Portland, OR

Portland is a thriving, up-and-coming artistic metropolis in the Pacific Northwest

Where is Portland? 

Portland is located in the state of Oregon, in the Northwest section of the contiguous United States. It’s the largest city in Oregon, and is in the top 25 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Oregon is conveniently located between California and Washington on the Pacific coast. From Portland, Seattle is a 280 km/174 mi drive, or a 42 minute flight. Portland to San Francisco is a 1 hr and 16 minute flight. You may want to check out these famous cities during one of our student trips, but we’ll bet you’ll want to stay right where you are.

Studying with Columbia School of English will allow you to explore what this great city has to offer.

With our robust activities and events calendar, you’ll be immersed not only in the English language, but in the Portland culture as well. Learn about American customs, holidays and events through hands-on activities and connection with our partner college, Warner Pacific. Through our innovative teaching methods, we take learning English to a whole new, interactive level, to maximize your exposure to American college life.



Powell's Books

Powell’s City of Books: Powell’s is a Portland landmark, located and operated in downtown since 1971. This “city of books” stretches an entire square city block. With over 1.5 million books, it is the largest independent bookstore in the world.

Portland Japanese Gardens

Portland Japanese Gardens: Proclaimed as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, the Portland Japanese Gardens offers a peaceful, majestic getaway in the hills above Washington Park.


OMSI: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is a nationally recognized science museum with a world-class planetarium. View interactive, engaging exhibits in this all-ages, brainy retreat in inner SE.

Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo: The animal kingdom is only a short Max ride away in Portland. Nestled in the hills above Washington Park, you can visit over 2000 animals at the Oregon Zoo.

Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum: Located in downtown on the Portland State University campus, Portland Art Museum has a large collection of modern and classic works, including permanent collections of Native American and Chinese art. It’s the oldest museum in the Northwest.

Portland Rose Test Garden

International Rose Test Garden: Come see the oldest Rose test garden in the US, and find out why Portland is called the “City of Roses”! With over 8000 roses, this is one sweet spot to check out. Best of all, it’s free.

Lan Su Chinese Gardens Portland

Lan Su Chinese Gardens: Artisans from Portland’s sister city, Suzhou, China, built this authentic Mind Dynasty oasis in the city. Located in the Chinatown district of downtown, the Lan Su Chinese Gardens offers many events, including a two-week Chinese New Year celebration.

First and Last Thursdays

First Thursday and Last Thursday Art Walks: Portland offers a strong art scene. In the downtown Pearl District, enjoy walking the up-scale galleries for the First Thursday art walk. For the more experimental art scene, see the Alberta Arts District Last Thursday art walk. Both are free.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Portland has some of the best coffee in the country, and Stumptown is one of its finest coffee roasters. With locations throughout Portland, Stumptown has now expanded to Seattle and New York City, and is opening in LA soon. It’s that good!

Portland Saturday Market

Portland Saturday Market: Every Saturday in downtown, Portland hosts the largest open-air on-going craft fair in the country. From local artists and photographers to jewelry designers, candle-makers and artisans, you can find a myriad of unique gifts, as well as great food.

Craft Wonderland

Crafty Wonderland: There is no better way to celebrate an American Christmas than with Portland’s Crafty Wonderland, a large craft fair. Find handmade, local products for gifts and stocking-stuffers during their winter Super Colossal Holiday Sale.

Portland Jazz Festival

Portland Jazz Festival: PDX Jazz is celebrating 10 years of Jazz excellence in Portland. With a rich jazz history, especially in the inner-NE area, Portland offers a comprehensive concert selection during the festival in February, and in general throughout the year.

Portland International Film Festival

Portland International Film Festival: Drawing an audience of 38,000, the Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) is the biggest film event in Oregon, premiering more than 140 international shorts and feature films to Portland audiences each February.

McMenamins Bagdad Theater and Pub

Bagdad Theater and PubLocated in the Hawthorne District in SE, the Bagdad is a movie theatre and pub that is owned by local restaurant chain McMenamins. Enjoy this “golden age” Hollywood-style theatre, and a bite and brew, as well.

The Alibi Portland

The Alibi: Along Interstate in N Portland, The Alibi is a classic Tiki bar with Karaoke seven nights a week. This decades-old landmark is our little slice of Las Vegas, complete with grass skirts, Mermaid murals and Mai Tais.

Ground Kontrol

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade: If you’re looking for a classic game of Pong or Tetris, or a selection of themed Pinball, look no further than Ground Kontrol, an arcade bar in downtown. Grab a local beer on tap and get ready to spend all your quarters on Galaga and Mario Bros.

Oaks Amusement Park

Oaks Amusement Park: A nearly 100-year-old amusement park, Oaks Park is in the Sellwood area in Milwaukie, a suburb of Portland. Enjoy tons of rides, roller skating and events, includingPaulaner Oktoberfest at the end of September.

Forest Park Portland

Forest Park: The nation’s largest urban wilderness with 70 miles of trails offers a beautiful getaway from city life. Rated number one in the country for environmental friendliness, Portland takes great care of its many parks to maintain a sustainable relationship with nature.

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls: Hike to the top of the winding trail to see a 620 ft falls, the second largest in the nation. This beautiful and tranquil place is located along the Columbia River Gorge.

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