Cook has just returned from representing the Australian Country under 21 women's side on a tour of Malaysia and Borneo.
The call-up was unexpected after she was originally listed as a back-up player following the country championships in 2023.
She said pulling on the green and gold and singing the national anthem was the last thing she ever expected to do.
"It was kind of surreal," she said.
"It was kind of like - oh, this is actually happening.
"It was a great group of girls that we went over with and the coaches and manager, they were all very supportive and just made it a great time for us."
The women's side enjoyed an dominant tour, save for a close loss to a men's side.
For Cook the biggest win was personal - becoming for confident and decisive with her play from fullback.
"I feel like it's helped my confidence improve and I learned a lot from the coaches and obviously playing with the better players helps, learning how to play at a higher level than you do in a local competition," she said.
"I learned, playing in the defensive line, how to attack a bit more and get a bit more involved in the game rather than just standing back and watching my team attack.
"I reckon it will help me step up and demand the ball to come back to me. I'm hoping to get myself involved a lot more than I have been."
She will get the chance to put what she'd learned into practice for Pete Shea's side when the CWPL gets underway in a couple of months, potentially her last in the short term.
"I think I want to take more of a leadership role this year because it might be my last year with CYMS," she said.
"I'm studying physiotherapy at Charles Sturt University and I have all my placements next year, so I don't know whether I'll be able to play next year.
"But I want to step up in the team.
"I think even just the talk [from the team] going into the season this year, it's been a lot more than it has been in previous years.
"We definitely want to get in that grand final."