As an American student from Boston, Massachusetts studying at Providence College in Rhode Island, I was offered an opportunity to continue my business studies in Shanghai, China. At the time I had to make a decision, the U.S. news reports were filled with articles about escalating trade tensions between the United States and China. Tariffs were followed by retaliation tariffs, back and forth, between both countries and I was nervous the tensions would affect China’s view towards Americans studying in their country. Despite the public tensions, I accepted the opportunity to learn and intern in a large financial hub with a rather booming economy.
As the February 2020 departure was soon approaching, I started to hear fewer and fewer stories about the Trade War, and more and more stories about a rampant epidemic, the Coronavirus. A virus that started in Wuhan had rapidly spread throughout China and even to six individuals in the United States. My concern about how Chinese people would view me altered to a concern of if I could even attend school in China. As the number of patients with confirmed cases began to rise by the hundreds, it became more and more likely that I would not be traveling to China. Ultimately, Providence College decided to cancel the trip and the United States placed a travel ban against all flights to and from China.
Fortunately, my college in the U.S. had one last opportunity for me to travel abroad, Dublin, Ireland. Although the Dublin study abroad program had already begun and my U.S. passport was still at a Visa consulate in China, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to travel and learn in a country where my mother’s grandparents were born. After retrieving my U.S. passport, and upon arrival in the country, Griffith College and Irish Mortgage Brokers welcomed me with open arms. Now, I am able to continue my Finance courses taught by intelligent and experienced Irish professors at Griffith College. In addition, at Irish Mortgage Brokers, I am able to research my interests in personal finance and economics, share my ideas with the company, and learn from experienced, goal-oriented professionals. Dublin has given me the opportunity to continue my education and gain firsthand experience in a financial planning company. While the Coronavirus brought me to Dublin, I am more than thrilled to experience all this city, rich in history, has to offer.