Life in Korea

Finding Accommodation as a Student in Korea

Introduction: The Challenge of Housing for International Students in Korea

When moving to a new country for study, one of the most important aspects to sort out is housing. This task is particularly significant for international students in Korea, where the housing market might feel unfamiliar. There are several housing options to consider, including dormitories, goshiwons (private dormitories), and one-room apartments. Here, we will help you decipher the differences between these accommodations, discuss how to find housing, and give tips for settling in.

Chapter 1: University Dormitories – A Campus Life Experience

Living in university dormitories is a rite of passage for many students. They are usually located on or near the university campus, providing an opportunity for students to live in close proximity to their classes. Dormitories often provide basic furnishings and facilities, such as a bed, desk, wardrobe, shared bathrooms, communal kitchens, and laundry facilities.

While dormitories offer a unique opportunity to make friends and immerse oneself in the campus culture, there are often strict rules. Some universities impose curfews, restrict visitors, and have other regulations that may not suit everyone. There are also variations in the cost, facilities, and rules between different universities, so it’s important to research and apply early due to high demand.


Chapter 2: Goshiwons – An Affordable Option

Goshiwons are a type of private dormitory popular with students who seek affordable housing. These are tiny rooms, typically equipped with a bed, desk, and refrigerator. Some goshiwons also include a private bathroom. Basic amenities like internet, rice, kimchi, and laundry are usually included in the monthly rent. Goshiwons, while not offering much in the way of luxury or space, provide the necessities at a low cost.

Chapter 3: One-Room Apartments – A Taste of Independent Living

One-room apartments, known locally as ‘one-rooms’ or ‘officetels’, are self-contained housing units that include a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. They provide more privacy and space compared to goshiwons or dormitories, but at a higher cost. Typically, one-room apartments require a security deposit (보증금) and monthly rent.

Chapter 4: Navigating Jeonse and Wolse Contracts

In Korea, there are two primary types of rental contracts – jeonse and wolse. Jeonse contracts involve paying a large deposit upfront instead of monthly rent, while wolse contracts require a smaller deposit with ongoing monthly rent. Understand these contracts thoroughly before signing.

Chapter 5: Using Websites and Apps for Housing Search

Technology has made finding housing significantly easier. Several websites and apps offer listings for various types of accommodations. Websites like ZIGBANG and apps like Dabang and Naver Real Estate provide comprehensive listings with photographs, pricing, and even the option to contact landlords or real estate agents directly.

Chapter 6: Enlisting the Help of Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents, or ‘budongsan’, play an essential role in the Korean housing market. They can help with finding a place, negotiating contracts, and dealing with landlords. Keep in mind that real estate agents charge a commission fee.

Chapter 7: Tips for Finalizing Accommodation

Once you have found potential accommodations, it’s important to inspect the place thoroughly. Check for any damage, ask about utility costs, and understand your responsibilities as a tenant. Most importantly, don’t rush your decision. Take the time to weigh your options and consider your budget.

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *