news-category: Academics

Through Global Partnerships, Gardner-Webb Offers Several Opportunities to Study Abroad

Santiago Agreda-Martinez, second from left, and Jordan Joseph, third from left, pose with other students they met in Germany.
Santiago Agreda-Martinez, second from left, and Jordan Joseph, third from left, pose with other students they met while studying in Germany.

Santiago Agreda-Martinez and Jordan Joseph are Among 29 Students Participating in Programs in 2023-24

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—After studying German at Gardner-Webb University with professor Dr. Bernhard Martin, Santiago Agreda-Martinez and Jordan Joseph applied to study abroad in Mannheim, Germany. They began their adventure on July 31. Joseph will stay for two semesters, and Agreda-Martinez will be back at GWU for the 2024 Spring Semester.

Martin also serves as director of International Programs at Gardner-Webb. He is excited to see more students taking advantage of international opportunities. For the 2023 Spring Semester, four students went abroad. In May and June 2023, 15 participated in intensive summer schools, and in spring 2024, eight students will be studying abroad—three in Liverpool, three in Athens, and two in Germany. In addition to the students traveling to other countries, Gardner-Webb has four German exchange students on campus this semester—two from Mannheim and two from Trier University.

Martin offered the benefits of studying abroad. “Every company or grad program looks at study abroad in a very positive light,” he explained. “This is one of those markers that makes you stand out. It says something about who you are that you are willing to jump into a new environment and see where you can go with that.”  

Gardner-Webb also has partnerships with universities in Malta, Greece, Spain, Quebec, and Sweden. Martin noted that students can choose a semester abroad, summer sessions, or short trips. He advised students who might be interested in international studies to start the conversation early in their college career.

“They can come to my office, and I can listen to what they hope to accomplish and design a program for them,” Martin stated. “We partner with universities that teach courses in English, so the language barrier is not there.”    

From left, Jordan Joseph and Santiago Agreda-Martinez pose with other students who attended a soccer match, which was one of the trips arranged by the Intensive International Summer Academy.

Agreda-Martinez and Joseph are in an exchange program offered through a partnership between GWU and Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Mannheim, Germany. The school is one of Germany’s largest and best-known institutions for career-integrated dual study programs.

As part of their exchange, DHBW gave Agreda-Martinez and Joseph 3,000 euros and offered them a free four-week German course at the Intensive International Summer Academy. “I have learned so much German,” related Agreda-Martinez. “I met so many people from different parts of the world and became very close friends with all of them. The best part so far is the excursions the school does for the students to get out and have fun. My favorite excursion is the soccer match between Hoffenheim and SC Freiburg.”

Agreda-Martinez, of Charlotte, N.C., is majoring in criminal justice administration and minoring in homeland security, German, and military science. He already speaks Spanish and English and wanted to expand his language skills by adding German.

Joseph, of Clayton, N.C., is a junior. He’s pursuing a double major in international business and Christian studies with a concentration in missiology and a minor in German. “I chose my major because I want to help spread the word of God to those all around the world and to help people,” he explained. “I am getting a business degree to make it easier for me to go into countries where missionaries are not allowed to enter.”

For more information about Gardner-Webb’s international opportunities, email Martin at or call him at 704-406-4415.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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