Most schools in Korea provide their western teaching staff with single studio style apartments, sometimes referred to as bachelor style apartments in the West. Due to the limited landmass and mountainous terrain housing developments in Korea are primarily high rise apartment complexes which consist of 5 – 20 buildings per development. Although apartment architecture has improved over the past decade the majority of apartments in Korea still have a uniform look and feel. In 2010 it was estimated that more than 80% of the Korean population lived in apartment buildings ranging from 5 to 35 stories.
Size of apartment in Korea
Note: Most Korean apartments do not come with sofas, ovens, microwaves or bathtubs.
Whether private school teachers can move into their apartment right away depends on the situation of the school. In some cases new teachers can move into their apartments right away but in other cases new teachers will be required to stay at a nearby motel for the first 4-7 days. Why? Because the current teacher (the one you’re replacing) will still be employed during your training period – there’s a brief overlap period when the new teacher and old teacher that’s being replaced are working simultaneously. Example: You’re replacing a current teacher who’s set to finish their contract on August 31st, you will begin your contract on September 1st; however, the school needed you to arrive 5 days earlier (around August 26th) in order to complete the school training. Between August 26th and August 31st the school will have 2 teachers for 1 apartment. As a result the new teacher would stay in a motel near the school until the current teacher finishes and departs. Once the old teacher departs the new teacher (you) can move into the apartment. Note: Employers will cover the motel costs during the brief overlap period.
Bathrooms in Korea
Apartment Etiquette in Korea