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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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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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

“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 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

“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 Business administration/finance and management major from Barcelona, Spain

Jacobo'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

“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

“Northwestern has given me a better environment to focus on my academics and athletics. I have also been able to form strong relationships with my peers and coaches and grow in my relationship with God.”

Dabby Anyadike Dabby Anyadike ’22 Business administration major from Abuja, Nigeria

Dabby'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

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

Grant'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

“Northwestern provides an incredible education that puts students well on their way to achieving their goals.”

Erica Hulsing Erica Hulsing ’21 Sport management and accounting major from Grinnell, Iowa

Erica'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

“I encourage students to choose Northwestern if they’re seeking intimate learning environments that focus on cultivating connections and interdisciplinary skills.”

Ali Almail Ali Almail ’21 Art and genetics, molecular and cellular biology major from Sanad, Bahrain

Ali'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 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

“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

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