A Northwestern student overlooks the vista from their canoe during the Portage trip.

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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Northwestern students blog about life as Red Raiders. Visit our NWC Stories website to read about what they’re learning and experiencing–and who they’re becoming.

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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 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 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

“I have met so many nice people and made a lot of good friends who have left a major impact on my life. I felt like I have discovered a family here.”

Poulina Tran Poulina Tran ’19 Computer science and mathematics major from Hanoi, Vietnam

Poulina's story

“I’ve learned through studying theatre at Northwestern that God speaks to us through stories, and we can seek God and glorify him through using our talents to tell stories to connect with other people.”

Rebecca Ochoa Rebecca Ochoa ’19 Theatre major from Cedar Falls, Iowa

Rebecca's story

“Besides an education, I have gained meaningful relationships with my professors and peers at Northwestern. I have also gained a broader understanding of my place in the world both as a Christian and a scientist.”

Peace Preston Peace Preston ’19 Chemistry major from Spencer, Iowa

Peace's story

“The biology department provides many opportunities to do individual and group research. Once we learn the lab techniques, our professors give us the freedom to use what we know to solve big questions in the lab. That prepares us for future research and helps us develop problem-solving skills.”

Katie DeKruyff Katie DeKruyff ’19 Genetics/Molecular Biology/Cellular Biology major from Fontana, California

Katie'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

“Art is an expression of your thoughts in its rawest form, and it is incredible to explore those thoughts at NWC with friends and newfound family.”

William Browning William Browning ’19 Art and biology health professions major from Duncan, Oklahoma

William's story

“It wasn’t until I asked a tutor for assistance for the first time that I realized how helpful peer tutoring can be.”

Matt Scott Matt Scott ’19 Actuarial Science major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Matt's story

“One of my social work profs says we're trying to work ourselves out of a job. I think one of the most rewarding things we can do is help someone help themselves.”

Amy Tuttle Amy Tuttle ’19 Social work and Spanish major from Orange City, Iowa

Amy'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

“It wasn’t until I asked a tutor for assistance for the first time that I realized how helpful peer tutoring can be.”

Matt Scott Matt Scott ’19 Actuarial Science major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Matt'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

“What motivated me to come here is that the college has a very diverse soccer team with highly skilled players, and it offers a strong academic program that includes a wide range of business degrees.”

Jacobo Garcia-Nieto de la Orden Jacobo Garcia-Nieto de la Orden ’19 Finance and Management major from Barcelona, Spain

Jacobo's story

“At Northwestern, I’ve gained true friendships.”

Alex Currier Alex Currier ’19 Sociology major from Ottawa, Kansas

Alex's story

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