A Northwestern student relaxes in a canoe during Portage.

Portage: The Journey Begins

Dive into friendships, thinking and experiential learning—all of which will be part of your Northwestern experience—by participating in Portage. Portage is a wilderness experience designed for incoming freshmen and transfer students. In August, prior to Orientation, Portage takes students on an outdoor adventure in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). While camping, canoeing and portaging (carrying your canoe overland), you'll have a chance to explore your faith and character as you prepare to get as much as you can—learning with your head and heart—from your college experience.

Christian community—it's wild!

Portage leaders are experienced wilderness instructors who have participated in Coldwater Foundation's Wilderness Leadership Expedition, have completed the full wilderness instructor training, and are certified in first aid and as a first responder. They'll guide your exploration of what it means to be a Christian in community while you work together to navigate the BWCA, talk around the campfire each night, and spend time journaling and reflecting.

Participation costs $450 and is limited to the first 24 students who register. Scholarships are available; email Coldwater Foundation for information.

A Coldwater Foundation program, Portage is endorsed by Northwestern College's Franken Leadership Center to promote and foster a lifestyle of leadership on NWC's campus.

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Standout stories
Recent grads talk about what they learned at
Northwestern, what they loved about Raider Nation,
and how they hope to lead lives of significance.

Meet our grads

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I Northwestern
Our students love Raider Nation. They love the tight-knit community, their classes and professors, and opportunities to grow as Christians. They love feeling like they belong. See for yourself. You’ll love it.

We our studentsand our students love us

“I chose Northwestern for many reasons, but the most significant was because I believe Northwestern will do the best job at preparing me to become the best possible husband, father, citizen and Christian after college.”

Sean Powell Sean Powell ’20 Chemistry major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sean's story

“The opportunities I've had in the English department have led to professional growth as well as helped me build close relationships with professors and fellow English majors.”

Schuyler Sterk Schuyler Sterk ’21 English teaching major from Belle Plaine, Minnesota

Schuyler's story

“I’ve always liked helping others in need. Not only does helping people in the tutor center give me satisfaction, but the part I love the most is when the student leaves the center understanding the topic.”

Sammy Blum Sammy Blum ’21 Biology–health professions major from Rock Valley, Iowa

Sammy's story

“I’ve always liked helping others in need. Not only does helping people in the tutor center give me satisfaction, but the part I love the most is when the student leaves the center understanding the topic.”

Sammy Blum Sammy Blum ’21 Biology–health professions major from Rock Valley, Iowa

Sammy's story

“It took a lot of paperwork and long lines of waiting to get a two-minute interview for a student visa at the American embassy, but it was all worth it.”

Wilfredo Almendarez Wilfredo Almendarez ’22 Political science major from Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Wilfredo's story

“I really love the idea of interdisciplinary study that the Honors Program offers. This really interests me because my majors are so different, and because I love to learn as much as I can. In fact, I wanted to major in four or five disciplines, but that’s not feasible, so instead I enrolled in the Honors Program because it promises experience in fields outside of your own, which is really cool.”

Landon Van Berkum Landon Van Berkum ’22 Computer science and history major from Everson, Washington

Landon's story

“At Northwestern, I'm gaining a better and broader worldview. If your education doesn't change the way you live, then something is wrong. Northwestern changes lives.”

Josh Fischer Josh Fischer ’21 Computer science major from Cutler Bay, Florida

Josh's story

“I feel very well prepared for my future because I have had a lot of success in my internships. Last summer I interned for Foster Group and was able to adjust very fast even though I had never had a job in the finance industry. Learning in the classroom was a great starting point.”

Devin Vander Werff Devin Vander Werff ’20 Business administration/finance major from Urbandale, Iowa

Devin's story

“Something I love about our theatre department is the true emphasis on ensemble. We all work together to create something for the King. Every part is equally important, and we all learn and love each other along the way.”

Corrie Hayes Corrie Hayes ’20 Theatre and business administration/marketing major from Fort Dodge, Iowa

Corrie's story

“At Northwestern I’ve gained relationships that will last a lifetime. It took less than a couple of hours on campus for me to meet someone who is now one of my best friends. And from there I found countless other friends who I know will be there for me at any time in my life.”

Chris Ten Pas Chris Ten Pas ’21 Criminal justice major from Oostburg, Wisconsin

Chris's story

“Math prepares anyone for the fast-paced work environment of any 21st century job because learning the skills for solving complex mathematical problems teaches you how to solve nearly any other problem.”

Kitrick Fynaardt Kitrick Fynaardt ’21 Math and computer science major from Alton, Iowa

Kitrick's story

“I truly love and enjoy this college beyond belief. Choosing to attend here was definitely one of my greatest decisions.”

Grahm Kenobbie Grahm Kenobbie ’20 Philosophy and computer science major from Phoenix, Arizona

Grahm's story

“I encourage students to choose Northwestern if they’re seeking intimate learning environments that focus on cultivating connections and interdisciplinary skills.”

Ali Almail Ali Almail ’21 Art and genetics, molecular and cellular biology major from Sanad, Bahrain

Ali's story

“I applied to be part of the Honors Program for several reasons, one being that I wished to give myself the best opportunity to be pushed and to strive to achieve the highest of honors. To not challenge myself at this stage would feel as though I’m selling myself short. What makes this program even more desirable is the faculty; I appreciate that my professors are scholars who wish to promote the growth of each student.”

Jonathan Johnson Jonathan Johnson ’21 Business administration and psychology major from Bellflower, California

Jonathan's story

“Through my courses at Northwestern, I’ve been able to learn about different theological ideas without doubting the importance of the central truth of the gospel. I’ve also been able to grapple with new and ancient ways to worship God. Wrestling with both of these has strengthened my faith.”

Heather Van Itallie Heather Van Itallie ’20 Christian education and youth ministry major from Davenport, Iowa

Heather's story

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