Get connected with a local family
Add to your independence some of the comfort of home: airport rides, home-cooked meals, knowledge of the area, and pro tips on the best biking, hiking, and skiing—even just a change of pace from dorm life for an afternoon.
Enroll in FLC Family Connection and connect with a Durango family you can call on like a neighbor. There's no fee, it requires no obligation, and it is open to first-year, transfer, and exchange students.
Read this news article to learn more.
Submit a request for information to receive an application.
Your FLC Family Connection family is there to offer support and friendship, and introduce you to the Durango area. You won’t live with them, and please don’t expect that they’ll put you up over winter or summer break.
FLC Family Connection is free. Some activities you engage in with your family may cost money, but that's up to you and your family.
We match you, based on the information you provide in the application, with your family, based on the information they provide in theirs. Contact us if we get it wrong and you want to be matched with a different family. You'll learn who your family is about one week before the start of the semester.
We are hands-off after that. If you develop a good relationship with your FLC Family Connection family, and you all want to stay connected, then great. Keep that relationship alive as long as you’d like.
How much or little you do with your family will be up to you and them. We match students with families of similar interests. That is why telling us what you like to do on your application is essential. The specific activities will depend on the interests of your host family; they might include the following:
Your family might also help with transportation to and from the airport, arranging medical help in emergencies, and storing your things over the summer.
Become an FLC Family Connection
Enjoy getting to know one of Fort Lewis College’s best students. You and your student decide the things you do and how much time you spend together. For many families, this grows into a friendship that lasts well beyond the student’s years at FLC. All adults in the household must pass a background check. Read about the program in the Durango Herald.
Yes! You aren’t expected to always be available. Let students know you’ll be gone, and if something comes up where your help might be needed, they can contact Family Connections so another member can help. Also, most families are still accessible by phone or text when they’re out of town.
No. Students live on campus and are responsible for their expenses. Think of your role as that of a distant relative. Over Winter break, some students stay in Durango, especially foreign students. The apartments stay open but the dormitories close. You may invite your student to stay at your house during this time, but are in no way required or expected to do so.
There isn’t a limit. You may suggest shared interests, such as picnics, movies, skiing, or hiking. FLC offers free rentals of outdoor equipment to students. You may want to show them Durango or the surrounding area, such as the Train Museum or Mesa Verde. Invite them to your house for dinner, especially for holidays, such as Thanksgiving. For students leaving Durango over the summer but returning in the fall, you may offer to keep their things. Rides to and from the airport, given Durango’s limited transportation, are especially welcome. Attending performances and snapping photos for students who participate in sports, music, or theater, is appreciated.
There are no expected costs in participating in Family Connections. However, if you invite your student to eat out, the student will probably expect you to pay. The same could be true for other outings where you invite them to an activity with cost. The students may offer to pay their share, but most of the students are young and used to their parents picking up the tab, so if you expect them to pay for their portion, which is perfectly fine, please make it clear prior to them making their decision. There are so many free activities, such as those mentioned above, that you can fully participate in the program without expense.
It isn’t uncommon for students to take off. Families often feel that they’ve done something wrong when they don’t hear back, but it implies the student hit the ground running, made friends quickly, and felt secure in Durango. The program is designed to make sure that the students who do need support, have it. When a family doesn’t hear back, that student has achieved independence quickly. A student’s background, such as being fairly independent at home, finding a group of old or new friends, and the student’s general personality affect their need to participate in Family Connections. The student’s parents may have pushed for the connection more than the student, or the student may have signed up ‘just in case.’ Keep sending texts to keep communication open, such as inviting them over for dinner, asking if they need a ride, or other offers. Students have a higher response rate to texts rather than calls or emails.
International students are the most likely to appreciate a family and to learn about the U.S. through that family, so if you want that experience, request an international student.
FLC Family Connection Liaison
Student Engagement Office