About Us

Spanish Institute for Global Education · SIGE

The Spanish Institute for Global Education (SIGE) was founded in 1982. SIGE has more than 30 years of experience, more than 5,000 students have passed through our doors to enroll in Languages and Culture programs. We offer Study Abroad programs for students, teachers and professionals in Seville, Spain. The primary objectives of our programs are to improve participants’ use of the Spanish language, increase academic knowledge and expand views of the world through experiencing a different culture. Our programs ensure personalized attention every step of the process. We strive to make your stay abroad a wonderful, unique, and enriching experience you will remember for the rest of your life.

SIGE is dedicated to our students 100%. We strive to make their stay abroad a wonderful, unique, and enriching experience they will remember for the rest of their lives. Our programs ensure personalized attention every step of the process. Through our program, students also have the opportunity to volunteer or intern with local companies during their stay in Spain.

The mission of SIGE is to collaborate in the development of men and women capable of transforming the world through dialog and open encounters with people of different cultures, beliefs, and ideologies.

  • Open, flexible, and global character
  • Personal attention
  • Interest in the innovation of teaching methodologies
  • Helping students learn the value of peace, collaboration and understanding between cultures
  • Promote innovative spirit
  • Promote international relations
  • Love and respect for diversity
  • Commitment and responsibility

Our Staff · Meet the Outstanding SIGE Staff

María Teresa Alonso Pérez-Tinao

Founder · Educational Counselor

Known by her friends as Macarena, she founded SIGE in 1982. At that time the study abroad programs were offered by the Geranios Language Institute, the name of her Language School.

A few years ago they decided to offer the study abroad courses separately. The professional team is the same, but the program has grown to include more students and researchers from foreign countries.

Macarena has a PhD. in Bilingual Education, Universidad de Sevilla, 2016. She also holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Navarra and has been an Anthropology professor at the University of Seville. She has dedicated 37 years to her profession as a teacher. Her main professional interest is the innovation of teaching methodologies. One of the most important parts of her profession is to train future teachers. Macarena studied in the United States her senior year of High School and maintains strong relationships with schools and universities in the USA.

Catherine Mary Anner

Director

Catherine M. Anner, a graduate from the University of Connecticut, came to Seville as a study abroad student herself and has been living and working here ever since.

Catherine established numerous bilingual programs in Seville and has been teaching English to students of all ages from infants to established business executives. She has also given teacher training workshops throughout Spain and published several articles on Bilingual programs. She was the Co-coordinator of the English Department at the Colegio Internacional Alminar for 17 years.

Catherine has formed a solid and motivated staff and has not only established rapport with the students but is also implementing new programs and bringing a bit of the magic of Sevilla into the lives of the SIGE participants.

María José Gómez Durán

Academic Director

María José Gómez is licensed in English Studies and has been teaching for more than 25 years. She serves as the SIGE Academic  Coordinator. Additionally, she was the Academic Director at Geranios Language Institute for seven years.

She is also the primary contact with the University of Seville, UPO and EUSA and other worldwide universities in Seville that offer academic programs for college students. Furthermore, she works as a counselor and advisor for incoming study abroad students, and she teaches the Grammar and Conversation classes the students take upon Orientation, and in the Spanish Language Seminar that is offered during the semester.

Iris Villalva Blesa

Coordinator

Iris Villalva has a degree in Communications and has been working in Publicity and Public Relations for over 10 years. She is the SIGE Family Coordinator and is responsible for the management and day-to-day life of the students and supervises housing, extracurricular activities, field trips and traveling, health and safety issues and student emergencies. She works in close collaboration with the Academic Director and the Program Director.

Iris demonstrates genuine interest in the student's' well-being and develops and implements fresh ideas for the program.

Javier Romero Sánchez

IT, Communications & Marketing Manager

Javier Romero Sánchez graduated from the Vedruna Professional School with a Degree in International Trade and a Professional Development Program in Financial Trade from the National Distance Education University in Seville. He has been working as a web designer, as a computer technician and as a freelance promoter in several Asian electronic e-commerce companies.

Javier is the Communications Manager at SIGE and works on all aspects of international trade, information technology and social networks. His goal is to open new markets in which SIGE can expand and reach out to new countries.

He also continues his academics studies, focusing primarily on Economics and Trade finance.

