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Housing Off-Campus Housing

Foreign students and scholars at Konkuk University are encouraged to live on-campus. Please note that the following information on off-campus housing is for reference only. KU does not endorse any specific service providers.

Pros and Cons of Living Off-Campus

Pros Cons
  • More privacy
  • More freedom to cook, invite friends, etc.
  • Security concerns
  • Costly in terms of housing deposit, rent, transportation, etc.
  • Longer commute

Different Types of Housing

  • Traditional house (Hanok) : Built of wood, traditional Korean houses are known for an underfloor heating system called ondol. Many traditional houses began to disappear with the country's economic development, but few areas are preserved through government programs.
  • Apartment : Because of Korea's population density, there are many apartment complexes with identical high rise buildings in urban areas. Most apartment units have two or more bedrooms.
  • Villa (Yeolip jutaek or Dasedae jutaek) : A villa in Korea is usually a single low-rise apartment building.
  • Single-family house (Dandok jutaek) : Single family houses in Korea typically have one or two floors and a small courtyard.
  • Officetel (Office + hotel) : Usually single high-rise buildings, officetel are used for both residential and commercial purposes. Individual units are studios or one-bedroom apartments with kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Studio (One-room) : One-rooms are studio units popular among college students and recent graduates.
  • Mini studio (Gositel or gosiwon) : Mini studios are the most affordable housing option, but with limited space and shared facilities.
  • Serviced residence : Serviced residences have hotel services and amenities, but are often more economical than standard hotels. They are popular among expatriates who stay in Korea for extended periods.
  • Shared housing : Sharing a house with Koreans and other foreigners may be another option.
  • Homestay : Living with a Korean family may be the best way to immerse yourself in Korean culture. For more information, visit Koreastay by the Korea Tourism Organization.

Different Types of Rental Agreements

While foreigners may purchase real estate in Korea, rentals are highly recommended for foreign students and scholars staying at KU for a semester or two. In general, there are two types of rentals in Korea.

  • Jeonse is an arrangement unique to Korea. Instead of paying monthly rent, the tenant pays a large lump-sum deposit. At the end of the rental period, which is most likely two years, the landlord returns the deposit to the tenant. A jeonse deposit is much higher than a deposit for monthly rent, usually ranging anywhere between 50-80% of the property value.
  • Monthly rentals (Wolse) : In a wolse arrangement, the tenant typically pays a lump-sum deposit of ₩5 million to ₩10 million in addition to their first month rent at the beginning of the rental period. Then the tenant pays a monthly rent of ₩400,000 to ₩700,000 depending on the location and amenities. The deposit is returned at the end of the rental period. While standard rental agreements are for 1-2 years, short-term deals may be worked out with real estate agents or landlords for a higher rent.

Finding Off-campus Housing

Gathering Information

Securing housing without being present in Korea is not only complicated, but also risky. If you are located overseas and do not have family or friends in Korea, an online search is a good starting point. You might want to visit the following websites to have general idea in terms of location and cost.

Website Language
Finding Suitable Housing

Prior to arriving in Korea, you should reserve temporary accommodation, such as a hotel or guesthouse, as finding a suitable place to live will take some time. Once you arrive in Korea, it is best to visit the neighborhood you intend to live in with a Korean and find a real estate agent (gongin jungaeso or budongsan). You can ask the real estate agent to show you as many places as possible, and you can try multiple real estate agents as they have different listings. Signing a rental agreement directly with the landlord is uncommon in Korea.

Because English-speaking agents are difficult to find, the local Gwangjin-gu government launched a real estate search service called the "Global Network Center" in May 2013. Through the center, Chinese-, English-, and Japanese-speaking volunteers help foreigners find housing and provide translation services. To make a reservation or obtain further information, please contact the Land Registration Division at (02) 450-7755. The following real estate agents in the area also provide services in foreign languages.

Language Name Address Email Phone
English SOBAEK 248-1 Junggok-dong khchoi50@hanmail.net 432-8949
HANA #105 Hyundai Apt. Retail Bldg.
567 Gwangjang-dong
mancoder@nate.com 444-4949
CHEONJIIN #101, Hyundai Plaza
565 Gwangjang-dong
mate-machine@hanmail.net 458-5151
KANGSAN 200-1 Guui-dong tehshikyoo@hanmail.net 446-0092
FIRST 2-48 Hwayang-dong hhkim10@hotmail.com 498-7100
English & Japanese JANGWON 257-76 Guui-dong justain53@daum.net 444-8066
Japanese DUSAN 164-3 Junggok-dong janghm25@naver.com 467-9103
DURI 12-34 Hwayang-dong duli0620@naver.com 498-9024
Chinese NEW WORLD 848-1 Jayang-dong isyu693869@naver.com 468-8080
HYESEONG 845-4 Jayang-dong china2cn@hanmail.net 464-4666
HEEMANG 285-14 Gwangjang-dong suniynot@hotmail.com 3437-0401

When visiting different places with real estate agents, there are a few things to consider.

  • The amount of deposit and monthly rent
  • Ask whether utilities, such as electricity, heating, and water, are included in the rent, and if not how they are paid—directly to the utilities company or to the landlord.
  • Most landlords also charge maintenance fees for security guards, internet, garbage disposal, etc.
  • Many landlords provide so-called "options," such as a stove, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner, bed, desk, etc.
  • Does anything require repairs? Avoid signing a contract before all repairs are completed.
  • Penalty for terminating the rental agreement early
Signing a Contract

If you decide to rent a place, ask the real estate agent for a copy of the property registration called deunggibudeungbon. This official document shows the legal owner and whether the property was used as collateral for loans. This is an important process as you would be paying a large lump-sum deposit in addition to monthly rent. The real estate agent should require copies of IDs from both the tenant and landlord. And you should verify whether the landlord's ID matches with the property registration.

Transferring the deposit and monthly rent from your bank account to the landlord's is the safest. If you pay in cash, always obtain receipts. Your bank may also have a limit in terms of ATM withdrawal, so plan ahead.

Real Estate Commissions

You will pay real estate commissions after you sign the rental agreement. By law, real estate commissions are set according to the type of housing and rent: http://klis.seoul.go.kr/sis/userService/html/html.do?url=/info/realestate/realestate_fee (in Korean)

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