AsianGirl @ South Korea

Allive Gositel – “best” gositel around KU

Posted on: January 27, 2011

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!).

allive gositelBack 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

Telephone number:

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):

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!

87 Responses to "Allive Gositel – “best” gositel around KU"

Room 301! (at least I hope) my reservation was confirmed- but I my deposit was just sent back as apparently the name was wrong. We’ll wait and see.

how can we get in touch with the people there to get a room ? the website is in korean… :S i don’t understand a thing !!

thanks very much

Hello! Sorry for my late reply. The best way to get a room is call them. BUT most likely they don’t speak English. =\ So you better grab a friend who speaks Korean to help you.

Are you an exchange student going to KU? Have you arrived at Seoul? If yes, I advise you to go to the gositel in person and talk to the manager. But of course, the manager doesn’t speak English either SO hopefully you’ll bump into someone who lives there (most likely exchange students) and ask them kindly to help you.

Hope I helped!

Hello, my name is Yolanda and I´m from Mexico, I´m going to KU in August this year😀
unfortunatly it´s a really pain to find a room because the wesites are in korean and no e-mail is given to contact them :S I love Allive Gositel, I would like to live there, do you have any e-mail where I can contact them? and another basic question is how much is a room in this Gositel?
I really hope you can help, I´m so confused


Hello, sorry for my late reply.

I’m not sure if they have an email address that you could contact with (even if they do, they most likely do not speak English). You may try emailing KU to help you with the room (try bombarding their emails if they don’t reply you).

Most single rooms cost $500,000 Korean won per month, so about $460 USD. But double rooms are a bit cheaper (not sure with the exact price).

Hope I’ve helped. Feel free to ask me if you have any other questions:)

Hey Yolanda,
I am from Mexico as well and will be studying at KU. You should add me on facebook so we can chat. I am also looking for housing. and I have many friends in Korea that may help us:)

Hello, I would like to ask if I need to put down any deposit money? I am planning to study either at Yonsei or KU but I think KU is more convenient after all.

Hi, I believe you need a deposit…

Both KU and Yonsei are quite convenient to be honest.:)

Thanks for the information. Olive sounds great! But how many people live on each floor?



Hi Sam! If I remember correctly, there are 10 (or 9) rooms on each single-room floors.

This information was really helpful. THank you=)
i managed to just secure a room.
i was just wondering, do they have washing machines and dryers there?
My room number is 506, would u know if its on the window side????

Hi:) They have washing machine (combined with dryer) on every floor, so no worries:) I’m sorry, I don’t remember which side 506 faces… you’ll either be facing the big busy street (quite noisy at night) or the quiet small street.

Hi, I’m Bertie i’m coming to KU in a couple weeks. Does anyone have the account details for allive? i need to pay my deposit but the manager is now obviously out as its evening there. Any Info would be good thanks guys xxxx

Hi, sorry but I’m not sure with the account details, perhaps you can try e-mailing them?

[…] the other hand, I’m so happy to see so many people asking me about Allive! Sorry for the late replies, but I’ve answered all the questions. Feel free to ask me […]

Thank you for this information!
Are they strict about friends visiting? My friend and I are both applying to study at KU, but if we don’t both manage to get the same accomodation we would like to visit each other. Is Allive ok with friends visiting and maybe staying over? Sleepover style? I read that some accoms require visitors to sign in, and out, and have a limit on how long your guest can stay.
Thank you. x

Hi there!
As I stayed at Allive when it was newly opened, the manager wasn’t strict about friends visiting and sleeping over. My friends who came to visit didn’t need to sign in and out and there wasn’t any limit. In fact, a lot of people invite friends over for mid-night chats at the common room (as long as you’re not too loud).

I assume the rules haven’t changed much. Have fun at KU!:)

Reblogged this on Adventures of the Seoul and commented:
Here is a very helpful link bout Allive Goshitel.

