Friday, March 6, 2009

CJ International House Dormitory

I'm living in a dorm on campus called CJ International House. It was built in 2005 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Korea University.
On the other side of the doors
The lobby. They have 2 computers with internet, a scanner, printer, and copy machine. There's always a security guard in the front watching this TV split into over 20 screens of the dorm hallways and people who come in. I'm pretty sure he recognizes us all now. We're always watched when we're not in our dorms... one time, I danced in the hallways to amuse him.The waiting area (for when other people wait for me) heheElevators to our rooms. They're very strict about gender mixing. The guys use the lift on the left that only goes to floors 2, 3, and 4; the girls use the right lift that goes to floors 2, 5, and 6. The communal gym is on floor 2. I have yet to go there (tomorrow I will, though)! The KU emblem is frosted on the elevator doors and inside is fully mirrored.
The hallway to my room
There's 2 kitchenettes on the 6th floor. Luckily, my room is right across from the less-used one.
Nonetheless, this fridge is always packed. You're supposed to buy your own see-through container but if I did, it wouldn't even fit so I shove my milk in any empty spot. It ain't smelly.
6 is my favourite and lucky number. I live on the 6th floor. I feel so lucky to share my dorm area with 2 other girls: Woo Ja (a Korean who has lived in Japan for most of her life) and Michelle (Korean born and raised in Toronto). I technically share my bedroom with Woo Ja and Michelle has her own single room. All three of us share a bathroom, sink area, and shower.
Welcome to my abode.
I have a card to open the door. It came on a lanyard with a bunch of keys I have no idea what to use for.
Actually, I broke the lanyard today unfortch.
The other side of the door (our shoes go in the closet/shoe rack on the right).
Next to the entrance is the bathroom area. The bathroom is checked and fully cleaned once a week by a maid.
My room is symmetrically identical. Mine is on the left. I'm so happy - although it's simple, this room is very spacious compared to some of the other rooms. Some of them have to share a bathroom (with shower + toilet connected) with 5 girls and in that same dorm area, the double room is half the size of my room and is a bunk bed!
I took this picture on the 2nd day and dumped everything on the desk.
I paid 20,000won for a white sheet, a thin fleece blanket, and a pillow. I froze the first couple nights (ended up sleeping with my coat on) until I found out there was heat (it was in Korean - I had no idea which buttons to press).. but b/c my roomie had a thick Hello Kitty duvet, I didn't want her to sweat to death so I froze another night until I realized she was fine with the heat on so now the room is constantly at 25 degrees =D
Yea I lucked out with Woo Ja. On the application for this dorm, I put "no preference" for everything (eg. sleep late, study at night, wake up early etc.) except for the non-smoker so it was really the luck of the draw. We have a great "roomie connection". We happen to go to bed at the same time and wake up around the same time. She showers at night and I shower in the morning. If she sleeps a bit earlier than me, she doesn't care if I leave the light on or use my laptop. We both listen to the same music so I can play my music and she likes it. Woo Ja is so helpful and very considerate. Even though we don't communicate too much because of the language barrier, we do try. She's cute with all her interesting Asian beauty gadgets and morning routine. It's almost as if everything she owns is pink. My side of the room looks so dull compared to hers! She had 2 huge boxes shipped from her home in Japan full of clothes and told me I could borrow her clothes (though she's much thinner than me)! When she finds out information that's in Korean or information I might not know about, she makes sure I'm fully informed. On the first morning, she offered me a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast.
My desk
The view outside my window: The Korean Cultural Centre
Kind of neat, eh?My empty closet. I also have a TON of shelf space on the left of this and three drawers under my bed!
Rent for a double at CJ Int'l (for 4 months) is 1,599,000 won (approx. $1,330CDN).. a little over $10/day and a single is 2,000,000 won.

Laundry room in the basement. 1 medium-sized load is 1,000won and drying is another 1,000. For large loads, it's double the amount. There's also a plasma TV/DVD room next to this and some vending machines and business meeting rooms.
CJ International Dorm is situated on a hill (like SFU!) so in order to get there, we have to walk up a hill. Here's to a toned tushie ;) It doesn't look too steep here, but it's impossible for me to walk down it in heels. I walk backwards (with help, of course).
The dorm is clean, functional and comfortable. I don't think I'll have any problems living here for the next few months!

