(Paitel A Dormitory)
I previously mentioned that I am currently studying in South Korea as part of the Korean Government Scholarship Program. One requirement of the scholarship is that students must go through a year of language studies if they have not yet acquired level 5 or 6 in TOPIK. I am therefore attending Korean language classes at Pai Chai University in Daejeon. I will later talk about the language programme at the university but this post will be about the on-campus housing opportunities. Before arriving to Daejeon and Pai Chai University I was really curious about the university, especially the dorms, so I hope this post will give you an idea about the dormitories on campus.
Pai Chai University offers both on and off campus housing to students. In this post I will only talk about the on-campus housing options known as the dormitories. There are several dormitories on campus but KGSP scholars usually end up in either Paitel A/B (also known as PA/PB) or Seojaepil. The majority of KGSP students are accommodated in Seojaepil, the international dorm on campus. Dormitory life at Pai Chai University can be challenging with the many rules and the lack of essential facilities.
DORM RULES: There is roll call everyday at 11 pm and the doors to the dorms are locked from midnight to 6 in the morning. In order to stay out of the dorm for the night, you need to submit a request through this page, with your login information (ID: your student ID, PW: your birthdate YYMMDD) by 9.45 pm of the stay-out day at latest. Note that every second Tuesday there is a cleaning check where dorm managers inspect the rooms, and therefore you are not allowed to request a stay out on that night! The rules for the roll call, cleaning check and staying out apply to all dormitories.
Being the first names on the KGSP list we were the lucky winners of rooms in PA, the Korean dorm. We spent 3½ months there after which were forced to move to PB during the winter vacation period. We stayed at PB for around 2½ months until the beginning of the spring semester.
Paitel A (PA) – Girls Dormitory
Paitel A is the Korean dorm, which means that you are likely to have Korean, Chinese or Japanese roommates. There are two types of rooms in PA. The first type is a flat with 8 rooms, each of which accommodate 2 girls. The flat has a big common area, 3 showers, 3 sinks and 4 toilets. It can be a bit complicated scheduling showers with 16 girls living in one flat but we never really had a problem. Every floor has two lounge/kitchens where you can access a microwave and water dispenser. The rooms don’t have a fridge, which can be a problem if you like cereals and milk in the morning. During the winter month we used the big balcony as a fridge to keep fruit and milk cold but the summer months were indeed challenging. Each floor also has a laundry room, computer room and study room. Every second Tuesday, there is a cleaning day at the dormitory where dorm managers go into your room after doing the roll call and check whether you’ve cleaned as per the guidelines. The first cleaning roll call was really annoying since they didn’t give us proper instructions but in time, we learned. The announcements in PA are only made in Korean, Japanese and Chinese which made it difficult for us to get a grasp of what was going on. We stayed at PA until 17th of December and paid 660 000 won for 3½ months of stay at PA. The second type of room at PA is the 6-people room. In these flats there are 2 rooms and in each room 3 people stay together. The room only has one shower, two toilets and a sink. There is limited space in these types of flats so you have to be organized and tolerant towards your flatmates.
PA is not the best dorm I have stayed at in South Korea and taking into consideration that we had to share so many things with so many girls, it could be stressing at times. On the other hand, staying at PA gave us common space, through which we got to know each other much more. We had dinners together and even danced at times in the common area. I sometimes miss the days we spent at PA when I think back, but the facilities and rules were definitely uncomfortable to live with.
Paitel B (PB) – Boys Dormitory
During the winter vacation period we were told to move to Paitel B, which is the boys equivalent of Paitel A. PB has two types of rooms. The first type of room, which is the one we stayed in, is similar to the second type of room at PA, the 6-people room. In these flats there are 2 rooms and in each room 3 people stay together. The space and facilities are limited. The flat only has one shower, two toilets and a sink. We managed the usage of the shower quite well and our schedules never conflicted. Every floor has a lounge/kitchen, computer room, study room and laundry room.
Dorm managers at PB were nicer than at PA and we didn’t have any cleaning checks during the time we stayed there, which was less stressful. The roll call was still an important thing but it was also less painful and faster than in PA. We stayed around 2½ months in PB and paid around 480 000 won. During the winter vacation period the number of people staying at PB was no more than 50 so it was easy to find empty laundry machines on other floors. The second type of room in PB is the 4-person room. 4 people share one flat containing only one bathroom. There is not much privacy in this type of room so we were quite happy to stay in the first type.
Seojaepil is known for being the international dorm on the Pai Chai Campus. It houses all KGSP students, both undergraduate and graduate. I didn’t have the opportunity to stay at this dormitory but I have heard about it from classmates and experienced it first-hand by visiting friends staying there. In Seojaepil there is only one type of room: the 2-person room, where you have an ensuite bathroom, which means that you share your room and bathroom with your only roommate. The rooms also have a fridge which means that it is easier to keep fruit and milk. The rooms are spacious and there is more privacy in this dormitory. Laundry rooms and lounges are located on the 1st and 4th floors of the building. The price for this type of housing is 800 000 won for 3½ months. The dorm managers in this dormitory speak English and the daily announcements before the roll call are always in either Korean or English. Cleaning check and roll call rules also apply to this dormitory.
If you have any health-related problems or simply follow a different diet (vegetarian/vegan), I would suggest you to contact the dorm office as fast as possible upon your arrival. Pai Chai University has apartment-type housing for international students and there may be empty spots in some of them. I failed to contact the dorm office fast enough and had to struggle through dorm life in PA and PB with my IBS. The international office and the dorm office are helpful and take your needs into consideration.