Laramie families are invited to participate in the Friendship Families Program that connects international students with local families for a non-host program.

“It is a volunteer non-live in host family program that matches local families with international students to foster friendship and understanding," says Leann Naughton, the program’s volunteer coordinator.

Naughton goes on to say that the non-host program pairs international students with families based on mutual interests for a friendship program.  Examples of activities run the gamut from back country ski trips and mountain biking to dinner and movies at the family's homes.

"I think the statistic is that 60% of international students have never seen the inside of an American home," says Naughton.  “This is a great opportunity to make international friends, learn about other cultures and share time together at least once a month. Most students and families really hit it off and maintain a life-long friendship.”

Matches are made based on questionnaires filled out by both the international students and prospective families and include questions based on personal interests as well as things like if the applicants are smokers or if the families have pets.

Naughton took over the program nearly three years ago from Marian and Jim Erdelyi, and has been a regular participant in the program since 2004.

Families interested in joining should contact Naughton at 745-0747 or email friendshipfamilieslaramie@gmail.com.

The application deadline is Friday, Sept. 6.