A studio apartment (aka “one-room” or “office-tel” in Korean) is a fully-furnished, single room apartment with a toilet/shower and kitchen. It is usually equipped with air-conditioning and heating, a desk, wardrobe, mini fridge, induction stove, washing-machine and depending on the house, a microwave. The monthly rent tends to range from ₩300,000 to ₩600,000 per month. However, there is a significant deposit to be paid so studio apartments are recommended for those who plan to stay for at least 6 months in Korea. The deposit can be anywhere from ₩2,000,000 up to ₩10,000,000. You will always get the deposit back when you leave as long as you have kept the place in reasonable condition. If not, the damage will be deducted from you deposit. Usually, residents will have to pay a monthly management fee, water, gas and electricity bills, though some studio apartment rents are inclusive of these fees. Landlords are usually willing to reduce your monthly rent if you increase your deposit.
Goshiwon is a very small room rented monthly by students or workers. Goshiwon rooms are very basic and small but the rent is very cheap. Goshiwon life is very similar to dormitory lifestyle. Everybody has their own room and the bathroom and kitchen are shared. Rooms are usually facilitated with wireless internet, a bed, a desk and depending on the house, a TV. Residents are typically not allowed to bring friends or be very loud. Nearly every goshiwon has a kitchen with basic appliances, free rice, kimchi, seaweed and if you are lucky, free noodles as well. The rent ranges anywhere from ₩200,000 to ₩600,000.
In a typical Korean boarding house (aka “Hasukjib” in Korean), rooms are private and small but the kitchen and bathrooms are shared – much like goshiwons. The main difference between the two is that boarding houses provide residents with two meals a day. Usually the Korean landlady or caretaker lady lives in the same building or nearby and cooks two meals a day, usually breakfast and dinner. Some places even do your laundry for you. The rent, including meals, ranges anywhere from ₩500,000 to ₩800,000.
There are three main neighborhoods around Seoul National University – Seoul Nat’l Univ. Station Area, Sillimdong Area (often referred to as Nokdu Street) and Nakseongdae Area. Each area has its pros and cons.
|Seoul National University Station||Sillimdong (Nokdu St.)||Nakseongdae|
- Conveniently located by subway line 2 and various buses to points of interest in Seoul
- Quiet environment, particularly in Sillim 2 dong.
|- Quiet residential area |
- Convenient transportation
- Newly built apartments
- Couple of nearby sports centers
|Bad||- Most expensive |
- You may have to walk past a block of motels to get home
|- You ned to take a bus to get to a subway station |
- Sillim 9 dong is known as a residence block for many people who are preparing state examination, thus bustling and complicated
|- No shuttle bus / Instead students commute to SNU by regional bus No.2 |
- On foot it takes 30 mins from the station to SNU, with an upward slope
Personal housing can be found through real estate agents or by personally searching for posters, by going to the neighborhoods above. Students may opt to use the school portal (www.snulife.com) to find housing information. Many students, asked by their landlord, post housing advertisements and reviews online. This way, students can cut down on real estate agent fees. Once you have found a list of potential houses, it is advised that you go and check them out. Be sure to check for extra fees, sound blockage (thin walls) and strong water pressure.