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Student seeks community’s help to pay for life-changing China trip

Opportunity: Business student Sophie Isaac is raising funds so she can embark on an exchange programme at Ginling College, Nanjing, in eastern China, which will help her to pursue a career in the insurance and reinsurance industry

A Bermudian business student is requesting the community’s help to fulfil a life-changing educational opportunity as an exchange student in China.

Sophie Isaac, 28, hopes to become the first Bermudian to take part in the trip.

“The experience within itself would be once in a lifetime — very few people are able to go to China,” Ms Isaac said.

“It would help me in pursuing my career in the insurance and reinsurance industry, and it would help with my academics, since it will qualify as a class.

“It’s not just a trip; it will help me toward my Bachelor’s degree.” If successful, Ms Isaac intends to document, blog and share pictures of her time at Ginling College, Nanjing, with the International Educational Centre at Mount Saint Vincent University. She is studying business administration and majoring in management with the Canadian university, in association with Bermuda College.

The three-week programme would include studying Mandarin and learning Chinese history and culture, as well as furnishing her with “invaluable exposure to the Chinese business etiquette”.

After applying on January 1, she was disappointed to hear that she had not qualified — only to get a second call saying they had made a mistake. Ms Isaac first learned about the course through a Jamaican friend, Kashana, who was the first distance student to take part.

The exchange costs $3,000 for Canadian students but additional costs of travelling from Bermuda would set Ms Isaac back $5,000. Although she is a full-time employee at XL Group, the journey is beyond her financial ability. XL has an office in Shanghai, raising the possibility of Ms Isaac working there in the future.

“You never know where this could end up,” she said. Anyone able to assist her can e-mail her at sophieisaac@gmail.com