IES Nicolás Copérnico Écija

Assistants’ corner

Assistants' corner

Welcome to this page where we provide future assistants with useful information about our school and about Écija in general. It's also a perfect place to host information and materials related to those assistants who worked at our school in previous years.

About our school

IES Nicolás Copérnico

We are a public High School in Écija, Seville. Our school opened in 2001 and from that momento it has turned into an educational and cultural referent in our city.

Our basic principle consists in forming our students to become committed people who feel citizens of our world.

Studies and subjects in which our assistants collaborate

Our school has about 700 students and more than 50 teachers.

  • Students in Compulsory Education (ESO) are 12-16 years old. Their bilingual subjects, in which assistants collaborate, are Biology, Music, Physics and Chemistry, History and Geography, Technology, Physical Education, English.
  •  Students in Post-compulsory Education (Bachillerato) are 17-18 years old. Their bilingual subjects are Physical Education, Philosophy, English.
  • There are also some Vocational Training classes, but they are not within the bilingual program.

We are a cultural referent in the world of literary contests

Our «Certamen de relatos El Mundo Esférico» has become throughout two decades in a national referent within the world of creative writing and literary contests.

It is a contest where adults from all over the world and students from our school and other schools in Écija can participate.

Information about Écija

Écija is a middle-size city (40.000 inhabitants), located at the very core of Andalusia, in southern Spain. Summers are hot here, but winters are cold, reaching temperatures close to 0º C. It is a city with a really important historical legacy: it was a very influential Roman town, then it was important during the Muslim period, and later it was a flourishing city during the 17th and 18th centuries. That’s why it has so many palaces and impressive churches that were built or remodeled at that time. Écija is a picturesque city with artistic elements everywhere.

Écija is 90 km away from Seville and 50 km away from Córdoba. Therefore, it is strategically located. There is an international airport in Seville, and both Seville and Córdoba have train stations that connect them to the rest of Spain. However, in order to travel from Écija to Seville or Córdoba you must take a bus or drive by car.

Assistants who work in Écija usually visit other cities, like, for example, Granada (2 hours by car). It is also worthwhile mentioning that the bus that gets to our bus station cover the route Madrid-Cádiz, so that it’s easy to visit those two cities or the cities that are in the way.

Visitors who come to Écija, and assistants, of course, enjoy the historical flavor of its streets and museums. As mentioned above, Écija has many palaces and ancient churches, which means that our Holly Week celebration is one of the best and most famous in Andalusia and Spain.

Écija also offers a delicious Andalusian and Mediterranean gastronomy that people can enjoy in plenty of bars and terraces. Apart from this, our city has many parks and green areas where you can walk or exercise while enjoying the sun. We also have a mall with cinemas.

And, what is more important, people in Écija are kind and warm, and there are teachers and people in general who are interested in language exchanges or private tutoring.

Finally, there are several schools and language academies where other assistants work, and all of them usually conform a nice community whose members even plan trips together.

Getting to school

You can walk to any destination in Écija, something which is very pleasant when you walk along its artistic cobbled streets. Our assistants usually rent a flat in the city centre and it takes them less than 10 minutes to get to our school.

At IES Nicolás Copérnico we always have some teachers who live in Córdoba and who commute daily sharing their cars. Our assistants sometimes travel with them in order to visit that city or to get to the train station.

Accommodation

Our previous assistants have usually rented flats in Écija’s city centre. In fact, during the last 3-4 years, they rented flats in the same area, where there is a landlord who owns several flats in the same block. The average price for them is 350 € a month (utilities not included).

Sometimes, our assistants have also shared a flat with another assistant from our school or from a different school in Écija.

Meet our previous Assistants

Vera Roula (2021-22)

In March 2022, we interviewed Vera Roula, our language assistant during the school year 2021-22. Vera comes from the United Kingdom, but her origins can be traced in Greece (where she lived until she was nine years old) and back to her Albanian ancestors.

