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[VIDEO NEWS] Impossibly High Rent for Students Needs Government Action

Jan 24,2018
1) Hey college students, how’s the search for housing going?

2) With the job market still frozen,the studio apartment neighborhoods around universities are colder than ever.

3) If you are not lucky enough to be living close to the university or to have made it into the dorms, you have no choice but to rent an apartment — but the rent is impossibly high.
(Graph: the accommodation rate of dormitories at Seoul universities is 16.1 percent on average)

4)Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth — that is, enough to be able to buy a nearby apartment, for college students,these apartments for rent are really “take it or leave it” deals.

5) Of course, some of these students end up choosing to commute from Pyeongtaek, Uijeongbu, Siheung or Paju to Seoul, but you need some mental prowess to put up with the inconvenience.

6) “The rent for a single room in Seoul will get you a full apartment anywhere else. Commuting is difficult, but the rent is so high that finding a place is really not an option. Being able to just live in Seoul makes you a ‘silver spoon-er.’”
-Anonymous Student A, commutes to Seoul from Pyeongtaek

7) “Leaving home at dawn without the sun, that alone tires me out every day. But what can I do? I can’t get my own apartment.”
-Anonymous Student B, commutes to Seoul from Paju

8) Some freshmen choose to live with relatives,but this, too, is quite an unsettling state of living.

9) It’s really a wonder how they’re all so similar.

10) The rent of all these studio apartments around universities in Seoul range from 500,000 to 600,000 won

11) Of course, cheaper options are possible,but they usually come with lower living conditions like semi-basements, rooftops, or tiny rooms just meant for studying.

12) The few million won tuition, the cost of food and clothing, communication expenses — all that plus a studio apartment.
(diagram: Living expenses for college students average 1.176 million won, or 1.56 million won if housing expenses are 600,000 won)

13)In fact, this is not easy to cover even with the salary of an entry-level employee.
(Major company’s salary: 38.55 million won on average, public enterprise: 34.59 million won, small business: 25.23 million won, overall average: 33.25 million won)

However, the studio apartment rent does not seem to be coming down

15) The government did attempt to lower it by urging the leasing apartments owners to register as businesses, but the owners are uncooperative.

16) Even the construction of new dorm buildings at some universities repeatedly find obstacles, with apartment owners protesting.

17) The high rent adds insult to injury for students who face a difficult job market.

18) An action that goes beyond urging business registration must be taken now.

Video sourced from JoonAng Ilbo
Directed by Lee Jeong-bong
Produced by Kim Su-hyeon
Translated by Kim Hyo-jung
Edited by Matthew Silberman