Located in the northeast part of Seoul, Korea University is one of the oldest and largest universities in South Korea. The stunning campus features Baroque architecture, making you almost feel like you’re in Europe. Some of the buildings look like castles or something out of a fairy tale. Tourists and high school kids are often seen walking around and taking photos of the campus.
Staying at a dormitory on campus
After doing some research on whether to stay on campus or find a hostel somewhere nearby, I eventually decided to stay on campus. I wanted to experience campus life since most local students don’t live on campus in Australia. Anam, the neighbourhood surrounding the campus features a large student population, and includes many shops, cafes, PC bang (internet cafes), noraebang (karaoke joints), restaurants, and bars. Initially, I wanted to get into the CJ International dormitory as they had more facilities, such as a gym, and a kitchen with a fridge, for the same price. However, I didn’t apply early enough and I guess all the other students had the same mindset.
Frontier Dormitory was my only other option and surprisingly, it turned out to be the better option. According to some of my fellow CJ International mates, the facilities at Frontier looked newer. Living at Frontier was convenient as it was the meeting spot for our group regardless which dormitory we were staying at. Another reason to stay at Frontier instead of CJ International is that damn hill that you have to walk up every single day, sometimes, three or four times a day. You will need to climb the hill for both dormitories, however the climb to CJ International is slightly longer.
If you don’t want to stay on campus for whatever reason, many students choose to stay at a goshitel. These are usually cheaper and can be found right next to the university. You have more freedom staying outside the campus as you can bring friends over and drink inside the premises, something that is not allowed at the student dormitories.
Since I shared a dorm room, the space included two decent-sized single beds, and two study desks. Each room also comes with an air conditioner and WiFi. I don’t really have any complaints about my dorm room. The room was pretty decent. If you’re living on the lower levels, it can get slightly noisy at certain times of the day since students use the common area as a meeting point. I would recommend students to bring a travel adaptor as the dormitories do not provide them and they were rather expensive when I purchased one from a stationary shop on campus. For anything else you might need, you can always buy them once you arrive in Seoul as there are plenty of convenience stores located everywhere.
Facilities on campus
Students have to go to B1 to do the laundry. To work the washing machine and dryer, you have to put money into the laundry card dispenser situated near the elevators outside the laundry room. Keep the card and bring it with you every time you need to do your washing. It costs 1000 won for a single use of the washing machine, another 1000 won to use the dryer, and 500 won for single-use detergent.
There is also a cafeteria next to the dormitory where you can buy your meal plans from. It is great to try out cafeteria food as this is what local Koreans eat on a daily basis. The meals change daily and there is always something new to try out. After weeks of eating convenience store food, and with the restaurants making me broke, this was a good change for me. However, I wouldn’t suggest getting a big meal plan since there are lots of places to explore in the neighbourhood.
If you are looking for a place to study, the Central Library has general reading rooms and computer rooms. To book a seat in the computer or reading room, you have to scan your student ID card and choose a seat number. Another nice area is Central Plaza. Here you can find stationary stores, fast-food restaurants, a library, and 24 hour reading rooms. The official Korean University merchandise store is also located in the plaza.