Northwestern students pack up their canoes 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.

walking on campus


Your success starts here
Students choose NWC for standout academics,
strong faith and a sense of belonging.

Learn More

walking on campus


We want you to be a Raider.
Our investment in you starts with scholarships
that reward your hard work and recognize the
ways you’ll enrich our campus community.

Explore scholarships

walking on campus


Better than the rest
Survey says … Northwestern students are
supremely satisfied with life in Raider Nation.
We bested our competitors in personal
attention, school spirit and more.

Check it out

students sitting near the college coffee shop


Inside Raider Nation
Get to know the faculty, staff and students who will
influence you, and alumni who are leading lives
of significance.

Meet standout Raiders

Smart and Strong
Want a standout college that’s strong academically, spiritually, relationally and athletically? Choose Northwestern.

Learn more

We our studentsand our students love us

“Northwestern calls us to something higher and deeper than our own motives and focuses?it’s a place where we can strive to live the lives God desires for us.”

James Stoscher James Stoscher’23 Worship Arts major from Erseka, Albania

James's story

“Northwestern faculty and staff do a great job of challenging me. They hold high standards that are achievable and attainable. ”

Taylor VanderVelde Taylor VanderVelde Biology-Health Professions major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Taylor's story

“I grew in my appreciation and knowledge of other cultures. Most of my time was spent with other international students from all over the world. Asking them questions and understanding their home life was one of my favorite parts of being in Ireland.”

Emily Hurley Emily Hurley Exercise Science major from Pleasant Hill, Iowa

Emily's story

“I grew as a person in every way at Northwestern—academically, emotionally and spiritually. I 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 Biology-Health Professions major from Sioux Center, Iowa

Samantha's story

“Not only has Northwestern prepared me for my career, but my education has prepared me to live a meaningful life. ”

Jenee Eden Jenee Eden Accounting major from Wesley, Iowa

Jenee's story

“Northwestern’s faculty are amazing. Every professor cares about his or her students and strives to make their college experience special.”

Kip Cullinan Kip Cullinan Chemistry major from Urbandale, Iowa

Kip's story

“At Northwestern, God has provided me with an excellent academic experience, a beautifully Christ-centered community, and a place that has grown and challenged my faith. ”

Faith Tyrrell Faith Tyrrell Graphic Design major from Marshalltown, Iowa

Faith's story

“I wanted a school where the professors had personal connections with students and the dorms were places where other students helped you grow spiritually and emotionally. Northwestern fit that criteria.”

Colin Kaemingk Colin Kaemingk History major from Lynden, Washington

Colin's story

“Besides an education, Northwestern has given me great friends and connected me to a variety of different people”

Linsy Gonzalez Linsy Gonzalez Spanish-English Translation and Interpretation major from Boyden, Iowa

Linsy's story

“The hands-on experience you receive at Northwestern prepares you for your future in many ways. It helps you decide the route you want to take, and it gives you insight into what some jobs are really like before you enter the workforce. ”

Karlveon Ford Karlveon Ford Business Administration major from Pueblo, Colorado

Karlveon's story

““Faculty didn’t give up on me or just let me get by. They set high expectations for me and pushed me to want to learn.””

Cade Moser Cade Moser’22 Elementary Education major from Rock Valley, Iowa

Cade's story

“I want to become a certified nursing assistant because I care about people and want to help them feel better. ”

Daniel Mills Daniel Mills’23 NEXT Program major from Blackstone, Massachusetts

Daniel's story

“Northwestern does a great job of providing a community where you can meet incredible people and grow and learn together”

Misael Bruzzone Misael Bruzzone Economics major from Asunción, Paraguay

Misael's story

““I was open to attending Northwestern, because I thought, ‘This is the place I will find God.’””

Chau Le Chau Le’21 Computer Science, Math & Chemistry major from Hanoi, Vietnam

Chau's story

“The Northwestern faculty are among the main reasons I love NWC so much. They want me to do my absolute best, and they are there to support me every step of the way.”

Annika Stecker Annika Stecker Biology/Genetics major from Spirit Lake, Iowa

Annika's story

loading
LOADING …