Another thing I was glad to get to experience is to live with a stranger. I have no idea how they chose who gets to live with whom but for me dormitory life with my roommate works well.
Dormitory life at a glance
My dormitory is on-campus and occupies 434 students, both exchange and local students. For the Korean students to get to live at a dormitory they need to apply and have very good grades.
The rooms are shared with two persons and are around 20 square meters and include two beds, a bathroom, two desks, wardrobes and a refrigerator.
In the building there is a small gym, study rooms, a rooftop, a small convenience store, laundry rooms (separate for men/women) and ping pong tables. The gym and washing service is free of charge. Using the dryer costs 500 won for 15 minutes. We do not have own kitchens and cooking is not allowed but we have microwaves in the lobby. And across the street we have a 7-Eleven that is open 24/7.
As for the curfew I have mentioned earlier and now learned to live with: it is easy to sign out for the night while I have not heard that they would do room checks during the night (so it might not be that strict after all – you just cannot get in during 12pm/1am-4:30am). We also received a list of forbidden things: having alcohol in the room, letting someone else in during the closed hours, having visitors without a visitor tag, spending time in the opposite genders floors etc.
The first thing I noticed was that the sink is outside of the bathroom. On second thought this is a good thing since while one person is in the shower the other can still use the sink. There is bad Wi-Fi but working internet through the Ethernet cable to a computer. And water purifiers are available in every hall.
A big part of dormitory life is having a roommate. I met my roommate first after the first night we slept in our room because we got in at different times. Her name is Jaanika and comes from Estonia. I even wrote a fun fact about her in an earlier post.
My roommate is four years younger than me and studies event management. We get along really well and we both understand that some days we just want to lay in our beds doing nothing. This I like because it is not often you have time for yourself.
Times it can be more difficult is for example when I have morning classes and Jaanika does not. This means she wakes up when I do and that I can stay awake since she is awake later in the night.
As for the other off-campus dorms (without a curfew), they are smaller and a bit more expensive. They sleep on bunkbeds and have a kitchen and a washing machine in their rooms. Here is one photo of the other dorm: