It's not how she imagined her final year of school panning out, but Ying 'Patty' Zou hasn't let being stuck in China stop her from completing her Higher School Certificate.
The teenager better known as Patty at Moree Secondary College in northern NSW, was in China visiting her parents over the January school holidays. She booked her flight to return to Australia on February 3, ready to start the school year.
But, two days earlier, on February 1 the Australian government closed its borders to travellers from mainland China and Patty was unable to return.
"At first I was very shocked about it," she said. "During the first time I was just waiting, thinking China can control it so I'm going back soon.
"But by March and April, it had started to spread to other countries and I realised it was not going to be a short time.
At that point, Patty did not imagine that just a few weeks before the HSC she'd still be in China and would be facing the prospect of sitting her exams in an exam room in Shanghai with other international students.
"At least I can do my exams," Patty said.
"There's some other NSW international students doing their exams over here too. There's quite a few international students."
Patty has now completed the majority of her year 12 via distance education, and although she's three hours behind and has to compete with various network connectivity issues and restricted access to certain websites, including Google, as well as the struggle of studying alone, she has still managed to complete all assessment tasks and coursework.
Even more impressively, Patty has maintained her position as the top or second student in each of her classes - English as an additional language, mathematics advanced, mathematics extension, society and culture, biology and physics.
Moree Secondary College year 12 adviser Jason Auld said it's a testament to Patty's "absolute determination".
"She's a tough and resilient young lady who I have no doubt is going to do very well in the HSC," he said.
"She's never been a kid who would ever come to us as negative and complain. She always puts herself in other people's shoes and is always positive."
Deputy principal Belinda Bagshaw and Patty's teachers set up a Google classroom to allow Patty to continue her learning.
Her teachers have been sending all her coursework via email and she has Zoom meetings with each of them every week.
One of the biggest challenges she's faced is network issues, and trying to work around China's blockage of websites such as Google and Facebook.
But what she's missed most is the people.
"It's not like being in class," she said. "There's not the atmosphere around people - my friends or teachers. The atmosphere is much better [in the classroom]; now I'm on my own. But it's fine.
"I find a way to learn in the library with some other international students in my city. There's another girl in year 12 as well, so at least we can talk to each other.
"It is a little bit difficult."
Patty has been a student at Moree Secondary College since she was in year nine.
She moved to Moree with her cousins, who run the New Bo Wa restaurant, as her parents wanted her to get an education in Australia.
"They just reckon going out to another country to feel the difference would open my eyes and make me more multicultural," she said.
"They thought going to an English-speaking country would also improve my English."
Although she would miss her parents during the school year, Patty said she's now really missing school.
"I really like school over there," she said.
"I miss everything - the teachers, my friends. I really like the time with them. They make me feel loved over there."
But Patty has kept in touch with her friends and teachers since she's been in China and will also be included in the year 12 graduation ceremony and formal on November 13.
"We'll do a Microsoft Zoom with her on the day of graduation and formal, so people can carry her around on the laptop," Mr Auld said.
"She's even got her own chair at the formal."
Year 12 head teacher Ellie Auld said she'll be the only student not able to be there on the day who will still be called up to receive her graduation certificate.
"It's a testament to Patty's position in the year group that students who are not part of her friendship circle were asking how she would be sitting her exams and how do we keep her involved in formal and graduation," she said.
"She's very much loved by the year group and the faculty. The teachers think she's just beautiful."
Patty said the support of her teachers has meant the world to her, and has helped get her through this year.
"They encourage me a lot and give me a lot of help," she said.
"The encouragement is very important to me. It makes me feel a lot more confident.
"I really need to thank my teachers. I really appreciate what they've done."
As for the HSC, Patty said she'll "give it my best and see how I go".
She is hoping to return to Australia as soon as she can and plans to go on to study at university in Australia. Although she doesn't know exactly what she wants to do after school, she's hoping to do something science-related.
And no matter what, she said she will "definitely" come back to Moree.
"If the Australian government says we can come back, I will come back as soon as possible," she said.
"If not, I'll probably get a part-time job here and wait until uni starts."
Meanwhile, Patty says life has basically returned to normal in China, which has managed to control the virus and has no locally-transmitted cases.