Alumni Spotlight: Madeleine Cosentino

Madeleine is a final year veterinary student at the Ontario Veterinary College (graduating in 2016). She loves all animals, especially her pet dwarf rabbit Rose. Outside of school she loves playing hockey, watching sports, reading, movies, and writing.

me and sweetie

Why did you pick this program?

I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 5 or 6 years old. Beyond a love of animals and the environment I felt like this was my way to give back to the world. It's been a long journey but there is nothing I would rather do with my life.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

I tell them to go!! Travelling is one of the most amazing experiences you can have. Getting to see all the beauty of this planet and maybe learning something in the process is a privilege we should be grateful for if we can do it. Volunteering while traveling is a great way to give back to the places you visit (as long as your help is actually needed!)

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I'll cheat and give two:
1. Take time to explore around you. You may only be here once!
2. Remember that euthanasia and death is a reality of wildlife rehabilitation. Take time to sort out your feelings on this.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

This trip in particular I love telling people of when I got to help feed orphan joeys, and met a special little joey named Forrest who had been burned by wildfires. It was incredible working with Forrest and the other joeys, and is an experience I will never forget.

What was it like living on your own in Australia?

I'm an independent person so didn't have much problem being by myself. But if you tend to get homesick it was pretty easy to connect with family and friends over the internet. Life in Australia is much like life in Canada, with just some differences in phrases and products. And obviously it is much hotter in Australia. I am very afraid of spiders but thankfully only had to deal with one very large visitor. It's an amazingly beautiful country, and I am happy I went out and explored, even though I was by myself!