Vet Tech Major Gains Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience Caring for Koalas in Australia

February 10, 2014-


When Mount Ida College senior Brittany Sprague packed her bags to begin her study abroad program in Queensland, Australia, she never imagined that she would find herself caring for koalas.

Choosing to study abroad in Australia during her freshman year at Mount Ida, Sprague had always planned on making time to volunteer in the local Australian veterinary clinics while there, never envisioning she would also experience the opportunity of a lifetime: caring for rescued koalas.

Once in Australia, Sprague networked with classmates and landed a volunteer position at Mogill Koala Hospital, which provided her with the ultimate professional experience in wildlife management and exotics.

“Working at the koala hospital was an amazing experience,” says Sprague, “before coming to Australia, I had never even seen a koala and now I was helping to save them. I even got to care for the occasional wallaby or kangaroo.”


One of the leading veterinary technology programs in New England, Mount Ida’s Veterinary Technology program provided the perfect foundation for Sprague’s work at Mogill Koala Hospital: “Because of the veterinary training I received at Mount Ida, the staff trusted me to administer medication to the koalas and made sure I had the opportunity to observe life-saving veterinary procedures.”

But Australia wasn’t all work and no play for Sprague. While studying at the University of Queensland, she forged lasting friendships and enjoyed a few uniquely Australian adventures, such as attending rugby games, bungee jumping and skydiving.

Mount Ida’s career-focused curriculum and  Office of Career Services not only encouraged Sprague to look for professional development experiences abroad, but also helped her to begin thinking about building a career early on in her college experience. In addition to her volunteer work in Australia, she has held several internships closer to home, most recently, completing a neurology rotation at the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital.

Looking ahead, Sprague is on track to complete her M.S. in Management from Mount Ida’s Accelerated Five-Year BS to MSM degree next year. She plans to leverage her valuable exposure to real world animal healthcare and her master’s degree to start a rewarding career in veterinary technology.

To learn more about the studying abroad at Mount Ida, please visit the Center for Global Connections. For more information about Mount Ida’s Veterinary Technology Program, visit our undergraduate majors.