Housing and Accommodations
Before you sign a contract with a school in Korea, you will be discussing living accommodations with your school. The school will provide a place for you to live in as long as you teach in the school. Here are a couple points about what you can expect the school to offer:
- Most teachers are provided with a Bachelor Apartment in a neighborhood near the school. Usually schools will do their best to have something within walking distance or a short bus ride away.
- The apartment will be paid for by the school and no money should be deducted for rent.
- Basic furnishings will be provided by the school, such as; bed, bedding, dresser, TV, fridge, gas range, air conditioner
- Either before or soon after you arrive, someone at the school will help you to set up Telephone, Internet, and TV access. You can also ask them with help getting a “Hand-phone” but this is optional.
You should not expect to have the following items waiting in your apartment unless a thoughtful previous teacher decided to leave them or they have accumulated over time: a washing machine, rice cooker, microwave, fan, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, desk, pots and pans, glasses, and kettle.
There are also some things which are common appliances to us but are rarely found in a basic Korean household.
- Coffee makers will not be provided but you can find them for a relatively cheap price at stores like E-mart or HomePlus.
- Clothes dryers are very uncommon and you should expect to hang your clothes on a hang dryer in your apartment. This becomes somewhat tricky as you wait for 2 days for your jeans to dry. You can have fun with this and see how good you are at guessing drying times.
- Ovens are also uncommon in Korea as Korean cuisine just doesn’t require them. You can purchase a small oven at E-mart or HomePlus for 50,000 to 250,000 won.
Some things to note about Korean apartments:
- The bathroom and kitchen are usually quite small in a Bachelor apartment.
- Bathtubs are a very rare find in Korean bathrooms. If you are lucky enough to have one, it will likely be big enough for a small child.
- Bathrooms are tiled from top to bottom and you can expect your sink, toilet, and everything else to get showered with you. They are quite tricky to clean and maintain but usually a squeegee will do the trick after each shower to remove excess water.
- Speakers are often installed in the apartments to broadcast announcements for the tenants. Announcements are commonly about basic maintenance such as trash removal, clean up, fire drills, etc. They can come on at any time of the day so do not be alarmed when Big Brother comes on.
- If Korean landlords need to speak with you regarding any apartment issues, they can sometimes try to come right into your apartment after a quick knock. It is suggested that you lock your door to prevent this from happening.