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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“The English department challenges you to dig deeper into your thought process and asks you to be the best student you can be.”

Victor Mena Victor Mena ’18 English major from Avondale, Arizona

Victor's story

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Hope De Ruyter Hope De Ruyter ’19 Psychology major from Rock Valley, Iowa

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Peace Preston Peace Preston ’'19 Chemistry major from Spencer, Iowa

Peace's story

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Keaton Hettver Keaton Hettver ’'18 Social work major from Bloomington, Minnesota

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Poulina Tran Poulina Tran ’19 Computer science and mathematics major from Hanoi, Vietnam

Poulina's story

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