Faces on Campus: Meet ChuChu at Auburn

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By Deshan Mendis
Last updated on August 10, 2023

Auburn Global’s new managing director Chukwudi Chidume draws on his own experiences as an international student to ensure Auburn’s international students succeed.

Chukwudi "ChuChu" Chidume at his office, behind his PC

Chukwudi Chidume, fondly known as ChuChu, is the new managing director at Auburn Global. As managing director, Chidume makes sure that the university meets the needs of international students, so Auburn Global students can thrive.

Learn more about what brought Chidume to Auburn Global — and what’s next for international students on campus.

Chidume’s Global Education

Chidume’s parents hailed from Nigeria, and he grew up in Canada before spending time in America’s Midwest (mainly Iowa and Ohio). He returned to Nigeria to complete his high school education, then came back to the US as an undergraduate student at the University of Alabama. 

At Alabama, Chidume studied mathematics and business and took advantage of Optional Practical Training work opportunities, then left for Italy to complete his diploma in mathematics. Afterward, he returned to the US to pursue graduate studies at Auburn. 

“I have an affinity for the state of Alabama,” he says. “I came to Auburn University to work on my doctorate degree. I spent four years here studying, got a PhD, spent a year doing a post-doc, and then I just got really interested in programming for students.” 

From Post-Doc to Managing Director of Auburn Global

At university, Chidume’s interest in student activities gave him valuable experience in working with a wide variety of students. 

“I engaged in a lot of activities, new student programming for — at that point in time — underrepresented students, coordinating their scholarship programs, trying to keep them motivated to do well in school,” he says.

Additionally, his own experiences as an international student, including his exposure to students from many cultures, gave him insight and understanding into the unique needs and challenges of international students. 

“When an opportunity came to join an international outfit like we have here at Auburn [with] Auburn Global, I jumped at the chance,” he says. “I had never had a chance to fully get into a situation where I worked with international students, and that was also part of my identity. I’m excited to be here.” 

Auburn University is a top-ranked university in the US, offering international students a small-town experience with a vibrant culture, full of career opportunities and paths for personal growth. Known for its welcoming spirit and traditions, Auburn offers dedicated international student support services through Auburn Global, including visa application assistance, career prep, academic advising, and more. 

The International Student Experience in the US

As a former international student, Chidume knows what it is like to move to a different country for your studies. 

“I think it’s important to realize or understand that [by] coming to a different country to study, things are going to be a little different, and that’s OK. It’s part of the experience,” he says.

Here, people have opportunities to showcase their independence and whatever you want to do, you can do.” — Chukwudi “ChuChu” Chidume, managing director, Auburn Global

To successfully transition to life in the US, Chidume recommends that international students keep an open mind and try new things. The goal is to grow not just academically, but also as members of a global society.  

In the spirit of trying new things, Auburn Global staff strives to continuously improve and enhance its services. 

“The goal is obviously to serve our students,” says Chidume. “We’re open-minded, willing to adapt, [and] have a strong desire to make sure we can meet the needs of our students, because that is the primary and fundamental objective of our team.”     

The Benefits of Enrolling with Auburn Global

With his background in education and student support, Chidume aims to support students with compassion, understanding, and motivation to be the best they can be. 

Shorelight’s core value of putting students first drives everything the Auburn Global team does, Chidume says, and his team aligns that value with Auburn’s mission and general diversity initiatives. This includes incorporating student voices into Auburn Global’s work.

“We do seek feedback from our students to get tips on how to [better] serve them,” he says.

Students interested in Auburn Global can always reach out to a Shorelight advisor for complete support, from application to graduation. Shorelight counselors can help you choose the right program to suit your goals, successfully transition to campus, create effective study plans, and much more. 

If you choose to attend Auburn, Chidume and his team will be there to help you succeed. 

“[Auburn Global] is a great opportunity to study in the US, and I think, as an international student, it will be an experience different from what you’ve had,” he says. “[It’s] one that will help diversify you as an individual and [will] improve your general knowledge on what takes place in other parts of the world.”

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