Student Housing: On-Campus Dormitories

Before arriving in Korea, new international students need to sort out where they will be staying for the upcoming months in Seoul. The prospect of arranging accommodation from another country can be intimidating, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the language and local procedures.

The easiest way to find a place to stay is probably to apply for university housing, which can be done online before the semester starts. Compared to finding your own housing, dorms are very hassle-free as there is no need to negotiate contracts or deal with language barriers, and the bills and Internet are included in the rent. Hanyang University offers a variety of student dormitories both on and off-campus, all of them relatively close to their Seoul campus in Wangsimni (왕십리) and Sageun-dong (사근동) areas.

The on-campus dormitories are located on the eastern side of the campus, with about 5-15 minute-walk to most of the faculty buildings where lectures are held. The four dorms are called the International House (girls), Techno House (boys) as well as the Student Residence Halls I and II (mixed). Depending on the dorm, each student shares a room with one, three or no other students, and has their own bed, desk and dresser. More detailed information on the rooms can be found on the student housing (link?) section on the university’s website.

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I am currently staying at the International House, so I can tell a bit about my own experiences after so far living there for nearly one semester. While I am only able to really go in depth into my own dorm life, all of the on-campus housing options are similar to each other, save for a few different facilities.

Location-wise, the on-campus dorms are great. One might think that it would be cool to live in the city centre or in Itaewon where many foreigners hang out, but considering that you will probably have to go to lectures every day (attendance is mandatory and counts towards your grade!), it will take a lot of time to commute with the busy Seoul metro. Living on campus means more time to sleep in the mornings, which is perfect for a night owl such as myself.


One thing about dorm life though is that there are rules that everyone needs to abide by, and breaking them can lead to consequences with the dormitory office, or even getting kicked out. When a student arrives, he or she gets a list of things that are prohibited. For example, bringing food and eating in your room is not allowed, and neither is wearing shoes. Curfew is at 1am, and if you are late you won’t be able to get back in until 5am when the front doors are unlocked again. Bringing outside guests or members of the opposite sex is also strictly forbidden. I was very surprised by many of the things on the list at first, and while some of the rules still seem patronizing and can annoy me sometimes, I can’t deny that the dormitory is clean and peaceful as a result.

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The International House has its own laundry room with washers and dryers, as well as a study room that is shared with the Student Residence Hall II. It does not have a cafeteria, but the dorm next door offers lunch and dinner for affordable prices. The Student Residence Hall is the largest of all on-campus dorms, so it also has a café and a free gym for students, as well as the dormitory offices.

To access my dorm, an access key card is required to open the front door, and each student has a regular key to his or her room. There is also a security guard at the door, which makes it even safer. All in all, on-campus housing is the best option for those who like their quiet, and appreciate the security that comes from not having to deal with possibly untrustworthy private landlords, and having the dormitory office deal with any problems that might come up. It is also a good way to meet up other students and make friends with your roommates and neighbours.




Article my Miia from the U.K.

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