Chemistry student Kyndra recommends ASTP-program
Aruban Chemistry student Kyndra Farro (24) got a lot of inspiration from the extracurricular Analytical Sciences Talent Program (ASTP). “There are all these areas where you don’t expect analytical chemistry to be involved, but then you find out it is.”
As many of her fellow Arubans, Kyndra came to the Netherlands to study. She’s been here for four years now and is currently in her final year at HAN. “Technically I do speak Dutch”, she says smiling. “But let’s do the interview in English.”
Kyndra started out at Radboud University, but quickly learned that she preferred focusing on the practical side of chemistry. “I got lucky, because HAN started to offer a chemistry program in English right at the time when I wanted to make my switch.”
This meant Kyndra was able to stay in Nijmegen to pursue her chemistry studies. “I always liked the city. Although I do live in Arnhem right now, because of housing opportunities.”
The switch to HAN turned out to be the right decision for Kyndra. Not only because the practical approach suited her better, but also because of the extracurricular opportunities. “I like a challenge”, she says. “So the ASTP program quickly got my attention.”
The Analytical Sciences Talent Program (ASTP) is an extracurricular program for excelling students in Chemistry and Life sciences in the Netherlands. It is designed by COAST, a collaboration of industrial leaders who are always looking for the expertise that these students provide.
The students get together once a month on a Saturday for a special one-day course, in which they get acquainted with different fields of expertise. These mostly take place in either Nijmegen, Utrecht or Amsterdam.
“The first half of the day always consists of theory, and then the other half is a presentation or an assignment”, tells Kyndra. “We got a course on Gas Chromatography (GC), for instance. And what I found so cool about it, is that we got this course from an expert who dedicated his entire life to this technique. It is like that with many of these courses.”
“We also go on excursions”, she adds. “We recently had one to the Wageningen Food and Safety research lab, an area that really interests me. Or to an analytical lab of RCE (Rijkscultureel erfgoed), where they analyze paintings in order to conserve them. There are all these areas where you don’t expect analytical chemistry to be involved, but then you find out it is.”
The ASTP shows the vast opportunities for Chemistry and Life Sciences students. They get introduced to experts and organizations in various fields, making it a great way to find internship opportunities as well. Kyndra recommends the program to her fellow students: “it helps you form a vision of what you want to do in the future.”