Jialun Hao

Jialun Hao
The programme gave me a lot of freedom to find my own path in biochemistry.
Jialun Hao
Molecular Life Sciences
Previous education
VWO at Thomas a Kempis College

Jialun Hao is a third-year Bachelor's student Molecular Life Sciences at Radboud University.

Why did you choose Radboud University?

I’m from Arnhem, which is close to the university. Radboud University is one of the few universities that offer Molecular Life Sciences as a programme. Utrecht offers it in 2 tracks, biology and chemistry. And of course Nijmegen is also a really fun city, with so many students there’s always something going on.

How did you experience the transition from high school to university? 

The transition was quite easy. In the first months, the tutorials (thermodynamics and structure of atoms and molecules) are quite similar to secondary school. But at the same time, the programme really wants you to give it your all, which can cause a lot of stress, because there are many tests in the beginning.

What do you like about the Bachelor's programme and why?

The Bachelor’s programme in Molecular Life Sciences gave me a lot of freedom to find my own path in biochemistry. You can strongly focus on either chemistry or biology, so you need to think about what you want to do early on in your studies. This was a big plus to me because I like to plan ahead. But this can also be really challenging to new students who don’t have a plan yet. You need to make large decisions in the second half of the second year, which can have an influence on the final field you’ll focus on.

What do you think about the atmosphere in class?

Personally I have a nice group of friends with whom I study in the library every day. We can discuss things easily and study together. The contact with lecturers differs for each course. Sometimes there are lecturers who like to discuss things afterwards via Zoom or in tutorials, but there are also lecturers who respond to emails after three weeks.

What are your plans once you have received your Bachelor’s degree?

Eventually I’ll work in the industry. But to do that, I need a Master’s and most likely also a PhD. In the industry, PhDs are a big plus if you want to work in the field of R&D or clinical testing.

Are you involved with the study association of your programme?

I sometimes attend Sigma activities. This year I will be a mentor at the Orientation and I will join the (fun) activities. This is what I like about the association, you don’t need to be present every time, but you can choose what to attend.

What do you like about Nijmegen?

There are a lot of students who live in Nijmegen and there’s always something to do. If you’re bored you can go to the sports centre to find a new hobby and there are plenty of parties.

Did you visit any information meetings at the campus before you signed up for your studies?

To me, the student-for-a-day experience and the open days were most important. It’s quite difficult to get the full picture of the programme, and these activities allow you to ask questions to current students.

What would you advise students when choosing a study programme?

Plan ahead! Start to think about what direction you would like to focus on eventually in the first year already. For example, did you like Cell Biophysics? Check what neuro courses are on offer.