at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.

site header

Student Services Team

Claire Anderson

The Student Services Manager takes lead responsibility for the quality of the student experience here at the BISC. She is also responsible for student health and safety issues, overseeing the various Students Services functions: Advice, Wellbeing, Programming, Orientation, Arrivals/Departures, Disabilities, Counselling, Non-Academic Discipline and the overall management of the Student Services department and team. It is the role of the Student Services Manager to enhance student experience in the area of student services and ensure the highest standards of performance and delivery to all students; working with key staff across the institution to ensure excellent standards of service.

Claire has been at the Castle since the Fall term 2011. Since being at the Castle, she has completed her PhD (International Relations, University of St Andrews) and has relished the exciting role of developing the community at the BISC. Claire comes from a varied background, working with young offenders as a teaching assistant at residential schools, as an outdoor education leader for adults with learning difficulties, and teaching in departments of Philosophy, History and International Relations at the University of St Andrews as well as several years’ experience working in various departments of Student Services. As such she is well equipped to deal with the many challenges that working with a diverse group of students at a leading International Study Centre presents.

Claire describes herself as (a very) wee Scottish wifey and claims to hate the sound of her own voice, although we have evidence to the contrary…

Rachel Smith

Rachel has worked at the Bader International Study Centre since December 2009, and has a BA (Hons) Psychology and American Studies and an MSc in Applied Psychology from the University of Liverpool. During her undergraduate degree Rachel studied abroad in Pennsylvania, USA where she gained an understanding of life in North America and the potential problems that international students may face while attending university overseas. Rachel has travelled extensively and has worked in both Australia and New Zealand. She has over eight years' experience working in further and higher education establishments in the UK, assisting students of varying backgrounds and ages. Her passion lies in working with international students, however, where she feels she has an intrinsic affinity. Rachel believes that every student should have a fulfilling, enjoyable and enriching experience on a cultural, personal and academic basis, similar to that which she experienced while studying abroad. Outside of work Rachel has a keen interest in photography, is fanatical about travel, and loves finding out about new places that should be on her wish-list. Whilst overseas, Rachel certified as an Open Water diver in the Great Barrier Reef, has swum with whales, and skydived over the Lord of the Rings backdrop!

Favourite Castle Memory:

I will never forget my first day of work at the Castle. It was the Fall End of Term Ceremony and it was the first time I got to meet all of the students. I was absolutely awe-inspired by the musical performances that the students showcased. It wasn't just the musical talent, but also the sense of friendship, community and respect for one another that made me realize what a special place the Castle is.

Favourite Travel Destination:

I have traveled a lot, so this is always a hard question! I love the Pacific Islands of Samoa and Tonga because they are still relatively untouched by tourism. The locals are always happy to meet new people and to welcome you to their lives. Visiting this part of the world definitely gave me the best experience of being truly out of a westernized world. However... if I was to recommend somewhere in the UK that I think a student should visit, I would definitely say the Lake District in the North West of England. In my opinion, it is the most beautiful part of the country, and offers inspirational scenery, tradition and adventure!

Cheryl Hutton

Cheryl is one of the two Assistant Student Services Managers at the Castle and has been here for just over a year.

Cheryl has completed both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Law and is the proud owner LLB (undergraduate law) and LLM (Masters of Law) degrees.  For the last six years as well as studying Cheryl also worked in a number of roles within Student Services and student support at University.

She has many passions, one of which being education. Isaac Asimov once wrote that “people think of education as something they can finish” and that really strikes a chord with Cheryl. While regularly we see students graduating and moving on, learning is something that never ceases for any one, of any age and ensuring that there is a welcoming, safe community for people to learn through many different media and grow is something Cheryl loves being a part of.

Cheryl was born in Scotland but lived on the Wirral, near Liverpool most of her life before going to University in Preston. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with friends, exploring new places, meeting new people, going to gigs, reading, swimming and running.

Favourite Castle Memory

It is so difficult to choose my favourite memory of the Castle, I’ve only been here a short time but have so many already. Every term and every bunch of students is completely unique and I have lots of great memories with different students, I always love everyone’s individuality, determination and enthusiasm. I have two favourite parts of the term (although the in between is also without a doubt, great!) but the first is arrivals. When you pull in to the grounds and the students see the Castle for the very first time is an amazing thing to be a part of and witness.  My second is the End of Term celebrations – it’s always lots of fun to round off a great term with lovely food, fantastic music, wonderful memories and the BEST company.

Favourite Travel Destination

There are a lot of places in the UK that are wonderful to visit and would be among my favourite travel destinations; I could reel off a long list and would always encourage people to explore what the UK has to offer. Personally, every time I travel somewhere new abroad I feel as if I say that’s my new Favourite Travel Destination. I love traveling and getting a feel for the culture and lifestyle of different places, whether it be a short city break, backpacking or a more extended stay. In April this past year I traveled to Croatia (and saw Beyonce in concert at the same time) and I can safely say that Croatia definitely moves to a strong top in my favourite travel destinations. We were lucky to stay in the capital city, Zagreb and then rent a car and drive across the whole country to Dubrovnik, so we saw a lot of it. Before going I read somewhere that “it is difficult to describe Croatia in a nutshell” and the best way to describe it is “such a big nut in such a little shell” which could not be more true – I really am in love with the country of mountains, forests, islands and sea and want to go back very soon!

Apply to be a Student Life Coordinator!

The deadline is May 1st, 2014. For a detailed job description please read the SLC 2014 Job DescriptionIf you are interested in being an SLC please fill out the SLC 2014 Application Form and send it to:

Dr Claire Anderson
Student Services Manager 
Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex, UK
BN27 1RN
Phone: 01323 834486 (to dial from Canada: 011 44 1323 834486)
Fax: 01323 834499 (to dial from Canada: 011 44 1323 834499)