In this video, Vera says that she has always loved languages, and she tells us about his journeys, her experience in Spain, her hobbies and her plans for the future, among many other things.

Having you with us is a real pleasure, Vera!

Dan Sicorsky (2020-21)

In March 2021, we interviewed Dan Sicorsky (Miami – Florida), our language assistant during such an uncommon school year as 2020-21.

Dan was a great assistant and it was a huge pleasure to enjoy his classes. Your students at IES Nicolás Copérnico wish you the best in your professional career and in your literary adventures.

See you soon, Dan!

Ava Lonergan y Carla Adelgren (2018-19)

During the month of May 2019, some of our students interviewed our two language assistants this year: Ava Lonergan (Virginia, USA) and Carla Adelgren (Miami, USA). Thanks, Ava and Carla, for this great year you have shared with us!

Thanks, Ava, for designing the format of the interview and for recording and editing everything (with Carla’s help).

We wish you our best!

Taneum Bambrick (2017-18)

In April 2018 we interviewed Taneum Bambrick (USA), our language assistant. Her family has a strong attachment to Native American tribes and our cultural week that year dealt with their culture, under the title «North American Indians».

It was a pleasure having you with us! Your students wish you the best with your teaching and literary projects.

Thanks for everything!

Nathan L. Williams (2016-17)

In February 2017, our students in 3º ESO interviewed Nathan L. Williams, our assistant from Melobourne (Australia). With him, we celebrated an unforgettable Australian Cultural Week.

Nicole Jones (2015-16)

This time, our 1º ESO students interviewed Nicole Jones, our assistant from Portsmouth, New Hampshire (USA).

Thanks for everything, Nicole!

Allison Fedor (2014-15)

In May 2015, a group of students in our 1º ESO interviewed our language assistant Allison Fedor, from California (USA).

Mel Speaker (2012-2013)

Stef Zavala & April Birkmire (2011-2012)

Stef (above and on the right hand side of the other photo) tells us about herself…

My name is Stefanie Díaz-Zavala and I was an assistant in 2011/2012. I am originally from Los Angeles, California but moved to Portland, Oregon with my family in 2000. I graduated from Western Oregon University in 2011 where I studied International Relations. I had already studied in Spain before in Oviedo in 2009 and Valladolid in 2010. I loved Spain and I knew I wanted to go back to work there. I started traveling when I was 16 years old. My first trip by myself was to Japan. I was learning Japanese in high school so I participated in an exchange program. Since then, I have loved to travel and my next adventures were to Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Mexico, and El Salvador. I love learning languages and I speak Spanish, some Japanese, and some Portuguese. I also love listening to music, reading, and playing with my two dogs.

My experience at IES Nicolás Copérnico was life changing and amazing! My experience was different from other assistants because I came from a Latino background so my perspective of American culture was different for me. I grew up with a culture similar to the Spanish culture so my idea of American culture was a mix of my Latino background and American lifestyle. I think the students enjoyed that I was able to connect with them more because of this. I had so much fun teaching and making my own lesson plans and activities for my students. I was immediately accepted and loved by all the students. Saying good-bye to them was so hard. Even though I was not able to continue teaching there another year, I was still able to visit them the following year while still teaching in Seville. I have always kept in touch with most of my students there. I came back to the U.S. in 2013 but my connection to them is still there. They even send me postcards from their vacation destinations, birthday cards, and letters. I will always have a connection with that school, its students, and staff. I even met my husband there while I was an assistant, so Ecija is now my home. I know that I will continue to visit Spain in the years to come and Ecija will always be my second home.

Since then, my experience teaching there helped me become a teacher. I am currently working for an organization that helps immigrant and refugee high school youth in Portland, OR. I teach classes to help youth explore careers for their future and I assist them with getting into college. Also, my husband traveled from Ecija to Portland and we got married in 2014. I benefitted in many ways from being an assistant. Overall, I am very grateful for the experience I had at IES Nicolás Copérnico and I am happy that it helped me get into the career I wanted to pursue.

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