March 26, 2021

Old Boy update – Jose Bannwart (2016-2017, Ascham)

My name is Jose Arthur Bannwart, I’m 19 years-old from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and currently in my second year in college in the United States as a student-athlete, majoring in Chemical Engineering. I play football (soccer) for Eastern Illinois University, a NCAA Division I school located near Chicago.

In 2016, I had a huge opportunity to live in England for a year and to attend to Newcastle School for Boys in my Year 10. NSB quickly became a place that started to feel like home to me, with very friendly students and staff around me. During this experience, I got to know some sports, such as rugby and cricket, that were totally new for me, and even though my passion has always been for football, I really enjoyed playing rugby with such a competitive group of lads. I still miss it a lot.

The experience of living abroad really stood out to me and once I got back to Brazil in 2017, I had already started planning my steps to play football in an American university, where I would have the opportunity to get an academic degree while still playing at a high level. In 2019, I committed to EIU and started to live another dream.

Although football is not the most popular sport in America, it has a great structure and sometimes even feels like playing for a professional club. During our season, we get to stay in a lot of hotels and even take planes to travel. It’s really like living a dream to be in this kind of environment and playing the sport you love. The biggest challenge is to keep both sports and studies at the top level. It makes me give up some sleep hours in most of the days, but it teaches me a lot about being responsible and organized to get things done.

For the future, my plan is to keep enjoying my time here as much as I can, to make a lot of memories, to keep doing my best at football, and to become a good chemical engineer after college. I take great pride in being an NSB Old Boy and look forward to visiting whenever it is possible.