Somebody told you of this place called the American Intercultural Center, or AIC for short. As you walk past the Grille and toward the hallway that leads to Mac Hall, you find it. A variety of people sit there: laughing, doing homework, eating, and generally just having fun. Wow, you think, walking inside, your heart thumping loudly in your chest. They look like they’re having fun…but I don’t know what to do or where to start. Someone tells you to sign in. You wonder why. After you sign in you awkwardly sit on a couch as far away from everyone else as possible, unsure of how they will treat you.
That was my experience as a Freshman. When I first visited the AIC, I was really nervous. I wasn’t always treated the greatest and I learned long ago that it’s easier to hide away in a corner and do something solitary. But then I got to know people who were regulars. They were great people to talk to, always nice and willing to help! The best part is when people come up to you and introduce themselves. Now, you may be wondering why you have to sign in at the front desk. Simply ask Mai and she will explain that the reason behind the sign in sheet is to keep the AIC in business. More people the more reason to keep the AIC open. Students only have to sign in once between 8 am and 4:30 pm, then only once between 4:30 pm and 8 pm (which is when the AIC closes).
There is no seating chart here at the AIC. You can sit wherever you want! I even suggest randomly sitting by somebody and saying hi. Everyone is very friendly in the AIC and won’t give you grief. We have your back! This is a great place for those of you who commute to hang out. There are a lot of people to be around and talk to.
Now, this is the most important rule. Possibly the most important rule of the AIC. Are you ready? Are you sure? I don’t think you are…okay, I will tell you. It is the refrigerator rule. Anyone can use the refrigerator and store their stuff there (make sure to label it)! And if you happen to forget a plate to eat on, need a bowl, fork, or spoon, there are plenty of them hiding in the kitchen. Mai’s rule of thumb is: if it’s labeled, you can use it. There is also a toaster and a couple of microwaves open for public use.
So just remember, the AIC is a great place for everyone to hang out and be with a great community of people! And when I say everyone, I mean everyone!