Ileana's dream to be a vet is soon becoming a reality

Hey everyone! My name is Ileana - I’m in my third year of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (only 1 year left, woohoo!). I was born and raised in the city in Canada and somehow fell in love with the country and with cows. Now, I’m in Australia to finish my studies and I am having the absolute best time!

So how did I end up here?

Every year on my birthday, my parents would ask me what I wanted to do when I grow up. And every year I replied, “A vet!”.

As I finished high school and was preparing to enter my undergrad, I investigated other possibilities like marine biology - but I ended up doing a science degree in animal health for four years, and year after year, I fell more in love with it.

I’ve spent many hours studying in the beautiful State Library of Victoria in the Melbourne CBD

During my undergrad in Canada, I worked as a vet nurse at a small animal clinic and I met two vets who travelled abroad to complete their degrees in Sydney. Their confidence in dealing with cases, their ability to buy a house, and start a family within a few years of graduating were huge factors in me deciding to take the plunge and apply for the DVM overseas.

Outside my classroom at the University of Melbourne Parkville campus 

I started compiling a list of all the AVMA accredited schools in the world and then spent several months exploring their websites, application procedures, requirements, etc.

So how did I narrow down my list? It was easy for me actually. Once I saw the countries I had left on my list, I decided Australia seemed like the best! There were supposed to be cool animals there (could you imagine if I ever got to work with koalas or wombats or echidnas?!). Also, Australians are known for their love of the outdoors and I was pretty easily attracted to that!

Since I’ve been in Australia, I tried playing footy, drove up to the Great Ocean Road three times, watched a cricket game, and started surfing! I’ve seen a lot of Australia’s cool wild animals in my travels, except for the elusive platypus…

Don’t mind me, I’m just busy getting the best selfie ever with the world’s most friendly wombat!

I have always tried to make the most of any opportunities that comes my way! When I got my acceptance letter at the University of Melbourne, I knew this was a huge door opening for me. I felt like this was the appropriate time to leave home and follow my dreams! The University of Melbourne looked like it had a really good vet program and the Melbourne Veterinary School also had a good ranking.

Pondering what my next opportunity in life will be- ha! Just kidding, I went for a hike and found this magnificent view

After living here for three years I can confirm that life in Melbourne is pretty rad. I’ve loved exploring the uni grounds, trying out all the fad foods (I started drinking coffee too), and checking out the cool laneways in the CBD. Now that I’ve bought a car, I love spending my weekends on road trips. Victoria has a lot of amazing nature to offer.

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