How international is … ACLO
How international is …
“How international is?”, is an article that describes the accessibility of local institutions for international students. This article will found the answers on the most important questions for international students, like:Can you request information in English in both spoken and written form? Is it possible for International students to join or make use of a product or service? In other words, how IS-proof is this institutions really?
After reading this article you’ll have all the answers to these questions. Than you know if it is necessary to visit that institution.
Today’s institution of choice is the ACLO. The ACLO is the overarching student sports organization for students since 1945, and also the biggest one in the Netherlands. Every RUG and Hanze student can become a memberof this organization. For only €52 a year you can sport/exercise as much as you wish.
As an ACLO member you can also become a member of one of the 52 sport clubs. 47 of them are ran by students only. You can choose between approximately 45 different sports ranging from horse riding to walking across the mud flats of Groningen.
If you do not wish to be a member of a sportsclub, you can still attend a class or an entire course. Go to the ACLO website, can log in and subscribe to any course available at that moment.
The ACLO website is one of the first important things you will encounter. The link to the website is(www.aclosport.nl).
The website opens in Dutch. However, in the far left corner of the screen you will find 2 flags. A Dutch flag, and an English flag. Click on the English one and the website will be translated into English. This is a good start. Technically, the website is identical to the Dutch version.
The ACLO sport center is located at the edge of the Zernike campus. It is the large building with the striking letters out front spelling ‘sport center’. When you enter the building you arrive into the hall of the center with the front office on your left. There is always someone sitting at the desk ready to answer your questions. Either in English or in Dutch.
When looking for English information, two boxes can be found right next to the Dutch ones. One with the opening hours and one showing the time schedules. It’s a good start. Walking through the hall you can find more information. There’s a white case with the ACLO sports guide 2010/2011, the ACLO sports magazine and some more schedules. If you’re looking for any information, go there and take it!
In the corridor of the building, is a lot of different information on boards next to every door.
For example: there’s a hall where you can do a fitness circuit training or take Zumba lessons. On the board you can find information on when and where the class is being held and what it is exactly.
If you’re exercising after class it is clever to safely put your belongings away in a locker. There are many green lockers in the corridor of the building. Buy a lock for only a few euros and you can always hide your stuff. Above the lockers there’s a sign with some information, in English.
In the long corridor of the building you will find various bulletin boards. There are many nice posters from the different sport associations. When you need advice you can find the tip of the week on the first bulletin board. It is in Dutch, but the English translation shows right next to it.
After your workout you can go eat or drink something in the sportscafé. A quick look tells, that the café isn’t quite as international as the rest of the building. The pricelists are in Dutch as are the names above the products. It might be better to go home, because a Dutch kroket after your work-out will give you all those calories right back.
All the important information at the ACLO was provided in English. It seems that the ACLO attaches importance to informing their international sporters, as they should.
So international students, don’t have to be afraid! There is a lot of information and most of it is in English. So sporting doesn’t have to be a problem for all of you! Go there and enjoy your exercise!
The ACLO passed my test.
Text and Photography by Roosmarijn Tamminga