GWU Office of International Student Services Celebrates International Education Week

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Several Events Highlight GWU’s International Population

A photo of Joao Espinheira, an international student at GWU
Joao Espinheira

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb University Office of International Student Services is celebrating International Education Week, observed nationally Nov. 17-23. A series of programs is planned to recognize the international population on campus and celebrate the diversity these students, faculty and staff add to the GWU community. Also, during November, an international photo gallery will be on display in the library.

Gardner-Webb is home to 58 undergraduate and 15 graduate students from more than 30 countries across all continents. The University faculty also has many international professors, including Ghassan Dib, instructor of accounting in the Godbold School of Business. He came to GWU in 2000 to pursue his Master of Accountancy. After graduation, he began working as an adjunct instructor and became a full-time instructor in 2007.

Ghassan Dib, GWU instructor of accounting, teaches at class at Gardner-Webb.
Ghassan Dib, GWU instructor of accounting, teaches at class at Gardner-Webb.

“International students cultivate a diverse campus atmosphere by sharing their multiple cultures and experiences with other students,” Dib affirmed. “In our business school, we have several international professors. They are from Korea, Venezuela, China, and Nigeria. An international professor can bring various aspects to teaching, especially when classes like global accounting, international marketing, and international finance are part of our academic curriculum.”

Student-athletes, Corinna Wiegand of Germany and João Espinheira of Brazil, said being at Gardner-Webb gave them an opportunity to develop strong friendships while learning a different culture. Wiegand, a senior, plays on the women’s basketball team and is a double major in graphic design and sociology. Espinheira, a junior, plays on the men’s soccer team and is majoring in international business.

“The best part of my time at GWU are the friendships I made and the people that crossed my path since I am here,” she observed. “I am so thankful for that, as well as the experiences that come along with it. The most beneficial thing about coming to college in America is the language skills I have gained over the years. Further, observing and living in another culture expanded my ways of viewing things around me and made me grow.”

Corinna Wiegand playing basketball.
Corinna Wiegand of Germany is a senior, double majoring in graphic design and sociology.

Espinheira added that studying in America has helped him appreciate the differences in the world. “I’ve experienced a lot here, and I am a better person for sure,” Espinheira offered. “Dealing with different cultures is one of the most important things that I will take with me for my career development and life overall.”

The following events are scheduled to celebrate the week:

  • Nov. 14, 7 p.m. – Conversation Café – Practice your conversation skills in Spanish, French, German and ASL, Kind Coffee Shop, 105 S. Main St., Boiling Springs
  • Nov. 19, 9:25 a.m. – International recognition during Dimensions with Dr. Terry Casino, GWU professor of missiology, Stewart Hall, Tucker Student Center
  • Nov. 20, 8 p.m. – Open Mic Night, Language Out Loud, Broad River Café

Learn more about the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Affairs.


Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704.406.4264 or email with your request.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at