“Since I was 17 my dream was to be a soccer player but it all seemed very difficult.  Then I saw a good opportunity through the Soccer Brazil program.”

Cleiton Rodrigo Coppola, best known as Gamarra, entered the exchange program at Sant’Anna International School at age 18 in 2007 and instantly helped take the team to the intercollegiate title.

A year after his entry into Brazil Soccer, the athlete received an unexpected and highly desired scholarship.”  I was surprised with my results. In just six months everything had changed in my life. It was like water turning into wine,” says Gamarra.

In Winchendon, Massachusetts, the young athlete experienced a culture shock not only with the language, but mainly by the rules that guided the college in the U.S.
The small school, with about 250 students, has time to control the routine of students and residents as most of them stay in the dorms on the campus.

According to Gamarra, the fact that the college does not have many students makes for a friendly environment between the students and the campus. “I made a lot of friends there (Winchendon). We all end up developing strong bonds of friendship with one another. It’s great especially for you being a foreigner.”

To help family with expenses, the student worked at the college, even during holidays – a very common habit among students. With the passage of time and after fully adapting to the new country, his grades began to improve and the college dream grewcloser.

Today, Cleiton is studying Business Management at Dominican College well ranked in the soccer world. In his first season for the university team, played every game of the CCAC – Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference – and helped the team classify for the national championship. “We lost the first match, but the experience was great. It is a league high. ”

When asked about the future, the young athlete did not take long to respond. The aim in this new season is success in the national championship and in the years after graduation, returning to Brazil. “Today, I cannot think of living in the United States. I want to go back and work with something related to foreign trade.”

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