Where are you living right now? Are you living with your parents or are you living by yourself in your own room? If you are currently a university student, either one will apply to you or else you could be living in the school dormitory, at a nearby boarding room, or somewhere else that fits your needs. Some prefer living in the school dormitory due to its proximity to school, whereas those who prefer their own personal place will choose to live in a nearby one-room. Whatever your preference may be, there will be a place out there just for you that will accommodate your every need.
Where Do You Live?
Different Types of Residences
Back in the days when we were in elementary school, most of us lived so near our school that we could walk back and forth within minutes. How about now? Some students take around 30 minutes or maybe even up to two to three hours if it comes to that to go back and forth from home. Some of us even live away from our homes. Starting from one-rooms where we have to pay monthly rent while everything is put into our hands to boarding rooms where our meals are taken care of, there are various types of residences that university students make their home in.
A simple survey was conducted on a total of 140 students currently attending university in Seoul with 86 female and 54 male students participating in this study. Participants were required to indicate whether they were a freshmen/sophomore or a junior/senior as there is a tendency for those in their upper years to reside in an individual residence (one-rooms or goshiwons). They were also required to indicate their region of birth, in other words, where they were from to distinguish the cohort as those originally residing in Seoul or in nearby provinces are more likely to commute to school rather than take up individual residence. The specification of each individual’s type of residence and the amount spent on that specific type of accommodation was the most important factor of this survey. As 54% out of the 140 students who participated were from either Seoul or Gyeonggi, Incheon, a large proportion, 41% to be exact, answered that they commute to school. Nevertheless, with 46% of the cohort coming from other regions, around 25% answered that they currently reside in one-rooms, while 24% answered with the dormitory option. Then, the amount of money the participants spent on housing was asked with an exclusion of those commuting or living in dormitories. Based on the data of the remaining 50 participants who live in a one-room, goshiwon, boarding house etc., 42% of the cohort was revealed to be spending around the 310,000 – 500,000 won range, 32% around the 710,000 – 1,000,000 won range, 16% around the 510,000 – 700,000 won range and only 10% around the 10,000 – 300,000 won range. The results of this survey highlight the issue of the rising house prices that burden the shoulders of university students.
Problems and More Problems
Rising House Prices
As a student who has studied all night every day without rest, you had only hoped and hoped to at least get into a university in Seoul. However, you would have probably never thought about where you might come to live in and how much it would cost to live there. Now that you’ve become the long-awaited university student that you always dreamed of becoming, you will most likely have to come face-to-face with these problems. Students who commute 1~3 hours a day to school don’t have a rent bill dangling in front of them, but rather the large amount of transportation fees that they’ll have to burden. Vice versa, those who live alone have the load of paying rent monthly.
The point at issue arises here. More than half of the students attending universities in Seoul are said to be spending at least three hundred thousand won a month on monthly rent. A monthly rent of 500,000 won together with a 10 million won deposit can only provide you with a somewhat decent room in a campus district. If that monthly rent drops under the 300,000 line, all that is left are semi-basement or rooftop rooms where most of the basic facilities will most likely be in poor condition. Then, why are the prices of rooms in the campus district literally going through the roof despite their lack of proper housing? First of all, one of the biggest factors that determines their prices is the fact that they are situated in the campus district. The vicinity of a university usually has a major business district developed around it causing housing prices to go up. Other than that, most people look for rooms right before the start of a new semester. It is then that there is a high demand and yet not enough of a supply of vacant rooms, thus, causing the prices to soar even higher than before.
Against Building a New Dormitory
Another factor that is pouring oil on the fire of the shortage of housing is the school dormitory accommodation rate. Based on April 2016 statistics, Yonsei University showed the highest accommodation rate with 31.5% while most of the other universities maintained a rate in the 10~20% range. With the accommodation rate of universities in the capital not even meeting the national average, many universities are attempting to relieve the shortage of housing by taking matters into their own hands building new dormitories. However, from time to time there is opposition from the residents. Why do you think they are against the building of new dormitories? Probably not for the reason you’re thinking of. It is neither due to the possible sound pollution that could arise or other inconveniences but rather due to the fact that their greed has taken the better of them. They believe that if a new dormitory were to be constructed, then the demand for rooms would decrease thus, causing them a deficit. This, in fact, happened when Hanyang University proposed the construction of a new dormitory for their school. They say that greed blinds people. Although they have their own rights as landlords of the district, is the school at fault or is it the residents who are against them?
In Search for a Solution
Isn’t this such an unfortunate sight to witness? Students who should be focusing on their studies while enjoying the rest of their campus life are hindered by the burdens of rising house prices. Despite the efforts of many universities, this shortage of housing is nowhere near gone. Nevertheless, there are many solutions being presented by various districts and nearby communities to solve this problem. One of the solutions is the “Room Sharing Service.” Known as “Elderly-Student Cohabitation Room Sharing,” it is a service in which the elderly provide room for accommodation to students in return for their services. The elderly provide accommodation at an affordable price and in turn, the students need only become companions to talk to or help out with their livelihoods. In addition, this is the perfect solution for those who have always been worried about safety. Unlike living by yourself, since you have someone else with you, you won’t have to worry about being home alone at night.
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