Navigatio on the Road: Lewis & Clark College

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Lewis & Clark is a small, private college tucked into the hills, just outside of Portland. The campus is exquisite, in terms of natural beauty, and the creative & international vibe is palpable. Only 15 minutes from downtown Portland, it’s an easy ride on the free shuttle and the bicycle culture is active on campus and around town. The students at Lewis & Clark seem to be very content with their situations and there’s an interesting collection of students from all over the country.

Lewis and Clark College is most interested in finding students who are good students who have curiosity about the world, rather than good students who are only concerned with getting good grades. The most popular majors are in the social sciences department, with psychology and anthropology topping the list. They are also quite proud of their biology department at Lewis & Clark. Study abroad is emphasized heavily, with 60% participating (national average is 25%). The average class size is 20, with the number dropping to 15 for junior and senior years.

There is a strong sense of community at Lewis & Clark, and the students have the opportunity to know their professors well. There are many interesting cultural clubs and groups, including feminist groups, a Hawaiian cultural club, environmental activism, a radio station, choirs, college outdoors (rugged organized trips), 5 acapella groups, a wind symphony, a full orchestra (anyone can join music groups), a large theatre with a mainstage and experimental theatre. Private music lessons are available and their sports are Division 3. So there is a lot to do at Lewis and Clark. All kinds of kids are welcome at Lewis and Clark, and it shows.

There are some interesting housing options including themed dorms (visual and performing arts, outdoor pursuits, and an ecofriendly dorm with a community garden and compost pile), There is a language immersion housing unit, where everyone who lives there, agrees to speak only in the chosen language, for a semester or year. The New York Times is available for free every day (a big plus in my book!), and Lewis & Clark has a ceramics studio and darkroom available to all students. Overall, I’d say Lewis and Clark is a great place for creative & curious kids!