I was accepted into Korea University during Year 3 as an undergraduate. When i tried to search for accommodation information, i realised that it is not easy to find consolidated details on the different housing types to stay in Korea.
As a student, majority will not have a lot of savings and options are limited. The 2 most feasible and popular options among students (local and exchange) are: Goshiwon and Hasukjib
(1) Goshiwon/Goshitel 고시원/고시텔
Goshiwon is a dormitory type of housing. The owner of goshiwon would own either half or the entire building. Goshiwon is designed such that there are many small rooms and have a shared kitchen, laundry services. Usually in a goshiwon, it is an individual room whereby each has their own bed, wardrobe, drawer, hangers, refrigerator, table, aircon and toilets.
Goshiwon is easily the most popular option as it is very convenient since you only need to pay a monthly rent (400,000 to 600,000won for individual room) and a small deposit (usually a month’s rent in advance). You also get access to a common kitchen and staples – rice, ramen, kimchi, toast, egg, coffee, tea- are usually included in the rental fees.
Different types of goshiwon available:
(a) window and no window individual room (It will cost 50,000 won more for the window facing outside room compared to corridor or rooms with windows)
(b) shared bathroom rooms which are smaller and usually cheaper
(2) Hasukjib 하숙집
Hasukjib is usually owned by older koreans (ahjuma or ahjussi). The rooms are usually bigger and they have more shared facilities like toilets, kitchens. Also, they would provide 2 meals for you (usually breakfast and dinner) as lunch is often not provided. It is more of a communal style of living whereby there would be more interaction between people who stayed in the same hasukjib. The price of hasukjib is usually more expensive than goshiwon but the prices does not differ much and are almost similiar depending on which hasukjib you choose.
I personally would prefer to stay in a hasukjib as i like the personal interaction. I think that it would give me more opportunities to communicate in korean. Besides, if you are too lazy to cook, hasukjib would be a better choice.
For those who are going to Korea University and wants to stay in a goshiwon, you can visit the link below. Korea University is near the subway line 6 (6호선), station is Korea University (고려대) and the place that it is situated is in Seongbukgu (성북구).
Hasukjib is a bit harder to find on the internet as the older koreans would not be so internet savvy. Apparently, by walking along the streets near KU, you would be able to find signs that guide you to the hasukjib for rent. Usually, it will write “하숙” and the telephone number would be quoted (문의 전화) – an example is shown below. So if the room is empty, you can just go into the rooms to have a look and if you like it, you just pay a small sum of deposit and ta-da, you have a place to stay.
There is a risk involved if you choose to stay in hasukjib as i have mentioned earlier that it will not be easy finding one online. You may then try this safer method by renting one of the goshiwon. Then, i would roam around the streets near KU in search of a hasukjib with nice and friendly owners. After securing the hasukjib, i would move over to stay in the hasukjib. This way i will get to experience staying in both goshiwon and hasukjib!
Anyway goodluck to those looking for accommodation. Below are some websites that you can website to search for accommodations in Korea.
Websites to visit
1. Goshipages (eng available): https://goshipages.com/
2. Goshiwon Home (korean only): http://www.gosiwonhome.com/ (choose 고려대 on the page)
3. Joint Room (korean only): http://www.jointroom.com/
4. Youtube video of goshiwon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUt71Mxaj7s