Accommodation in Korea
Here is brief introduction to what is available to you in Korea. As a foreigner in Korea, There is some affordable options for accommodation in Korea.
Sharehouses (쉐어하우스) are becoming more common these days, due to the high number of internationals moving to Korea now either for study, travel or work. The monthly rent is quite decent and one month’s rent can be the same as 2 weeks back home in some cases. Sure, The bathrooms in Korean Homes are a bit different to what you’re used to. so at first it can take some adjusting.Obviously depending on where you decide to live factors into the cost. For a Room in a share house around the busy areas of Seoul, per month it could range from 300,000KRW – 600,000KRW in general cases. The Deposit is very workable too. And of course these numbers are just rough. Unlike the Hasukjip (하숙집), If you live in a sharehouse, there is no older korean woman to cook meals for you.
Also you have Goshiwons(고시원) , These are basically One building with a lot of small one rooms for rent or lease. These are good for short term stays. The prices range from 200,000KRW – 600,000KRW. They are very similiar to a University Dormitory. The room is very basic. Links on the Internet for goshiwons can be found on the internet but they are all in korean. Nearly every goshiwon has a basic kitchen with some free appliances for tenants to use. If your lucky you could get free rice and kimchi.
Hasuk Jip (하숙집) is very similar to Goshiwon. The rooms are private and small but the kitchen and bathroom are shared. The main difference between Goshiwon and a Hasuk Jip is that with the Hasuk Jip you are provided with two meals a day. Usually the Ajumma (Korean 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. Hasuk Jips can be found on the Internet however the best way to find them is to go out and look for the HASUK JIP sign (하숙집). You can find it in student area like Sinchon and Hyehwa. Most of the Hasuk Jips are run by elderly ladies who don’t have any websites or advertise at all which makes them cheaper than the rest but you have to search to find them. This kind of accommodation suites working holiday visa holders and students very well. The deposit too is managable.
An Officetel (오피스텔) or one room in Korea is a single room apartment with a toilet / shower and kitchen. The rent is quite reasonable ranging from 300,000 – 600,000 per month but there is a huge deposit and real estate agent’s fees to be paid. The one room / officetel is great if you plan to stay for a long time in Korea. Most people don’t have money for a deposit or are only studying for a semester in a different city. In this case the Hasuk Jip or goshiwon are a better match. Young Koreans who normally live in an officetel are normally supported by their family. Cause the cost of an officetel can be quite a burden even to a local student.The deposit is can be anywhere from 1,000,000 won up to 10,000,000 won. You will always get the deposit back when you leave if you have kept the place in reasonable condition. If not, the damage will be deducted from your deposit. With officetels and one rooms you will usually have to pay a monthly management fee , water, gas and electricity bills.
Guesthouses are also a potentially good option these days when you are on a budget and here only for the short term. In some hostels and guesthouses around Korea, They offer work for accommodation. This is great when you are a backpacker or young person. Also It offers invaluable experience about Korean working culture and if you wanna practice your korean, It’s also a wonderful atmosphere to do so.
Homestay is also another option for those with money to spend. It’s ok for short term stay people but for long term people, it’s a very expensive option that will drain your resources very quicky. Normally you get 2 meals, breakfast and dinner. It’s a very good method to immerse yourself in another country’s culture and how a family from another country works.