As an enthusiast of new technologies and an advocate for languages and cultural exchanges, he is very excited to be a part of SIGE’s team.

Blanca Murube Alonso

Administration Assistant

Blanca has a Degree in Business Administration from the University of Pablo de Olavide. She also has a degree in Hotel Management from the Alabardero Hostelery School and another degree as European Quality Auditor by the AEC and the San Pablo CEU University of Madrid.

Blanca has been working as an European Quality Auditor specialized in the Education sector for two national associations of Schools and High Schools. She was responsible for their administrative and organizational processes.

She has worked for several companies as an Administrative Consultant and as an Secretary of Direction. Blanca has worked as an Environmental Auditor and consultant for different organizations.

She has worked in a hotel in its commercial, administrative and reception areas.

Blanca is the newest member of the team, she is our administrative accountant and quality consultant.

Luis Miguel Plaza Jiménez

Cultural Activities

Luis Miguel Plaza, our Spanish culture expert and excursionist guide, serves as a bridge into the Andalusian culture.

Luis Miguel studied History and Geography and specialized in the study of the History of the Americas.

He currently works with SIGE designing and guiding excursions, organizing cultural events within the city, and as tutor and student mentor.

Ying Ying Xu

Educational Counselor for the Spanish Department

Ying has a degree in Architecture, a Masters in Translation and she is currently enrolled in a doctorate program at the University of Seville where she is working on her Phd.

She has been teaching Chinese for several years at the University of Seville, the University Pablo de Olavide, and at The Chinese Cultural Center. She is SIGE´s Educational Consultant for the Chinese department; the person who in charge of being in touch with various Chinese institutions as well as developing material and working on several translation projects.

Ying is a person committed to the world of Chinese and Spanish, passionate about  education and a great professional at her job.

Mamen Rodríguez Rincón

Administrative Coordinator

Mamen Rodríguez studied Business Science at the University of Seville. She works in various aspects of the program as an Administrative Coordinator. She is in charge of all logistical procedures and makes sure that the SIGE experience runs smoothly. She has worked for Geranios for over four years. Before working at Geranios, she worked as a secretary for management and administration.

Mamen Rodríguez works in various aspects of the program as an Administrative coordinator. She is in charge of all logistical procedures and makes sure that the SIGE experience runs smoothly.

Miguel Becerra Alonso

Sports & Recreation Coordinator

Miguel Becerra Alonso was born in Seville in 1986. Throughout his whole life, he has been a sports enthusiast. After finishing his school baccalaureate program, he moved to Philadelphia, PA to further his studies in English at Montgomery County Community College and then at Coe College in Iowa. When he returned to Spain, he studied at the University of Pablo de Olavide, focusing on physical education and finished his studies at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canarias where he received his degree in the Sciences of Physical Education. He spent some time as an Erasmus student studying in the Czech Republic.

Miguel has worked for the Sevilla Soccer Club as a trainer. He has enjoyed several positions as a soccer trainer or practice monitor and as a professor at the "Federación Andaluza de Fútbol" teaching sports training methodology. Miguel works to ensure that SIGE students and teachers are given the opportunity to lead an active life while in Sevilla. Miguel’s personal philosophy is to face life with a happy heart and a strong mind.

Tikal Musca

Community Manager

Teaching English in a school in Seville is an accurate representation of the city’s ambiance; full of life. Each class, I arrive to a group of eager and curious Spanish children. Being from Miami, Florida I’m familiar with Latin culture and friendliness, but I didn’t expect to be bombarded with warm welcomes and kindness when I first arrived. Maybe it’s the sunny weather that provokes general optimism or the Spanish mantra “no pasa nada.” After graduating from university, I was eager to immerse myself in an unfamiliar environment and saw teaching English in Spain as an ideal opportunity.

Currently, I teach at a school in the center of the city. I have class with each grade, so the students range from three to seventeen years old. My job is to facilitate English conversation in the classroom, aide teachers with grammar, and engage with students. Watching students leave their comfort zone and apply themselves is very rewarding. To motivate students, I try to bring interesting topics for conversation and I do my best to make learning grammar exciting and eventful. I have taken great pleasure in exploring and discovering this city, trying the different foods, engaging with locals, learning the language, and absorbing all that the Seville has to offer.

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