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 NWC because of the intentionality of the professors, staff and students. Northwestern pushes students to grow into world changers through academic and spiritual leadership.”

Lydia Pearson Lydia Pearson ’22 Spanish and social work major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Lydia's story

“I encourage students to attend Northwestern if they’re looking for a place where they can stand out. The wonderful thing about Northwestern is that it is really easy to find your niche and form lasting friendships.”

Sofia Schaeffer Sofia Schaeffer ’22 Theatre major from Spearfish, South Dakota

Sofia'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 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

“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

“If you’re looking to grow during your college years, choose Northwestern.”

Libby Ven Huizen Libby Ven Huizen ’21 Worship arts major from Sheldon, Iowa

Libby's story

“What I love the most about Northwestern College is my fellow students and my professors. The atmosphere of Northwestern facilitates the development of close relationships, and that reason alone is why I came here.”

Noah Karmann Noah Karmann ’21 Political science and history major from Columbus, Nebraska

Noah's story

“Northwestern is full of genuine people because the ethos of campus encourages everyone to get out there and just be yourself. I love that. In Hospers Hall we have a saying, ”

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

Kitrick's story

“All of my professors have been extremely invested in both my learning and in my life. They are all passionate about both science and their faith, and they are always willing to field questions about either of these things.”

Noah Gritters Noah Gritters ’21 Biology–health professions, chemistry and mathematics major from Pella, Iowa

Noah'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’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

“Northwestern faculty are amazing to learn from. They have so many insights about the topics we’re learning about, which make classes interesting and engaging. ”

Jadeyn Veltkamp Jadeyn Veltkamp ’23 Public relations major from Orange City, Iowa

Jadeyn's story

“Northwestern’s education faculty are amazing and constantly teach that faith goes hand-in-hand with learning at all levels. I really appreciate how quickly education majors are given hands-on experience in the classroom so we can determine early if this is the career path for us.”

Whitney Erickson Whitney Erickson ’23 Elementary education major from Story City, Iowa

Whitney's story

“The best things about the physics department at Northwestern are the challenging courses and the professors’ you-can-do-it attitude. Together, they produce high student achievement.”

Steven Van Meeteren Steven Van Meeteren ’22 Biophysics, chemistry and mathematics major from Sheldon, Iowa

Steven's story

“Northwestern has given me a better environment to focus on my academics and athletics. I have also been able to form strong relationships with my peers and coaches and grow in my relationship with God.”

Dabby Anyadike Dabby Anyadike ’22 Business administration major from Los Angeles, California

Dabby's story

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