Studying in the US, Launceston's Ben Barnett thought long and hard about coming home amid the current circumstances.
However, with an upcoming internship too good to refuse and faced with the daunting task of international travel, the 20-year-old packed his bags and relocated 13 hours off campus from the George Washington University in Washington D.C to St Louis, Missouri.
"It has been very hard for international students like me because we have been forced out of on-campus housing and for some of us, we have no means of travelling home," he said.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
"I've been fortunate enough to be taken care of by some family friends and my tennis mate from back home, Martyn Icke, is staying with us which has made the transition so much easier."
While most of the public access courts available to Barnett have had their nets taken down, the Tasmanian duo have got into a strong routine - exercising and playing whenever possible.
Halfway through his sophomore year, the former Launceston Church Grammar student described the current situation as "heartbreaking."
"We were about to depart for our spring break trip in Florida before we heard that the season was going to end.
"Our coaches were in tears when they told us the news and it's been tough for our two seniors who got their final season cut short.
"The NCAA has given all spring athletes an extra year of eligibility but for many seniors they already have work commitments and it's not feasible to come back and play another year. I am yet to decide whether I will play a fifth year."
Competing in lines three and four singles and line one doubles alongside partner Zicheng Zeng, Barnett is having the time of his life in the college system.
"I'm incredibly grateful to be living out my dream playing division one college tennis," Barnett said.
"I didn't have anything to compare it to so I never came in with any expectations. However, if i did have any, they've been blown away.
Our coaches were in tears when they told us the news.Ben Barnett
"It took most of my freshman year to settle in and find a way to balance my tennis and academic responsibilities. My time management skills have improved to the extent that I can now involve myself in extracurricular activities and make the most out of the DC experience."
Studying a bachelor of business administration with a dual concentration on international business and finance while minoring in political science, Barnett's American summer will see him follow in his father, Liberal Party member Guy's footsteps as he takes on an eight-week internship for a congressman.
The internship takes place during the country's presidential election campaign with the young Tasmanian set to be positioned directly in the heart of it.
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