Allive Gositel – “best” gositel around KU
Posted January 27, 2011on:
Allive Gositel is (was) a brand new “gositel”, which opened just in time for the massive crowd of exchange students going to KU for the fall 2010 semester.
I decided to write about Allive Gositel, because:
1. I lived there during my exchange period, and
2. Every single exchange student who was assigned to Allive could not find any information about the place (because it’s new!) which led to frustration. I figured it’ll be helpful for any incoming KU exchange students seeking for an off-campus place to stay, or was assigned to Allive by KU.
So first off, what’s “gositel”? See here for a description. Basically, a “gositel” is a one-room housing, usually with a shared kitchen and laundry machine(s) on the floor. Some “gositels” even provide free rice, eggs, and ramen in the kitchens. Most rooms come with individual bathrooms, which is, in my humble opinion, very, very important (especially for girls!).
Back to Allive. Most of us pronounced it as “olive“, but some others pronounce it as “alive“, as in, “It’s alive!“.
The building has 7 floors, with a rooftop where everyone is free to chillax. The first floor (1) is where the entrance and the manager’s mini office are located. The manager doesn’t speak English so one better find a Korean friend or a Korean speaker for help with translation. He’s pretty nice.
Floors 2~4 are the guys’ single rooms, while floors 5~6 are the girls’ single rooms. Girl’s double rooms are located on the 7th floor. However, guys and girls are free to roam around–there are no rules. So in a way, it’s better than staying at KU’s CJ International House!
The price of the rent is 500,000 KRW per month. This is about $446 USD. It is somewhat more expensive than other gositels around Korea University Station and Anam Station…
BUT, Allive has many positive sides to it, including:
- It’s new!!!! As a result, it’s cleaner. Best of all, the lights are bright in both rooms and the common room.
- The single rooms are larger than most gositels available around school. Most of the gositels my friends stayed at did not allow much room for movement, maybe just 2 or 3 steps (if you managed not to bruise your knees onto the chair or closet). As for Allive, I could move around the room a LOT more, without bumping onto anything (except the chair, which is a disaster in design).
- The common room is large. People are actually “allowed” to gather and talk there, unlike some gositels, where the managers would shoo people away if they sit too long.
- As of now, I believe every single person staying at Allive are [exchange] students from KU. A lot of gositels around school are inhabited by both students and “outsiders”, including non-students, workers, drunks (?), etc. So in a way, I feel that Allive is quite safe. The entrance of the building and every single floor require password/card swap.
- Windows. The rooms have large, able-to-open WINDOWS, that stretch across the entire wall. The only downside to the windows is the curtains. They’re white and thin so they don’t block the sunlight and cold winds very well.
- The bed and desk are larger than most gositels, which make it even more comfortable to stay at Allive. The only downside is that Allive does not provide pillows and blankets, so one better bring his/her own!
- Of course, there’s a mini refrigerator in the room. The best thing is the super large closet! I could fit one super large suitcase and one handcarry in it. There are even bed drawers…
- There are emergency exits on every single floor. Every room has a flashlight and a fire extinguisher.
- Individual Samsung air conditioners are situated in every room. Heaters are through the floor heating system.
- Bus stations are just a 1 minute walk. These buses may take you to the school main gate, Dongdaemun, and even Gangnam!
- Best of all, individual bathrooms in every room. Of course, don’t expect them to be like 5-stars hotels.
Now… to the drawbacks.
- No “free” rice, eggs, or ramen in the kitchen. At least not during my stay. No rice cooker either, so you gotta stock up on those microwave rice if you’re a rice-lover!
- Windows. Yeah, the big large windows are greattt, but they’re also annoying during rainy season and winter. The windows get fogged up so easily, water would be dripping down onto the curtain.
- Allive is about 15 minutes walk to the Business School, 20 minutes to the International Studies Hall. But probably 30 minutes walk to the Science Campus! Of course, this depends what major one is in…
- If one is living in the room facing the street, beware of the cars zooming… even at 4am. It is a very noisy street, with police cars ringing sirens at least 3 times a day. Seriously.
- If one enjoys cooking, s/he may want to buy one’s own utensils and pans and pots, etc. The past occupants may have left some cooking equipments in the kitchen, but it’s not guaranteed.
- And like I said before, bring your own pillow, blankets, and bedsheets. Allive does not provide them, although previous occupants might leave theirs behind.
- Please bring your own LAN cable for internet. No wireless.
Well, that’s about it, I think. I’ll post some photos of Allive later.
Allive Gositel (올리브 고시텔)
English: 25-42, Jongam-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea
Korean: 서울시 성북구 종암동 25-42번지
Website (in Korean):
(*note: their website doesn’t seem to work -_-)
Exit at Korea University Station exit 2. Facing the direction opposite of KU, walk straight for about 10~15 minutes, crossing several streets. Allive Gositel is right across the street from KB Bank (a large building that occupies half a block on the opposite street).
*****Please kindly note: above information may be out-of-date, as I have written the above based on during my stay at Allive (fall 2010). Any updated info would be greatly appreciated :)
Additional info – June 24, 2012:
Special thanks to Jiho, some additional information about Allive are added to this post.
- Allive manager’s phone number: 82 10 4918 5856
- Two kinds of room:
- street side: 500K won/month (this is the noisy side I was talking about)
- non-street side: 550K won/month
- Jiho said: “The manager said since this gositel is specially known to exchange students, the rooms get reserved out very fast. Even though most of students for fall semester come in August, he says it is better to reserve in advance.”
Additional info – Sept 11, 2012:
A website about Allive (Korean): http://home.gosi1.net/index.html?no=7816
If you use Google Chrome (like me), translate the whole page into English.
Additional info – last updated on February 7, 2014:
According to fellow KU exchanger KU27, Allive now has free WIFI access on every floor. Great news!