Northwestern students 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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We our studentsand our students love us

“The community at Northwestern has enabled me to take a good hard look at where I am on my own adventure, and the people I have met in Orange City and overseas have inspired me to empower others to be the best they can be. ”

Will Norris Will Norris ’17 Community Development major from Spirit Lake, Iowa

Will's story

“Studying business has challenged my faith in a variety of ways, and I especially appreciate the business ethics course I took. We were able to discuss difficult scenarios from a Christian perspective, and I have no doubt I will personally encounter many similar situations in my future career.”

TJ Spykstra TJ Spykstra ’17 Business administration/marketing major from Aurora, Colorado

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“Though the coursework in the sciences is often difficult, Northwestern has created an environment that fosters learning and enables students to be successful. ”

Matt Hillman Matt Hillman ’18 Biology health professions major from Post Falls, Idaho

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“This program makes sure that when we graduate with a degree in education, we are sharp, elite, and can perform the way teachers are supposed to: like heroes without the cape.”

Stephan Sanford Stephan Sanford ’18 Physical education major from Pomona, California

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“As I have started to research the entrance requirements for some of the graduate schools I want to attend, I just have to shake my head and smile because my professors prepared me so well. ”

Chris Sietstra Chris Sietstra ’17 Psychology and Accounting major from Boyden, Iowa

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