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 because of the people and relationships.”

Hannah Paauw Hannah Paauw ’21 Psychology and biology-health professions major from Brandon, South Dakota

Hannah'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

“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

“My history major has changed the way I think and look at the world. I’m much better at thinking critically and organizing details into a coherent whole than I was coming in as a freshman. Even if my career path should take unexpected turns in the future, I think these skills will be very useful.”

Abby Ver Mulm Abby Ver Mulm ’20 History major from Rock Valley, Iowa

Abby'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 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

“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 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 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

“I have gained so many more things from Northwestern than just a fabulous education. I have grown in my faith every year, I have met incredible friends—including my fiancée—and established relationships that will last a lifetime, and I have grown in my musical skills. Northwestern is truly an amazing college.”

Joel Van Peursem Joel Van Peursem ’21 Music and secondary education major from Vermillion, South Dakota

Joel'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 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 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

“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

“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

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