This is my T Money card. Yaaay Hello Kitty! There's just something about being in Asia that makes me want Hello Kitty merchandise. The T Money card is used for transportation. There may be other uses, but you load money onto the card and you beep yourself in and out of subway stations and you can even use it to pay for taxi rides. I believe you can use it at convenience stores too, but I'm not too sure. The card cost 4,000won. You can also buy T Money cards in the form of cell phone charms. Technology here is really neat - some people have their cards in their cell phones!!
I needed to get my vitamins and since I have a really hard time swallowing pills of any size (I chew them all), I bought ones in gummy version today. They reek but taste alright. 2/day.
My hair feels like straw right now. I think it's because of the hair dryer.. it isn't ionic. I bought serum to coat/protect/shine my hair. I have no idea what it says so I only think it's serum... it does make my hair softer and smoother, though!
I bought stickers!! Aren't these cute? I plan to use them in my school agenda to motivate myself. "Study Hard!"
That is all.


  1. Your dorm is very spacious!

    Walk down a hill backwards in heels LOL cute.

    I see ugly doll!
    What did you name her anyway?!?! I still don't know.

    your dorm is SOOOOOO NICEEEEE
    the only image i have of dorms is wen i went to ubc connect and stayed there for a few days.. (awful) this looks SOOOOO NICEEEEE lIKE A HOTEL ...omg............
    yeah your roomie does sound SUPER nice! even i'm not as accomodating XD
    HUH you seriously walk backwards? for real? o_O

    wat the heck is an ionic hairdryer... never knew the hairdryer made a difference :S

    okay, the only thing i'm not happy about is the heat.. 25 degrees CONSTANTLY?! AIYA ..your room is so small, it must be a sauna in there! wait til you pay heating bills :P

  3. B: I'm not totally set on the name, but whenever I look at Uglydoll, I think of the name "Bunxster" haha actually I like the way how that name is spelled. Bun (like bunny), "x" ('cause it's out of this world), and ster... 'cause it's a fitting ending.

    N: Yesss I had to walk backwards. It took forever 'cause the hill is like 5x the length of that snippit of a picture and the road is uneven so I almost fell into a pot hole.
    Ionic hairdryers are somehow better for your hair. Something to do with changing the negative ions to make your hair shinier and less frizzy and promotes less breakage. And my room is 25 degrees when I'm in there and turn it on. The heater isn't on when nobody is in the room! But it's nice -- not sauna-like 'cause the fan is on at the same time and I think some part of it sucks out old air =)

  4. haha!!! i love how you mentioned that the waiting area is for others to wait for you!! hahah!

    and how exciting!! you get along well with your roommate!! :D

  5. Hey I am at KU right now as an international exchange student, do you have any tips for me? I don't know any Korean...and wanted to know how to get to the nearest train station (Btw I live on the 6th floor! haha)

    1. Hello I'm planning to study abroad in korea and I'm going as an exchange student what do we need to do to get these dorms ?? and how much money do we need to take if we plan on staying for a year ?? thanks

  6. Hi:)

    I searched up CJ International house, and I came across this blog. I see that you're an SFU student too!?

    I'm planning on going for 2 semesters starting this fall.

    Do you know if there's homestay available? I just want to know about the different options.
    Any other tips?

    Any help would be much appreciated :)

  7. PA: That's so cool you're an SFU student! I'm in my last semester now. Homestay is definitely available, but I don't know anyone who stayed there. I highly highly recommend staying in the dorm though. I initially wanted to do homestay because I thought it would be a better, more cultural experience, but the dorms are fantastic - you get to make a lot of friends your age (you have your classes and KUBA to make local Korean friends who can show you around and cook korean food w/ you whatnot) AND it's very close to the school so you can wake up later. You get the freedom and independence to do whatever you want, whenever. E-mail me at if you want any details :)

  8. Wow, your blog was so helpful,,, I am going to be at KU for 2 semestres and was wondering what dorm life would look like,,, Thanks ^.^

  9. HI,
    Quite interesting and enlightening.
    God bless you for sharing your experience,with those of us hoping to come for the same experience.

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  12. Hi, this blog answered a lot of questions. Thanks for posting. I am moving in this winter semester, 2013. Don't know if you are still currently a student and living in the dorm. But was just wondering if a TB chest x-ray is still required when checking into the dorm? Thanks

  13. HI ! I'm planning to study abroad in Korea and I was wondering as an exchange student paying my University tuition would i be able to apply for these types of dorms ?? also if I'm planning to stay for a whole year how much money to you think i might need to take ??