Beautiful Oregon

In 2020, Nitartha Summer Institute will return to Willamette University in Salem, Oregon! It is about one hour south of PDX, the Portland, Oregon airport and about 3 to 4 hours (by car or train) south of Seattle in beautiful Oregon.


Willamette University has a beautiful campus with a stream running right through it. Check out more and take a tour on their website.

Our dorms will be located at the Kaneko Commons of the campus, from there it is a short walk across a sky bridge to our shrine room and the dining hall.

Kaneko Commons  was built in 2007 and offers modern private rooms with bath, doubles with a shared bath, triples with a living room and shared bath, and quads with two shared baths, living room, and kitchen. More info on Kaneko Commons here. All rooms are air conditioned and smoke-free. Nitartha’s staff will take care of all room assignments. When you submit your Nitartha Summer Institute registration form you can indicate your preference.

On the campus map you will see Kaneko Commons in the lower right corner, our shrine room will be in in the Putnam University Center, a leisurely 7-minute walk from our dorms. The dining hall is right next to our shrine room.

The campus is entirely wireless. You will receive a password and login to enjoy high speed wireless internet while on campus.

Similar to previous years, the living quarters will be almost exclusively for Nitartha attendees, which will ensure a retreat-like environment.

Salem’s downtown area is a 10-minute walk from the campus. You will find coffee shops, restaurants and all you need there. Several convenience stores are located on campus for your smaller needs.

Housing Information

Nitartha will make all room assignments for participants. If you have any questions or special needs related to housing, please contact our Summer Coordinator, Stephanie Basford ( Note that most bathrooms will be shared by 1 or 2 bedrooms.


Willamette University will offer us meal plans with breakfast, lunch and dinner. All students staying on campus will be required to purchase at least a lunch plan. Their caterer is Bon Appétit.

ps: Michael Miller ate there and ensured that the food is amazing compared to the experience some of you might have had at Nitartha in the past!

Check it out!


The university also has a Recreation center that you can use. You can purchase a day pass, a 9-day or a 30-day pass. Costs: $60 for a 30-day pass, $20 for a 9-day pass and $3 for a day pass.

Hours of operation and more info is available on the Campus Recreation website.


Willamette University itself does not offer childcare, but there are child care providers and summer camp programs available in the area.

For parents who are planning to bring their children, we have created a list of summer camp and day care opportunities near Salam, OR, and we are still looking into further options. Click here to download the latest list (PDF).

If you have questions about bringing your children, please contact our registrar Elena at

Getting There

There are several ways you can get to Salem, Oregon.

By Plane

The nearest airport is Portland, OR (airport code: PDX). International students might have to change planes in Seattle, San Francisco or other locations. From Portland airport, you can take a shuttle, Uber, bus or train to Salem.

Groome Transportation is one of the shuttles  serving the Portland airport. You can find more on PDX’s website. You can also order an Uber.

If you want to avoid changing planes in Seattle, you could fly to Seattle, enjoy a day or two in the beautiful city and then go down to Salem by train or car.

By Train

There is a direct train from Seattle to Salem, which takes about four hours.

You can check prices and book your train ticket directly on the Amtrak website. One-way-tickets start at $35. Please note that some connections include transferring to a bus in Portland, so it will be easier if you book transit on the train straight through Salem without transferring to a bus.

By Car

Depending on traffic it will be a 3-4 hour drive from Seattle to Salem. See Google Maps for details.

Parking: There is a private gated parking lot at Kaneko Commons with a modest fee for weekly parking. (We will provide more information later).

Getting Rides

We will try to help students to arrange rides from Seattle once we’re closer to the summer. Please stay tuned for more information. We will do our best to make your travels as smooth as possible!


Willamette University
900 State St.
Salem, OR 97301


Contact us by email or call us at (+1) 720-310-0422!

Explore Oregon


Salem, the capital of Oregon state, has a population of 150,000 but the feel of a smaller town. It is in the center of Oregon wine country. Salem`s downtown is about a 10-minute walk from the campus. You will find coffee shops, restaurants and all you need there.

Take a tour of Salem on the city’s official website.


Farmers Market
E.Z. Orchards Farm Market

Asian Supermarkets

Wing Wa Oriental Market
Que Huong Oriental Foods
A Dong Market


Willamette Heritage Center
Deepwood Musem & Garden
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Museum of Mental Health


Riverfront City Park
Minto-Brown Island Park

With Children

Gilbert House Children’s Museum
Salem Riverfront Carousel
Wallace Marine Park Softball Complex
Oregon Coast Aquarium

Oregon State

Oregon is a very beautiful state and the Oregon coast is less than an hour away. On your day(s) off or if you have a few days before or after Nitartha, you can explore the beauty of your surroundings.

Below you will find a few suggestions on what to see.

The City of Portland
The City of Eugene

Mt. Hood National Forest
Willamette National Forest
Siuslaw National Forest
Beverly Beach State Park

Lincoln Beach
Clackamas River
Oregon Botanical Garden