One SSC Soccer Player’s Journey from Germany to Oklahoma During the Pandemic

By A-yo Jones, SSC Student

In August of 2020, fate brought Sophie Augustin from Munich, Germany to the rural town of Seminole, Oklahoma. Destiny began to unfold quickly for Augustin after her school advisor reached out to SSC Women’s Head Soccer Coach Daniel Hill in March of 2020. The documentation process began with signatures and progressed forward into various aptitude tests measuring academic proficiency.

Germany experienced the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus earlier than the United States, which made Augustin’s journey to America less straightforward than usual. For Augustin, the subsequent government shutdown in Germany meant that finding a legitimate facility to administer the required aptitude tests that go along with obtaining a visa would be next to impossible. Augustin, never one to let temporary roadblocks discourage her, reminded herself that when one door closes another one opens. The same attributes that make Sophie Augustin an important defensive weapon and all-around stand-out for SSC Women’s Soccer served her well at this critical juncture. Augustin did not stop until she not only found a testing facility but passed the tests with undeniable efficiency.

Sophie Augustin made the journey from Munich, Germany to Seminole, Oklahoma to play goalkeeper for the SSC Women’s soccer team.

What Augustin faced next was both a colossal and crucial task: the process of obtaining a student visa for official entry into the United States. There are three major embassies located in Germany, located respectively in Frankfurt, the capitol city of Berlin, and Augustin’s hometown of Munich. Augustin’s first appointment at the Munich embassy to begin the process of acquiring a visa was in the summer of 2020 but was rescinded due to the rapidly expanding number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases during the pandemic. A follow-up appointment in June also fell through. After the considerable discouragement of encountering multiple roadblocks, she received her Bavarian high school diploma.

The high school diploma opened the door for a third appointment to another embassy, this time in Berlin. After a six-hour drive to Berlin, her interview for the acquirement of a visa lasted a mere five minutes. The only hint Augustin received about her future destination was if she knew the geographic location of Oklahoma in relation to the coasts. Prepared and ready for a rigorous visa exam, Augustin, true to form, had done well to overprepare herself for this life changing assessment; she easily earned her visa.

The small-town American culture of Seminole is in stark contrast to the cities that Augustine grew up in and around. Cities like Munich, Berlin, and Recife, with their population numbering in the millions, can make a person feel small and out of touch. Augustine brings with her to Seminole not only a major passion for life, love, sports, and her teammates, but an appreciation for the small community lifestyle that growing up in a huge metropolis could never afford.

Augustin recalls how swiftly things fell into place as she received her high school diploma on July 17, 2020, earned her visa on July 22, 2020, and made her victorious entry into the states on August 1, 2020 and then started her first semester at SSC two weeks later.

“The ability to study freely and participate in the sport we love while not having to sacrifice one for the other is truly a blessing,” Augustin said.

The SSC women’s soccer team will begin its season on April 2 in a home matchup against Rich Mountain Community College. Augustin plays goalkeeper for the team.