU, worked in marketing for community theatre and hosted students from all over the world.

Working with AIIU has been a dream come true for Linda as she is able to combine her passion for Japan, love for travel and devotion to creating memories for young people. Linda is extremely grateful to work with such an amazing team and super excited about the future of AIIU.

There is a special place in my heart for my Japanese friends, and I’ll always keep coming back to them. Thank you for the best year of my life!


An experience I will never forget. I enhanced my Japanese skills and made connections with friends that feel like family now. AIIU was a great exchange program!


Respect for other people came through strongly in our student’s actions. We saw her becoming more confident and willing to engage in conversations.

Host Mother

I could go on for years about all of the things that I have been blessed with experiencing. My host families have been extraordinary and I really felt at home there!


I cried for the first time in forever. Although I also ended up smiling. I can’t be sad that it’s over, as I’m so happy it happened. Thank you everyone who helped my exchange happen!


My ten month exchange in Japan was an experience I will never forget. AIIU give students like me a once in a lifetime opportunity which I am truly grateful for.


Living in Japan improved my Japanese, so after returning to Australia I was able to to go straight into the advanced stream of Japanese at university.

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