University of Portland

Portland, OR: The University of Portland is a private Catholic school ­located in the suburbs of Portland, a 10-minute drive from one of the most eco-friendly cities in the U.S. The college has just over 3,200 students. One of the top five schools in its region, it offers 39 majors, 28 minors, and more than 1,100 classes. It is the only school in Oregon that has a ­College of Arts and Sciences, schools of Business, Education, Engineering, and Nursing, and a graduate school.

I recently had the chance to stay at the campus overnight and get a feel for everyday life there. As soon as I stepped on campus I noticed how beautiful it is. There are eight dorms, a fitness center, various chapels, and sports fields, all within the beautiful, green, 120-acre campus.

The campus is rather small and easy to get around. Many students ride bikes, and the university provides them for free. This just goes to show that the college is environmentally sound and eco-friendly like the rest of Oregon. Some of the food served in the cafeteria is grown within 120 miles of campus, which supports local businesses and cuts down on unhealthy foods and pollution from transportation.

I stayed in Kenna Hall, a beautifully furnished co-ed dorm full of friendly people. My roommates went out of their way to make me feel welcome; they walked me to my classes, took me to dinner, and basically did everything they could to make sure I enjoyed my stay. They answered all of my questions and gave me a good idea of what the school is like.

The most popular sport at the University of Portland is girls’ soccer. Ranked fourth in the nation, the Pilots are a big deal on campus, especially since there is no football team. Every game is jam-packed with students and fellow Portlanders. The cheering can be heard from miles away.

I visited two classes, both of which were small, with an average size of 30 students. There is a 13:1 student to teacher ratio, so students get personal attention and all the help they need. All classes are taught by professors, as opposed to large universities with classes run by teaching aides.

One interesting academic opportunity at the University of Portland is the chance to study abroad. More than 50 percent of students participate, taking courses in countries like Spain and Austria. They can study abroad one semester or a full year. The classes are taught in English or the local language. This program is an amazing opportunity to become more culturally aware and see what life is like in another country.

Overall, my stay at the University of Portland was eye-opening and gave me a look into what schools are like in other states. The University of ­Portland is for those seeking academic challenge and a close, friendly community. To find out more, check out