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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Authentic community. Excellent academics. Christ-centered learning. That’s Northwestern College.

We our studentsand our students love us

“The community I’m surrounded with at Northwestern is unbeatable. I feel like I have another family here, and I love reconnecting with them each fall.”

Lauren Spranger ’16 Exercise science major from Trenary, Michigan

Lauren's story

“Many of my classes have explored the ways in which we can live out our faith in the business world. Even if we aren’t working in a Christian-based company or organization, there are things we can do to promote an ethical and positive environment.”

Mattie Ostrowski ’16 Business administration major from Dover, Minnesota

Mattie's story

“All the psychology professors are passionate about different areas of the discipline—and that's evident in the classes they teach and the way they answer our questions and involve us in their research. ”

Jake Vermeer ’16 Psychology major from Pipestone, Minnesota

Jake's story

“I really appreciate the small class sizes at Northwestern. Professors are able to provide one-on-one time with students, which is unique to smaller classes. ”

Trevor Gudeman ’17 Computer science major from Tucson, Arizona

Trevor's story

“I really like the people here and the professors are awesome. It’s small but still big enough that I can meet new people throughout the school year.”

Monserrat Figueroa ’17 Translation and interpretation major from Rock Valley, Iowa

Monserrat's story