Ewha announced last month that its dormitories have ranked highest in accommodation ration among the major universities in Seoul.
According to Higher Education In Korea, the school ranked 3rd after Yonsei and Sungkyunkwan University for overall accommodation across the country. However, considering the fact that both these universities have separate dormitories in their regional campuses, Ewha definitely ranks first for domitory accomodation for within Seoul — as the school’s remark.
Students gather from different districts and even from other countries to attend universities in the country’s capital, and it has always been difficult for schools in Seoul to provide sufficient housing for their students. Ewha was no exception, and the university has been investing an increasing amount of funds for its dormitories.
In February last year, the school opened Ottogi Global House, a five-story building beside the old Hanwoori dormitory, to accommodate more students. The following August, E-House was completed. The new dormitory can accommodate 2,156 students and is now well-known for its architectural elegance, even receiving the Seoul Architecture Award of the year.
“I’m glad that the school is preparing more room for students,” said Chae Hyun-ji, a freshman from College of Liberal Arts. “I’m not from a faraway district like Busan or Gwangju, so if our dorm was smaller, I’d probably not have been allowed in. But a three-hour commute to school every morning would have been a huge burden.”
All this effort seems to have paid off, as only 8.7 percent of the school’s student body resided in dorms, but the rate has risen rapidly to 22 percent this year.
Low residence fees also contributed to the school dormitories’ success. The average monthly rent for towns near colleges in Seoul are estimated to be 500,000 won, according to Dabang, a real estate service. However, students pay 217,000 to 402,000 won a month to live in the school dorms, making it the more economical choice.
Ewha has not only worked on lowering rent and competition for residence, but has also upgraded their lodging facilities with microwaves, toaster ovens, as well as seminar and fitness rooms. There is also a counseling center, Heart E Center, for dormitory residents right next to E-house.
Ewha’s dormitories evolved according to different student demands. In 2016, a separate residence hall called Soseul-gwan was made inside Hanwoori House for students preparing for national bar exams. International students visiting Ewha Language Center can live in I-House, which was expanded twice in 2012 and 2013. For students who wish to live in larger groups, E-House has unit rooms where four to 10 students share a living room and learn to cooperate and communicate with cohorts.
“Many students give good reviews after living in E-house, especially the units, but I’ve also heard complaints about the noise level from senior residents living in Hanwoori House.” said Lim Won-jin, a freshman from Department of English Language & Literature. “If the school continue to show interest in taking care of the dormitories and keep improving them, I think more students will decide to live on campus.”