news-category: Admissions

Gardner-Webb Sets New Records with Global Footprint of over 100 International Students from More Than 40 Countries

international student carrying a flag of his country at graduation

Students Bring the World and Rich Diverse Cultures to Campus and Community

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—For the 2022 Fall Semester at Gardner-Webb, the student population includes 108 international students, the highest on record. According to the Office of International Student Services, they represent 45 countries on six continents. With a history of recruiting student-athletes from around the world, the University’s Division I athletics program is now home to 87 internationals. For student-athletes, the most popular majors are business administration and management, while divinity, ministry and missions appeal to non-student-athletes.

Other popular degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate international students are exercise science and kinesiology, criminal justice, math, biology, divinity, missions, and mental health counseling. These students are choosing Gardner-Webb’s vibrant campus community from places like Ireland, Iceland and Italy, as well as Australia, Burma and China. The countries with the most students are France (10), Canada (9) and Brazil (7).

*Data reflects reported numbers as of Aug. 10, 2022.

“I don’t know if anyone who was part of the founding of our institution some 117 years ago could have imagined us growing into a university with this kind of global reach,” observed Gardner-Webb President William Downs. “Forty-five foreign countries represented in our college town…that is truly astounding! A strong 21st century university will connect local students with the world, and it will attract the rest of the world to its campus. We are achieving both goals right now and with impressive results, and GWU graduates heading into a global economy will be that much better prepared for success because of it.”

Gardner-Webb’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Lawrence Brinson noted that the presence of international students can create a wealth of authentic opportunities for cultural engagement and enrichment. “In today’s globalized economy, educational and social interaction with students from around the world can provide Gardner-Webb students with real world academic and career benefits,” Brinson affirmed. “Living and learning side-by-side with students from around the world helps all of us learn to avoid stereotyping and form more informed opinions. It gives us a better understanding of international issues and provides new opportunities for unique cross-cultural experiences.”

Coordinator of International Student Services Tina Earls enjoys getting to know the students and helping them adapt to campus life. She also serves as Gardner-Webb’s Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), responsible for managing government compliance of student Visas. “When an international student comes in, we strive to encourage them throughout their education levels and as they become alumni,” she shared. “They are appreciative of all we do, and they are happy here. Gardner-Webb is not new to the international market nor to the global competition of international recruitment and continues to provide quality academics and social experiences. Most non-athletes choose GWU by word-of-mouth recommendations from a church or missions field or former or current students.”

*Data reflects reported numbers as of Aug. 10, 2022.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, 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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