University Apartments Programs
Our apartment communities offer a variety of children's programming, including a pre-school at Orchard Downs, after-school programs, and weekly meetings with parent-child playgroups. Watch for more information in your monthly newsletter, or read more about our children's programs.
Cooking Club is an enthusiastic group of cooks who attend weekly cooking demonstrations. Each week residents share one of their favorite recipes. This program is a wonderful way to meet other residents and to sample and exchange recipes from around the world. Children are welcome to attend with parents.
International Hospitality Committee
The International Hospitality Committee (IHC) is an organization dedicated to promoting and aiding the international community of Urbana-Champaign through friendship groups, English classes, the Lending Storeroom, and more. See the IHC website for more information.
Family Housing Council
The Orchard Downs Family Housing Council (FHC) is an organization created to safeguard the interest of the residents of Orchard Downs. The FHC meets monthly, typically during the second Friday of the month at 5:45 p.m. at the Orchard Downs Community Center. See the newsletter or Family Housing Council page for meeting dates.
Family & Graduate Housing offers a wide variety of free social programs to the residents. Cultural holidays celebrating the diversity of our residents are often the most popular activities we offer, such as the Chinese New Year celebration, the Eid ul-Fitr celebration, and Halloween activities. We host an annual International Food Festival to showcase the food from the many cultures represented in our community. Special events include theme parties, bingo nights, family game nights, and celebrations of cultural holidays. New and exciting experiences and programs are offered to connect residents with the Champaign-Urbana community and to give them the opportunity to build their own sense of community as well. These events are advertised in the community newsletters.We celebrate the beginning of the academic year with Fall Fest and the end of the academic school year with the Final Fling. Both events provide food and entertainment for all residents and their families.
If a resident experiences physical or verbal abuse in the home, or feels unsafe for any reason, the University Safe Place is here to help. Safe Place is a facility on the U of I campus that provides safe, temporary housing in emergency situations. Safe Place also provides counseling, advocacy, and referrals to other services. Safe Place services are free and confidential, and are available to U of I students, staff, and all residents of Family & Graduate Housing. Contact the Family Relations Graduate Assistant by phone at 333-5656 or cell phone 840-2232 for access to this service.
Each year, Family & Graduate Housing sponsors several bus trips to places of interest to our residents. Residents are invited to join us to explore nearby cities, such as Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Springfield. Staff members plan each trip and develop an itinerary that allows residents to visit exciting attractions in each city. We also offer shopping trips to the Tuscola Tanger Outlet Mall. All University Housing residents and their families are welcome to participate. Trips fill up quickly, so residents are advised to watch the newsletter for information about upcoming excursions. Most of these excursions require a small fee.
Educational workshops offer residents valuable opportunities to learn about a variety of topics. Workshop topics have included the Stress Management Workshop, Domestic Violence Workshop, and Winter Survival Workshop.
Educational and Cultural Trips
Our cultural and educational trips provide residents an opportunity to explore the Champaign-Urbana community, while learning something new. Past trips have included Curtis Orchard, Japan House, Staerkel Planetarium, International Coffee House, The Urbana Farmer’s Market, volunteer agencies such as Crisis Nursery and the Center for Women in Transition, the Urbana Free Library, and the Champaign Public Library.