A graduate of Centre Scolaire de la Rive Sud in Cookville, NS, Madeleine Robitaille completed her high school studies entirely in French. She says the transition to studying in English at Mount Allison wasn't as difficult as she anticipated.
"I'm studying biology so there are times where I hear a term in class and have to think about the translation for a second but it's been a good process," says Robitaille, who is a recipient of the Bell Scholarship, one of Mount Allison's top entrance awards.
"I knew a few people who went to Mount A or are current students and thought I would like it here too," she says. "I'm hoping to continue my studies and do a master's after my undergrad."
Although her academic interests are in science, Robitaille is also very musical. She's been playing violin since age seven and plays five different instruments. She also volunteered as a student mentor in her school's beginner band.
She also volunteers with the Me to We campus society and the SMILE (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience) program, which sees Mount Allison student volunteers paired up weekly with local youth who have developmental disabilities at the YMCA in Amherst, NS. Robitaille says the program is one of the reasons she came to Mount A.
Along with her studies and volunteer work, Robitaille is a member of the synchronized swimming club.
"That's totally fun," she says. "I've never done anything like that but I love being in the pool."
In high school, Robitaille was also involved in a myriad of activities, serving on the student council for three years, the Me to We committee, and as chair of the yearbook committee in her graduating year.
"Organizing the yearbook was a huge job that I learned a lot from," she says. "This was during the work-to-rule period in Nova Scotia schools so I had very little help. But it was my last year and I really wanted a yearbook so I'm glad I took it on."
Robitaille also worked as a swimming instructor and volunteered as an elementary school basketball coach in her community. She says the sense of community she felt at Mount Allison helped her make the decision to study here.
"It (Mount A) seems to have a really strong support network, especially in residence and through the Bell scholar mentorship program," she says. "And once I came to campus for a tour, I was sold."