Jober Ferreira Oliveira, a 16-year-old Brazilian student, had never dreamed of going to China before he was admitted to a special high school.
Now, he's been to China twice, much to the envy of his friends.
Two years ago, Oliveira enrolled at Joaquim Gomes de Sousa Brazil-China Intercultural school, which is located in Niteroi City, Rio de Janeiro State.
Through the school he entered a football summer camp in China, where he played the game with locals, learned Chinese and visited museums.
Before the camp, the furthest place Robell had been to was Rio de Janeiro City.
"I made a lot of friends at the summer camp in China, and many of them are still in close contact with me. I taught them how to play football better, they told me more about China. Thanks to my high school, I grew to like China and Chinese people," said Oliveira.
Jointly held by the Confucius Institute of Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and the state government, the school is the first high school in Brazil which uses Portuguese, Chinese and English as its teaching languages.
It provides the students with a standard high school education as well as lessons in Chinese language and culture. "I chose this school simply because I was interested in Chinese Kung fu in the films. However, Chinese culture was beyond my imagination. It was so vast that I have found much more to be obsessed with," Oliveira said.
Initiated in 2015, the school now has about 250 students. Apart from lessons of Chinese language, teachers from the Confucius Institute have been introducing Chinese culture to the students, such as calligraphy, traditional instruments and paper cutting.
To encourage the students to learn more about Chinese culture, the school held a football summer camp, enabling the students to visit China.
"I think we are changing these kids. Most of whom come from slums. Changing their wornout clothes and getting rid of bad habits, they are now becoming hardworking and positive," said Yang Chao, a volunteer at the Confucius Institute. "More importantly, they are more and more interested in China and Chinese culture. In essence, they're creating their own Chinese Dream."
At the schoolyard, Xinhua reporters were greeted by the students with "Ni hao" - hello in Chinese. When Interviewed, they insisted on speaking Chinese, though some of them studied the language merely half a year.
"I have a Chinese name, Li Maoran," said 15-year-old Miguel Tavares. "I have not studied Chinese for long, but I participated in the Chinese bridge contest, and I will do it again this year. I like Chinese food and Chinese songs. I want to go to China!"
According to the director of the Confucius Institute Qiao Jianzhen, learning Chinese and going to China are regarded by the students as a chance to change their destiny. In effect, these Brazilian students are pursuing their own Chinese Dream.