Accommodation in Korea
A free apartment?! Say what?? You’re coming to Korea soon and you want to know where you are going to stay for the next year, right? Wouldn’t you want to know more about your accommodation in Korea? Sadly, you won’t get an address before you arrive. You also won’t see pictures or get a list of what will be waiting for you – unless you’re in touch with a current teacher whom you’re replacing. You won’t know what’s in the neighborhood – is there a gym? A shopping mart? Any cool bars?
Luckily, most apartments provided to foreigners arriving in Korea follow the same format. You’ll have a washing machine, a kitchen, a stove, and a fridge/freezer. There are rarely ovens or dryers in Korea. You’ll have a bed, and will probably have the luxury of a heated floor. Almost all apartments provided to foreign teachers are studios.
Things that may be left behind by the teacher you’re replacing:
- A couch… and maybe a TV
- A desk
- A fan
- A clothing rack to dry your clothes
- Basic utensils
- A microwave
Tip for the adventurous, thrifty types: You can often find free furniture around your apartment building. We call it “dumpster diving” – Koreans are constantly getting rid of super nice furniture/home items. You’ll find these items near the garbage/recycling area of an apartment building. Everything is free for the taking! Or you can always hit up Craigslist.
You will have to get use to the following:
- You apartment will be a mess when you arrive. Get mentally prepared to spend your first 48 hours enduring a deep clean (seriously, you’ll have to bleach everything…)
- Taking off your shoes inside
- Using a code to get into your apartment, not a key
- Your shower is your bathroom… literally… right over the toilet.
- No bath tub
- No yard – but some buildings have sweet roof-top patios!
- 9th floor – a lovely view of hundreds of other apartment buildings
- A combined living room, bedroom, and kitchen area – typical studio style apartment
- 14th floor
- combined living room / bedroom / kitchen – typical studio
- 12th floor
- combined living room / bedroom / kitchen – typical studio style
From removing the Kimchi mold from your Korean refrigerator to scrubbing the tiles in your bathroom during your first day in Korea, from throwing out some of the belongings of the previous tenant to discovering that your closet is actually a refrigerator – all of these small things are what makes living so far from home an adventure every day! Remain flexible, greet each day with an open mind, and trust us – you’ll have an unforgettable journey! Hope your accommodation in Korea exceeds your expectation!