The International Student Handbook has been prepared to assist international students at Gardner Webb University with their initial adjustment to the United States and to the university. The International Student Services (ISS), on behalf of all faculty, staff and students, welcomes you to the Gardner-Webb community. We extend our best wishes for your successful academic achievement and an enjoyable and memorable experience at Gardner-Webb University. We are available to serve you in a variety of ways and hope that you will consider our community a home away from home.

In this handbook, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions from international students. We hope it makes your transition to the United States and Gardner-Webb University as easy as possible and acts as your first guide to studying in the United States. If you have any problems or questions, please do not hesitate to call the International Student Services at (704) 406-2155. We are here to help and guide you every step of the way. If you wish to meet with a staff member, please call to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

In addition to this handbook, please visit the Office of International Student Services, the Gardner-Webb University Web Site, and the Gardner-Webb University Schedule of Courses, for additional information. Once again, welcome to Gardner- Webb University!

**Please note that this handbook was prepared for informational purposes only. It does not constitute a contract between Gardner-Webb University and its international students, and should not be construed as such. **

A Brief History of Gardner-Webb University

Gardner-Webb University has experienced remarkable growth, perseverance, and maturity. The institution began as a boarding high school and later became a junior college. Today Gardner-Webb is a thriving regional university with growing master’s and doctoral programs.

From a movement initiated by the Kings Mountain Baptist Association in 1903, and later joined by the Sandy Run Baptist Association, the Boiling Springs High School was chartered on December 2, 1905 as an institution “where the young…could have the best possible educational advantages under distinctive Christian influence.” This close relationship of the institution to the area churches continues today.

In response to the changing educational needs of the area, the institution was transformed into the Boiling Springs Junior College in 1928. The Great Depression created many problems for the College, but its survival was secured by the sacrifices of many loyal supporters.

In 1942, Governor 0. Max Gardner began devoting his energy, time, and wealth to strengthening and guiding the College. So important was his influence, that the name of the institution was changed to Gardner-Webb College in honor of the governor, his wife Fay Webb Gardner, and their families.

The decades following World War II were years of physical growth and academic development. New buildings went up as enrollments increased. A major step in the institutions’ development was its full accreditation as a senior college in 1971. In 1980 the institution began offering a Master of Arts degree in education.

The institution officially became known as Gardner-Webb University in January 1993, culminating years of preparation. Today Gardner-Webb is a flourishing regional institution, which offers distinct degree programs, has a highly qualified faculty, and a beautiful campus of over 200 acres.

Historically, the University has played significant roles in teacher education and ministerial preparation for church-related vocations. Programs of instruction and experiences designed to prepare teachers and ministers continue to be major objectives of the University.

Although there have been many changes over the years, Gardner-Webb University remains closely related to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The University holds in high esteem its commitment to Christian principles and values as the best foundation for the development of human personality and social order.

The official colors of Gardner-Webb University are red and white. Athletic teams representing the University are nick named  the Bulldogs.

International Student Services

The Office of International Student Services (ISS) was created to provide services to all students and faculty. While assisting international students with their adjustment to Gardner-Webb University, the office offers programming through the International Club to enhance the student experience.

Our Functions

The ISS works closely with the Admissions Office to validate international students’ credentials and financial status before immigration documents are prepared and sent to them for visa application and subsequent entry into the U.S. The office processes all letters and immigration documents as needed by international students before and after arrival to the campus and organizes orientation for new students.

The Coordinator of ISS and PDSO acts as a liaison and advisor to academic departments and schools on foreign student issues. We advise international students on academic, personal, social, immigration, and financial matters during their stay at GWU. We are here to guide you as you navigate your way through college life and beyond.

The Coordinator also collaborates with our study abroad partners to provide excellent advising to all Gardner- Webb University students in their search and preparation to study abroad. We also assist faculty and students to locate short-term opportunities abroad especially with our overseas partners.

International Club (IC)

The ISS can provide you with information on special activities or programs organized for international students. We collaborate with the International Club (IC) to execute many of these activities. The IC is a social organization that fosters friendship and understanding among international and American students by scheduling a variety of events, workshops, and activities throughout the academic year.