The Undergrad from Chad


Kathia Noriega

Thifanie-Gracia N. Djimasbe practicing just before her game against Cabrillo community college on October 21st in San Bruno, CA.

Thifanie-Gracia N. Djimasbe is an international student from Chad. She grew up with brothers and was inspired by her siblings to play soccer in her neighborhood.

She frequently joined them by playing the keeper position with the neighboring communities. It wasn’t long before she grew passionate about the sport. In fact, it was her love for the game which made her want to continue playing throughout her life.

“It’s like an escape from life,” Djimasbe said. “When I’m playing, I’m really happy. Sports it has my heart. When you score for the team, it warms my heart. That’s where the passion is.”

Soccer wasn’t her only passion when she decided to go to school in another country. Instead, she is pursuing medicine to become an aerospace physician one day.

Djimasbe has only been in the U.S for a couple of months. Getting used to a new environment after leaving everything, she’s ever known behind in Chad has been difficult. However, her biggest challenge is getting comfortable with her new life here in the Bay Area.

“It’s hard trying to fit in,” Djimasbe said. “You have your own lifestyle and culture that you have with you, and then there’s a whole different type of culture out there that you’re trying to get used to. I’m still trying to adjust everything and fit in comfortably with everybody around me.”

This is a big step for her; it’s an entirely different experience. She’s still trying to balance a stressful life between her social life, sports, and school.
Head coach Micheal Sharabi enjoys and even welcomes international students on his team. He likes having the different cultures come together and bond over the sport they love.

“Gracia specifically, she has been wonderful to be around,” coach Sharabi said. “She is always smiling. Just a big part of our team.”

Djimasbe’s biggest goal is to fulfill her career of being an aerospace physician. In addition, she wants to be a better player for the team and help with more wins.

The biggest thing she learned as an international student is having to leave everything behind and learning how to adapt to a new environment. Starting from zero and knowing everyone here already has their group of friends is difficult.