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Frequently Asked Questions

For many study tour participants, this is their first trip to Portland, Oregon. There is much general visitor information available on websites like TRAVEL PORTLAND, TRAVEL OREGON and CITY OF PORTLANDThese are answers to the most frequently asked questions about First Stop Portland's study tours:

Where should I stay? To reduce travel time and ensure your study tour is efficient, we recommend visitors stay as close to Downtown Portland as possible. Travel Portland has provided this handy  list of Downtown hotels.

How will we get around the city? First Stop study tours are almost always conducted by walking or transit--streetcar, light rail, bus, or aerial tram. Occasionally, we will ride bicycles. The Red Line MAX train runs between the Portland International Airport and downtown. System-wide transit passes and aerial tram passes are bundled in the cost of your study tour. For more information about gettig around Portland, visit TriMet online.

What should I wear? Portland is an unusually informal city. For business events, the style is "business casual," which means business suits are appropriate but not required. Neckties are optional. More importantly, our study tours often take place outdoors and the weather can be extremely variable throughout the year. It is important to dress in comfortable footwear (sneakers are OK). Despite the season, light, removable layers of clothing that protect you from rain, wind, or sun across a range of temperatures can be helpful. (Average temperatures NOV-MAR, 5-10 degrees; APR-OCT 10-20 degrees). Athletic clothing on walking and bike tours is fine. For evening events, cocktail attire is appropriate but not required.

What should I eat? The food in Portland is generally healthful and almost always hearty. In addition to a wealth of world-class restaurants, the mobile food carts dotted throughout the city offer safe, delicious options. Please note: meals are not included in First Stop study tours unless prior arrangements have been made.

What about my trash? Portland aims to be a very environmentally conscious city. Here, trash is separated in recyclable components including glass, paper, and cans. Even at formal meetings, beverages may be consumed from personal reusable containers. We encourage you to recycle and compost wherever the bins are available. 

Can I take pictures? Yes, we photograph study tours and you can, too. There may be certain site visits where photography is prohibited, but we will let you know in advance when that is the case. Please share your photos on Instagram (firststoppdx) and Twitter (@firststoppdx, #myFSP)

How do I share my observations and ideas? Portland is an "open source" city, which means we value an honest exchange. Portland's residents and expert presenters will not take offense easily if you offer feedback about the study tour or city. In fact, we want to learn from you and encourage you to share frankly and frequently. Ask questions, share ideas, offer feedback! You can also comment on social media like Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn

What about gifts? The official policy of Portland does NOT allow public officials (including elected, appointed, or staff) to accept gifts of significant value. Despite these constraints, we will do our best to honor your culture's gift-giving etiquette.

If you have other questions or concerns, please contact us directly at nhales@pdx.edu or 503.725.5132