November 29, 2020

Softball player travels 4,420 miles, finds home away from home

German Anna Muecke has not seen her family in almost two years but her softball teammates have helped her create a new one at Webster.

Before coming to America, Webster softball player Anna Muecke spent her whole life living in a small town outside of Hamburg, Germany. Her father then took a job in South Carolina and the company offered to pay for Muecke’s college expenses. Taking advantage of this opportunity for free education, Muecke flew 4,420 miles to America.

Prior to coming to Webster, Muecke played softball at Spartanburg Methodist College in South Carolina for two years. The Webster softball coach, Katie Griffith reached out to Muecke and helped her transition to Webster Groves, Missouri.

“Leaving Germany was a little bit of a transition because back home, I was living with just my brother,” Muecke said. “I used to bike to get around places, but here I have a small room and I can not cook as often as I used to.”

Muecke started learning English when she was in kindergarten and began to speak the language fluently in college. She took English classes through high school, so language was not much of a barrier in America.

The softball team has welcomed Muecke with loving arms since day one. Teammate Arianna Arias was excited to have someone from out of the country on the team.

“[We want] her [to] know that she might be far away from home,” Arias said, “but she has created another one here with us.”

On short school breaks, Muecke visits her dad in South Carolina. During winter and summer break, she travels back to Germany. However, because of the pandemic and living so far away from Germany, Muecke has not seen her family in almost two years.

Webster University softball player Anna Muecke stands preparing to bat
at a sunny game. Photo by Breelyn Craig.

“It’s hard knowing that I can’t go home. I have two grandparents that are not in good shape and not knowing if I will see them again is hard,” Muecke said.

Muecke hopes to be able to visit home again.

“I miss the food and taking my bike everywhere I go. We have a small downtown area that I loved to walk around, especially around Christmas time,” Muecke said.

As Muecke is about to enter her last semester at Webster, she is content with her decision to come to America for college.

“In the beginning, it was hard to leave Germany, but I have gained so much out of it,” Muecke said. “Moving away from home and studying in America allowed me to grow in different ways that I could not have done if I stayed in Germany.”

Muecke wants to go to graduate school after she graduates in May. After that, she’ll go to wherever life takes her. Webster has been an experience Muecke never wants to forget.

“I love my teammates and my coaches here. Webster is small and not overwhelming. This is a great place for international students,” Muecke said.

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