Kickstart Program


Summer Kickstart is a pre-orientation program for designed to help smooth the transition of international and Pacific Island students to college culture in the U.S.; provide non-native speakers time to practice their English speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills prior to the start of the academic year; familiarize new students with the region; and build the kinds of relationships with fellow students, faculty, staff, and community members critical to student success and retention. This program is tied to a HUM 111 Invitation to Rural Oregon course which is designed to welcome international students and students from the Pacific Islands to rural Oregon.


*Student participants will be assessed a fee for living in the residence halls and participation in the program.


La Grande is in Northeastern Oregon.  It is located approximately 4 hours from Portland, Oregon, 5 hours from Seattle, Washington, and 3 hours from Boise, Idaho.

We recommend that you book your tickets to the following airports:

  • Pendleton Airport  – Approximately 1 hour drive from La Grande, OR
    You will need to purchase a ticket from Portland, OR to Pendleton, OR, using Boutique Air services (
  • Tricities Airport (Pasco, WA) – Approximately 2 hour drive from La Grande, OR
  • You can book a ticket using different major airlines to this destination.
  • Boise Airport (Boise, ID) – Approximately 3 hours drive from La Grande, OR. (
  • Portland International Airport (Portalnd, OR) – Approximately 4.5 hour drive from La Grande, OR
    You can purchase your ticket to Portland, OR, then take a another plane to the regional airport in Pendleton, Oregon using Boutique Air (
  • Another option is to take the bus to La Grande.  Greyhound bus lines has service to La Grande (


There is an airport pick up fee that will cover transportation costs to and from the airport. Please see the list of airports/bus station we will be able to pick you up from.

  • Pendleton Airport  (Fee: $50)
  • Tricities Airport in Pasco, WA (Fee:$100)
  • Boise Airport (Fee: $100)
  • Greyhound La Grande (No charge)

Staff can also meet you at the Greyhound bus station in La Grande and drive you to campus or you can take the Shuttle to campus, for free.

Important: Fall Kickstart pick up dates are Sept. 1 - Sept. 3. We will pick up students during these dates so choose these dates as your arrival dates when you book your tickets. You will not be able to get into the residence halls before Sept. 1st. 

Please fill out the Arrival Notification Form, to confirm your arrival date and how you would like to be picked up.

Arrival Button

Students must submit request 5 days before arrival if they want to be picked up, otherwise, you must make your own travel arrangements. 

Pictures from past year’s activities