By Kim Tae-jong
At a first glance, Ki Sung-hwa seems to be just an ordinary student who will soon graduate from university. The 31-year-old woman may look a bit older than her colleagues as she entered the university later in life. But what makes her graduation more meaningful is the fact that she will be the first married woman to graduate from Ewha Womans' University.
The university used to ban a married woman from entering the school until 2003.
Ki and Jeon Young-mi, 36, were the first students who entered the school as married women. But Ki can have the title of the first married graduate from the school as Jeon took time off from her studies.
``It was hard for me to study new things at my age with younger school mates,'' Ki said. ``But looking back, time has passed just so fast and although I tried to do my best all the time, I have some regrets.''
It seems that her graduation has proved that marriage status is not a hindrance to women wishing to study and the ban by the university was questionable.
It wasn't an easy decision but Ki couldn't give up her dream, she said.
The mother of a six-year-old daughter entered the school in 2003 to become an elementary school teacher.
Before entering the school, she used to work for a public firm in charge of medical treatment for the disabled until 2002 when she quit the job and prepared for the university admission test.
She had difficulty studying but she also had to deal with other issues ― her family life.
She gave a birth to her daughter six months before the National Scholastic Achievement Examination for the University Entrance in 2003.
``Many things were difficult for me. But it was so hard that I couldn't give enough love to my daughter while studying,'' she said.
She is now preparing for the teacher license examination.