Freshman recalls ties to Germany


At 9 years old, Finn Stieber (9) moved from Germany to the United States during the summer before fourth grade due to a change in his father’s job. 

That fall, Stieber enrolled in public school knowing only a little bit of English.

“Being in a country without knowing the language gave me a very hard time and was very difficult to adapt to,” Stieber said. 

Stieber’s mom, Nadine, also noticed the struggle. 

“He picked up the language through reading and his favorite sport: soccer,” she said. “His teachers were awesome and supported him in so many ways.”

Since the, Stieber has visited Germany every other year to catch up with friends and family. 

“It’s weird going back  because people change so much and they all seem so different,” he said. 

Stieber’s father grew up in the United States and was not opposed to moving back. 

“My dad and his friend got a better job opportunity (in the United States) at the same company and he would get to work at home, so he decided that it would be good for us,” Finn said.

Stieber plans to to do more than visit Germany after he finishes high school.

“I plan to go to college in Germany or maybe move back for my career,” he said. 

Stieber said he left behind more than just his hometown when he moved to the U.S. 

“My family and friends made it difficult to leave because they were all sad to see me go. I miss them all,” he said. “I think of both Germany and Florida as my home.” 

By Aubrey Tegland