Northwestern students make camp 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

“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

“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

“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 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

“I appreciate how much the nursing faculty care for us. If we are struggling in a class or are not understanding something very well, they will take the time to help us out and make sure we are back on the right track. They do a very good job of both teaching us and making sure we know they care about us.”

Grant Rohrer Grant Rohrer ’20 Nursing major from Slayton, Minnesota

Grant'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 ’20 Biology–health professions, chemistry and mathematics major from Pella, Iowa

Noah's story

“I’ve grown as a person in every way at Northwestern—academically, emotionally and spiritually. I’ve learned so much about myself, others and the world around me. Northwestern is a beautiful, fun and safe place that truly changes students’ lives if they let it.”

Samantha Olson Samantha Olson ’22 Biology-health professions major from Sioux Center, Iowa

Samantha'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

“Northwestern’s education faculty are absolutely amazing. They truly want to see you succeed and want to get to know you on a personal level.”

Trevor Rozeboom Trevor Rozeboom ’20 Elementary education major from Rock Rapids, Iowa

Trevor's story

“I would tell students who are considering studying abroad to take the leap and do it. It teaches you so much about who you are, and you learn so much about other people.”

McKinley  Fopma McKinley  Fopma ’20 Accounting and business administration major from Pella, Iowa

McKinley '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

“Every Northwestern professor I have been privileged to take a class with or casually encounter during an activity on campus or at church has been absolutely gracious and inspiring.”

Adebola Adeyemo Adebola Adeyemo ’20 Public relations major from Lagos, Nigeria

Adebola's story

“I have loved working with every professor in the Spanish department. They are all so kind and all demonstrate their dedication to students and their jobs.”

Suresh Portillo Suresh Portillo ’20 translation and interpretation major from San Francisco, California

Suresh's story

“I want to live in a political system that cares about others as much as Jesus commands and abides by the ethic of loving others as yourself. Hopefully studying political science will enable me to do that more effectively.”

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

Noah'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

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