Chidinma Ezugwu: Making memories at Castleton University
Chidinma talks about moving to the US and settling in a new environment.
Castleton University is a public, liberal arts college located in Vermont, in the US. Settled at the base of the Green Mountains, the campus offers some stunning views. Castleton offers over 75 programs and has a student population representing 40 different countries.
SchoolApply interviews undergraduate student, Chidinma Ezugwu, to learn about her experiences at Castleton and how the university has helped her grow her confidence.
Location: Castleton, Vermont (USA)
Student Name: Chidinma Ezugwu
Program: Major in Economics with minors in Business and Accounting
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Favourite class: Intermediate Macroeconomics. I like this class because it is based on real world economics and it explores numerous economic concepts from various schools of thought.
Favourite school events: My favourite school events are the international student trips we take to do things like ice-skating and bowling. We get to have fun and share new experiences with other international students, like one big family!
First five words that come to mind when you think of Castleton University: Diligence, humanity, passion, caring, and home.
Why did you decide to study in the United States and specifically, at Castleton University?
I was born and brought up in Nigeria, but I have always believed that the United States has one of the best educational systems in the world. I chose Castleton, in particular, because of its location in the lovely state of Vermont. The area is surrounded by beautiful greenery and tall mountains. I also chose Castleton because it seemed like a very welcoming space for international students. Even the school website displays how proud they are of their international student population and how they enrich the campus environment. The university always goes above and beyond to ensure that every overseas student is well-cared-for and feels at home.
What program are you studying at Castleton University and why?
I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, with secondary disciplines in Business and Accounting. I chose to study Economics because my ultimate goal is to help people in poor countries, mainly to help eradicate absolute hunger in the world. With the knowledge I gain at Castleton, I believe I can help solve problems of extreme poverty and hunger in various countries.
Did you face any challenges when you first moved to the US?
Initially, I found it difficult to act freely because I did not know what was appropriate or not in the US. I overcame this feeling by realising I was valuable just the way I am and that there is no one who can be me more than myself. With this new confidence, I made many friends who love me for who I am, and now it is so much fun to hang out with all of them, by just being myself!
Where do you think your new-found confidence comes from?
Castleton has helped me understand how important it is to make everyone feel welcome in any new environment. I have realised that the way one is treated on the first day of any new experience can determine a whole lot for that person's entire duration in that environment. My professors, friends and advisers played a major role in my adjustment to the university. Most of the people here are very kind and supportive – they are always motivating and encouraging me to do better and work harder. I am very appreciative of all the people who go out of their way to ensure that I have the best experience here at Castleton.
What would you tell incoming students about the professors at Castleton University?
I have always been a straight A student, and I still am here at Castleton! In regards to my academic success, I am grateful to my numerous friends, family and professors who are always there to help me throughout my academic journey. The professors are extremely kind and many of them hold countless after-class sessions in order to ensure that everyone understands the course material.
Do you participate in any extracurricular activities on campus?
Yes, many! And it is a lot of fun! I take part in the Student Government Association, Castleton University Rotaract Club, President’s Advisory Council on Inclusive Excellence, Castleton Honors Council, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Club and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honour Society. I am also a member of the Curriculum and Integrative Learning work group, a tutor in the Mathematics Clinic at the Academic Support Center and an International Student Orientation Peer Mentor.
I am very active on campus and am able to do so much by allotting my time wisely and keeping in mind that my classes are my top priority. I am grateful to be part of so many university organisations and even though I am only a sophomore, I have already made many amazing college memories!
Any advice to first-year international students?
Utilise the resources and opportunities offered to you on campus. If you are struggling with a lesson, don’t be shy to ask your peers or professors for help. Also, I believe that engaging in social activities outside of class will ultimately earn you the best college experience. So join groups and organisations that interest you and be an active member! Take it from me, you won’t regret it!
If you are interested in Castleton University, apply now!