Sunday, April 16, 2017

Accommodation at Gosiwon 고시원 in Seoul

For fans of Korean drama would find Gosiwon 고시원  familiar as it is actually like a dormitory or room which usually situated near to universities and the tenants are majority students. It is a rather small room with limited space to move around but it has a small personal fridge, a table, a chair, a wardrobe and a single bed. 

Initially I was putting high hope of getting university campus dormitory but I didn't manage to get one so I started to look for the accommodation nearby. I can only fully depending on the online reviews and the pictures/details of room available online. There is this page called Goshipages where you may search for the gosiwon by entering the name of the place/area. They do know English so no worries for foreigners like me.

I reserve the room with the landlord after exchanging messages for a few times and I made full payment for the term I am renting before viewing the room beforehand. To be honest, I was in shock when I was brought to my room because I never expect it to be this small as the rental of the room is sufficient for me to rent a very good house in Malaysia. I arrange everything nicely just to make myself feel comfortable in this small space since I need to call it my room for a short term. 

Disclaimer: I am sharing my experience as a tenant in this Gosiwon, not sure about other Gosiwon. I am writing all the details which I wish I knew it before I came here.

[1] Blanket and pillow
I did not ask about this in the message so I was thinking if there is none I would just buy cheap one to use and indeed they don't provide. I guess so too perhaps due to hygiene or costing problem but they do provide rental service. A set of pillow and blanket for 10,000KRW for a month. I find it expensive therefore I bought a set of pillow and blanket for 20,000KRW at a shop that the Gosiwon's manager (who is also a student) brought me to and asked for discount from the shop's boss. She is really helpful and friendly which is really a plus point to all the tenants. 

[2] Kitchen
There is complementary food such as steamed white rice, ramyeon, kimchi, coffee and tea being served 24/7 and a different side dish which is served on every Thursday with first come first serve basis. Everyone is allowed to cook their own meal at the kitchen. They do provide utensils, pots, frying pans, cutting board, knives and microwave for you to cook. In addition to it, they do provide cooking oil, salt and sugar in the kitchen so can save on these. All you need to buy or bring from home is the sauces and fresh produce from the market. If you will miss your comfort food from your country, better bring some along. For those who prefer to use own cooking equipment, Daiso is just nearby.

[3] Washing machine
There are two washing machines for the tenants to use. Due to its location in the middle floors of the building so we have no access to the rooftop to dry the laundry. They do provide a rack at the entrance of each floor for us to dry the laundry. Please be prepared that some tenants just don't care about your laundry hanging on the rack. They will remove yours (when you just hang yours the night before) and hang theirs on the rack instead. At the same place, there is an iron and ironing board. Laundry detergent in powder form is provided but if you like the fragrant liquid detergent then you may have to buy it yourself.

[4] Bathroom 
I am staying in a bathroom attached room therefore it is more expensive but convenient for me. Having my own bathroom also means that I have to clean it myself.  For the room without a bathroom, there is a common bathroom at each floor. To bring or to buy shampoo and shower foam, it depends on individual. I brought the half used ones from home so I could save on this and hopefully will finish using it before I am flying home to allow more space for other items.

[5] Wardrobe 
The wardrobe may be small but it has a few drawers so this is not a problem. Initially I thought I would have to bring my own hangers but there are some hangers in the wardrobe so I just use it. Oh ya, I brought a few wiping cloth to wipe away the dust and dirt. The room is really small therefore I just wipe the floor instead of using a mop or vacuum cleaner.

[6] Shoes locker
Every tenant has their own shoes locker at the entrance. This facility is good for everyone as the room is really small. Another thing is it is cleaner for not having the shoes in the room.

[7] Transportation
This Gosiwon is near to the subway station. It is also near to the campus shuttle bus stop and the campus within walking distance. By taking shuttle bus or walking to the campus, I could save around RM10 per day (back and forth). Even though it is short distance but the fare is around 1,250KRW.

[8] Food and entertainment 
Restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, bakeries and KTV 노래방 are EVERYWHERE. Some restaurants and cafes are opened 24/7 so not to worry if you get hungry in the middle of the night and can't find food. There is a cinema right across the place I am staying. The movie ticket is 9,000KRW. There is no big supermarket (e.g. Lotte Mart or E Mart) at this station but there are a few mini markets and local traditional market available which are very convenient to the residents. They are selling the similar items at a slight price difference.

[9] Free Wi-Fi
At this technology era, life without internet connection is really hard. This Gosiwon provides Wi-Fi for all tenants so no worries on the data limits. Free Wi-Fi connection is common in Seoul which is why I did not buy any sim card for the mobile data. Of course, it is definitely much more convenient to have internet connection when you need to use the map to locate your destination and Google translation.

You may have to do some researches on the Gosiwon you are gonna stay in and also the surrounding of the Gosiwon. The above 9 points are my advice based on my own experience for you to refer to. Please comment below if you have questions.

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