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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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 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’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

“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

“Besides gaining knowledge at Northwestern, I have gained maturity. ”

Wilfredo Almendarez Wilfredo Almendarez ’22 Political science major from Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Wilfredo's story

“I encourage students to attend Northwestern if they’re looking for a place where they can stand out. The wonderful thing about Northwestern is that it is really easy to find your niche and form lasting friendships.”

Sofia Schaeffer Sofia Schaeffer ’22 Theatre major from Spearfish, South Dakota

Sofia's story

“The best things about the physics department at Northwestern are the challenging courses and the professors’ you-can-do-it attitude. Together, they produce high student achievement.”

Steven Van Meeteren Steven Van Meeteren ’22 Biophysics, chemistry and mathematics major from Sheldon, Iowa

Steven's story

“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

“I love that Northwestern has become a second home and that no matter what, I’ll always have people who support me like family.”

Hayden Lee Hayden Lee ’22 Social work major from Long Beach, California

Hayden's story

“I chose Northwestern for the community. I wanted to be at a place where I knew not only my peers, but also the professors and staff. When I visited Northwestern, I could see all the students felt like they belonged, and that is how I wanted to feel.”

Michaela Kleinwolterink Michaela Kleinwolterink ’21 Accounting major from Sheldon, Iowa

Michaela'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

“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

“Northwestern’s education faculty are amazing and constantly teach that faith goes hand-in-hand with learning at all levels. I really appreciate how quickly education majors are given hands-on experience in the classroom so we can determine early if this is the career path for us.”

Whitney Erickson Whitney Erickson ’23 Elementary education major from Story City, Iowa

Whitney's story

“Northwestern is full of genuine people because the ethos of campus encourages everyone to get out there and just be yourself. I love that. In Hospers Hall we have a saying, ”

Kitrick Fynaardt Kitrick Fynaardt ’21 Math and computer science major from Alton, Iowa

Kitrick's story

“I chose NWC because of the intentionality of the professors, staff and students. Northwestern pushes students to grow into world changers through academic and spiritual leadership.”

Lydia Pearson Lydia Pearson ’22 Spanish and social work major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Lydia'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

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