Housing in Korea

Housing is a big issue in the foreign country. Although most of the universities have their own residential facilities for students, but they are limited and inconvenient for foreign students not accustomed with Korean food and Korean culture. Among these, common bath, lack of cooking facilities, mandatory at least 1 meal in dormitory restaurant, sharing the same room with other students are common to any of the universities. Besides, most of the universities don’t offer dormitory facilities, mainly in Seoul area, very few universities offer dormitory facility. Some institutions have dormitory with common kitchen a better option for the students intend to prepare their own food. Outside Seoul area, both university dormitory and personal rented houses are convenient for students. Therefore incumbent students should discuss about the housing facilities if his date of arrival in Korea is confirmed. In case of rental accommodation, it’s better to rent a house on the date of arrival in your school. Korean lab member may help you find a suitable house for you as per your choice and ability. Student coming in the government scholarship can get help from the international student desk of the specific school. If you can contact some Bangladeshi students studying in your school might be the best option for this case.

Type of House

There are different kind of houses available depending on the amount of payment, like Serviced residence like Hotel or Motel, Apartment (Flat), Officetel (both Office and housing facilities), Private houses. But these kinds of houses are beyond the ability of most of the students.

  • Studio/One Room

Studio apartments in buildings four to five stories high are often referred to as “one room” or villa. But outside Seoul, most of them are two stories. These affordable rooms are popular with students and young working-class mainly in Seoulites. It is important to note that since these buildings are privately owned and in close to other residential and business buildings, lack of sunlight and poor ventilation is a drawback. One room units are a cost-saving alternative to officetels. This kind of one room houses are furnished with a kitchen and bathroom. Students is not habituated with Korean food can cook their favorite dishes easily.

  • Gosheon

This house is alike the studio/one room houses. Mainly this kind of houses operates around the universities in Seoul. The room of gosheon is very small and for room with window, you have to pay some buck more. In most of the gosheon, there is common kitchen and birth room in each floor and the size of the room is very small.

  • Private Houses

There are many house owners who used to rent some part of his house and use other parts for his own use. These kind houses are quite good for those who wish stay with family in homely atmosphere other than in a business oriented environment. You can find this kind of houses through Budongsan (Real estate agent) who take service charge after you agree to rent the house he found for you. But in small cities you may contact directly to the house owner from the available rent information notice in front of his house entrance.

Types of payment

  • Jeonse (Key money deposit)

Jeonse or key money deposit is a housing rental system specific to Korea. Instead of paying monthly rent to a landlord, a large lump sum payment is deposited into the landlord’s bank account for the duration of the contract. Jeonse contract are signed for two years. At the end of the contract, the deposited amount is returned to the renter. Some landlords prefer this method because they can collect interest from the amount deposited in the bank. However, this is not the case with all landlords as some prefers the jeonse method simply because of the fact they purchased the property with Jeonse contract and they are lack of the funds to return the large deposit amounts out of their own pockets. However the system is the most advantageous for tenants since the deposited sum is given back at the end of contract. When looking for rent house in this method, it’s better to confirm the house condition such as unpaid loan, or any due bills unpaid. Although the realtor office will confirm all things at the time of contract, but you need to ask for checking the registry of the house and the clearance from real estate office

  • Wolse (Monthly payment+deposit)

Wolse requires renters to deposit an arranged amount of money with the landlord, with monthly rent paid on a specific date of each month. There is no minimum or maximum deposit amount so far for this kind of rental houses. The bujeongum (deposit amount) and monthly rent is usually decided by the house owner and the realtor only mediate between you and house owner for which he has to pay a commission approximately 0.4% of the deposit amount or not more than 300,000 won. There possibly be a negotiation with the house owner to reduce deposit amount or house rent but in both the case you need to pay more deposit for less monthly rent and vice versa. When the monthly payments are made accordingly and no damage of the house, you will get back all the deposit at the end of contract. The minimum amount of deposit money in Seoul is around 5 million or approximately 5000$. This may vary in different area.

Signing the contract

First confirm the time of rent you have to pay, either start of the month or at the end. Be ensuring about receipt of rent in every month. Check the utility bill whether you have to pay individually or with the rent. Some time you have to pay the utility (electricity, gas and water) to the company yourself depending on the use. Some house owner pay all together including him and you have to pay the house owner your part, in that case you have the right to check the bill paper. Confirm the heating and cooling system working properly, or you have to ask the house owner to repair them before get in. Check the interior and ask to renovate if needed before finalize the contract.


There are different renting systems outside Seoul area. Different area has different renting system so far the house owner accustomed with. Some area has one room system housing with kitchen and birth room which they rent for 1 year to 6 month contract basis. Most of the cases there is very little deposit money or no deposit money at all. Many house owners prefer to take the entire rented amount at a time for the contract period when you enter the house, so you have not to pay monthly basis but there is chance to loss the money if you move out before finishing your contract period, and after contract period, you may re-contract or have to move out.

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