What is university really about?

After 12 years of compulsory education we can choose whether we go to university or not. Nowadays, due to the education system, it is questionable if university is worth it or not. Some people say it’s a waste of time, some say they need a degree to prove their knowledge. And there are people who really want to go to higher education to gain a profound knowledge in what they like to do. No matter which type you are, in this post I will share why it is worth to go to university based on my experience.

How I ended up in university

When I had to choose university after high school I didn’t know what I really wanted to study. However, I knew I wanted to study abroad. That time I had an idea of applying to university in Denmark where I had to write an English test and pay 15.000Ft as registration fee. My English knowledge wasn’t good enough, so I didn’t have enough confidence to apply. My brother suggested me to go to a Hungarian university and then apply to scholarship to study abroad for 1 or 2 semesters. That’s how I went to university.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I only knew I was good at languages. So I applied for English and French major. Unfortunately I was accepted to French major, where I wasn’t totally prepared. After 1.5 years I had to change to Korean major, otherwise I had no chance to apply for any scholarship with really low grades. When I started Korean major, I was totally immersed in work, so I didn’t care about what university could provide.


In my last year of bachelor I realized I had wasted 5 years for doing nothing. Instead of gaining knowledge I only worked. I had missed a lot of opportunity and my language skill didn’t really improved. So in my last year I tried to save the saveable and applied for as many opportunity as I could. That way I got to participate in a speech contest in Romania, where I didn’t have to pay for accommodation, food and travelling. I also participated in a student conference where I presented my thesis so to practice presentation skill. I applied for International Youth Forum in Korea where my accommodation, food was covered and my flight ticket was refunded a percentage as well. Over there I met 180 people from 52 countries. Though I could only talk to few of them, it was still nice we have connection.
During 5 years I went to the USA 3 times in summer to work in a camp and resort. Not only I could visit a country that seemed unreachable but I could also earn money and meet new people from different culture.

I also joined a non-profit organization, called Invisible University, where I could teach a group and had a chance to participate in Invisible Conference where I talked about my solo travel experience.

The common point in all these are connection and travelling. I met a lot of people from whom I could learn, if not then I gained experience thanks to them. As my passion is travelling, university gave me chance to do so. Public speaking is a skill I really want to improve. I could achieve all these because I was an university student.

Why it is worth to attend university?

My cousin who is 2 years away from applying to university once told me he didn’t know what he want to study and he didn’t really see the point of university.

I told him it’s not all about the study. It’s about the opportunity that university can provide. Just like what I mentioned above, I have achieved so many things, either for free or I even earned and learned from it, thanks to university. I got to know a lot of people who might be able to help me in the future. These opportunities and these people are the reason we should go to university.

It’s higher education because it provides you opportunity to get in touch with reality. The research, the thesis we do  is something that can appear in academic journal, books, encyclopedias. That’s why universities are partners to each other and they send their students to another place, because they want to have your knowledge, your perspective and your experience to enrich their studies. This is not a simple test or exam you do in 12 years of basic education. This is a half step to real life.

Therefore universities work hard to provide as many scholarships, conference, forum for the students as they can. They need your knowledge so they are ready to support you financially. From your part, you can take this chance to know more people, to network, to gain more experience, to find newer opportunities and even to find your own path. This is the main reason students should go to university.

Of course to be able to participate in any of this, you should also show your skill somehow. For that studying well is one way. The other way is to apply and share your view and opinion. So studying is needed but if we just look at it, university will become boring just like in basic education. Therefore we need to look further and see the opportunities laying in it.

So in my opinion, university is a great place. It has a lot of opportunity, including scholarships to study abroad, conference, research, that if you go for it, you will gain a lot.

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