Jun 30, 2022

Studying Chemistry at HZ

Most of us have had chemistry as a school subject, right? It might be difficult to imagine what you actually do when studying Chemistry at HZ though – crazy experiments or rather analysing data every day? As a lot of my friends are studying this programme, I set out on a mission to find out more about it.

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Why Chemistry?

I have often wondered, why would you study Chemistry? The answer I got from many students is simple: because you are good at it. If it is a school subject you enjoy and understand, why not pursue a career in that field? Chemistry is “kind of the basis of a lot of the physical sciences and simply really cool” as one of the second-year Chemistry students, explained to me. If you have a curious nature and also like analysing things, Chemistry definitely covers that. Furthermore, Martin, another second-year student, shared that he sees “a lot of prospects for my future job because Chemistry is connected to many fields that can get you a safe future”. So, if that sounds something you are looking for, then maybe Chemistry is the programme for you.

And why choose HZ?

HZ is very well known for their applied Chemistry programme which, of course, attracts many Chemistry students. “The practical approach was very attractive” as Stefan shared with me “I had a few labs in high school which was a privilege and I wanted to do more of that”. In the Chemistry programme at HZ there are two or three days of theory classes every week and one or two days of practical lessons which ensures the students have a good balance of theory knowledge and knowing how to apply this in a lab. Brigitta, a first year student, told me “I simply love studying here” which is mainly because “the teachers are really close to us which makes me personally feel less stressed about school”. Many students were also in contact with student ambassadors before applying to HZ which helped them decide on the university because they were able to ask questions. If you are also curious about Chemistry or another study programme just contact them on Unibuddy for help or check out our Instagram account hz.international.

So, are the students happy?

What HZ Chemistry students admire the most about their programme is the flexibility that comes with it. The schedule is quite open and teachers are very understanding which makes it easier to organise your daily life. Furthermore, “the information is put into a way that is easy to understand” as Stefan told me. As already mentioned before another great aspect is the variety in theoretical and practical classes that are offered. This results in students having a great foundation and broad knowledge before choosing their specialisation in the third year: Life Sciences or Applied Chemistry.

What can you expect when applying for Chemistry?

In the first year, for example, you start with Food Chemistry where the students make their own beer. That makes the study programme sound pretty cool and fun if you ask me! Then you also learn about quality control where you analyse pool water, for instance. The students also work with biobased products such as banana oil or coffee fat. Other topics that are covered within the first two years of this programme are Health and Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, Bio-Organic Toolbox, Forensic Science and Marine Biobased Specialties. After two years of gaining an insight into the different aspect of Chemistry you can then choose one of the two specialisations in the third year and go into more depth in your field of interest.

Do Chemistry students really study 24/7?

What I often heard was that studying sciences is very intensive and difficult, so I asked for the students’ opinions about the study load. If you want “to become a good specialist after graduation” as Brigitta does in the field of pharmacology, for example, she studies “regularly quite a lot” in order “to learn a lot of things”. The second-year students also told me that “in some weeks, when there are a lot of deadlines it does get a bit intensive, but the university still manages to give you an open schedule”. Martin added that he still has enough time to do other things, so he thinks the workload is appropriate. Even if you study sciences at HZ, you will have plenty of time to enjoy your student life in Middelburg or Vlissingen and spend time with your friends. I can definitely confirm this, we always find time to organise fun beach hangouts, day trips or game and movie nights.

I now understand better why Chemistry is a really great study programme that many students would enjoy and hope that I have helped you see what the university experience is like for a Chemistry student. Check out this link for more information https://hz.nl/en/study-programmes/chemistry. Hope to see you soon!

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Image source: Lucas Vasques