In Slovakia, many of us have no idea that education is not automatically free in the world.
In some African and Asian countries, schools are very difficult to reach due to lack of infrastructure, electricity, internet, lack of potable water, or due to war and violence. On the other hand, in developed economies such as the US, education is affordable but highly exclusive. We define exclusivity as something I get only when I buy it. In either case, the demand for education is much more urgent, and education is scarce because there are many more children and students who would like to be educated than those who actually get an education. On the one hand, it is well known in the USA that education is the basis for the economic growth of the individual, for raising his standard of living for a better and better quality of life. But on the other hand, if a student realises that this is the way to go and he really wants to have a good time in life, he will find that it costs about $30 000 a semester to study at a normal university. American banks are happy to help with their student loans, which graduates repay on average 20 years after they leave school. This is a burden we cannot even imagine in the Slovak system, and perhaps that is why studying and education are often seen as a necessary evil that we must endure in order to become something and not stay at home on our mothers' necks.
However, when we consider what students will do to get a quality education, you can probably imagine what it looks like before the exams at such an American college. Before the exam period, which usually lasts 1-2 working weeks, there are absolutely no social and cultural activities for students. Why? Because students are focused solely on passing tests and exams and defending their knowledge. Nobody wants to repeat a semester for so much money. They learn everywhere. In cafes, in McDonalds, on steps, squares, benches and lawns, in malls, buses, and so on. We're not talking about any knuckleheads. I'm writing about people like us who need, want, and must achieve a university education. They also sweat gallons of sweat during exams, drink gallons of coffee or Coca-Cola and have blue circles under their eyes from fatigue. But they do it voluntarily. The system has forced them to do it. I leave it to each of you to make up your own mind about what it is like to study in Slovakia. In some areas it is great, but in others Slovak universities are very far behind.