Hi, I’m Vanessa and I’m going begin my studies at KU in August/September.
I would really like to stay at Allive cause it sounds great.
But I cannot find any information about it. Is it already closed down? Does anyone know something about it?
Any information would be great, thank you guys.

Hi there Vanessa! I believe Allive haven’t closed down, but because not all gositels have online information readily available, it’s difficult for us to find much info. Perhaps you could e-mail KU to help you out if you do not have any friends in Korea. Or you could search if there’s a Facebook group for KU exchange 2012 and see if the group members could help you. I had help from my group back then too. Good luck!

Thank you so much! I will ask a Korean friend to help me with the call. KU already send me the number and some information. Thx

[…] remember stepping into Allive late at night, wondering how my “home” of 5 months would be like… boy was I […]

hi, i am ulica, i am begin my studies in KU in Decemeber. Allive sound good, but i afraid that they do not provide pillows and blankets, i do not want to buy new one or take it from my home, does there any solution to solve it? or any other housing will provide pillows and blankets?

Hi Ulica, there are many other places that DO provide pillows and blankets, however I do not know the names. You can e-mail KU and ask for their assistance, which I’m sure they will help you with. Enjoy KU!

The contact info. was incorrect. Here is the Allive Gositel manager’s cell phone number : 82 10 4918 5856. However, he can’t speak English, by the way ^^;;

Here is more about the gositel ;
– they have two kinds of room, street side, and the non-street side.
two of my exchange student friends from Germany have been in one of the street side rooms and they said it is too noisy. The rent of non-street side is 50k wons more than the street side rooms.
* street side : 500k per month
* non-street side : 550k per month

– 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.

SInce I think most of you guys can’t speak Korean, and probably communicating with the manager who only speak Korean would be very hard, you might ask for help.

I don’t know if you guys already got informed by your KU advisors, there is a student organization that helps foreign exchange students to set things up. It is called KUBA (Korea University Buddy Assistants). They have facebook group.

Hello Jiho, thank you so much for your additional info! I’m sure it would help many others.

Hello, I am very interested in Allive Gositel since I had just been denied a room at CJ international house!😦 Is it really a 10-15 minute walk to Korea University? I read that somewhere. The website, does not seem to work for me!

CJ is way up the hill. It is good exercise;) Even though CJ is a good facility, I’ve heard their dorm curfew is a huge restriction. Three of my friends used to be there and three of them moved out after one semester.

I think Allive is almost/or already full. I made reservation for a person who is friend with a friend I met when I studied abroad, and the manager said it is almost full and it was like 2 weeks ago..

Thank you for the information! =) However, I am unable to stay at CJ because they have no more rooms😦 And about the Allive Gositel, really? They’re already almost full? Well I wouldn’t doubt that.:/ It is almost the beginning of the fall semester anyway. Thanks for the info😀

Hello Hyunjoo, yes, Allive is a 10-15min walk to KU (KU Business School to be exact). It isn’t far at all, don’t worry. And yes, I’m aware that their website never seem to work😐 Hope things work out for you!

Do you have any e-mail address to contact them and ask for a room available? thanks a lot:)

Hi Laura, I called them today and they have no rooms available right now.😦

Hello laura and hyunjoo! I got rejected by KU hostel too and need to urgently find one now! Do you guys have facebook? Maybe we can be friends and chat there as well? I have emailed coco livingtel and they do not have rooms available as well😦 Can anyone help please!! Thank you.

yes! what’s your Facebook URL? I’ll add you. I am desperately calling all the good accommodations trying to see if they have any open rooms but so far they seem to be all full:/

omg really?okay if you have any news please let me know!! you can add me at

Hi everyone, did KU inform you that they’ll be helping you all with accommodation? Because when I was there, they helped those of us who didn’t get a room at CJ. Hope everything works out for you all. I know how frustrating this all feels😐

Thank you for all the information about Allive. Helped me a lot! Managed to get a room there in june, so happy:)

HI Caroline! I’m glad you got a room at Allive! Have a happy exchange at KU!:)

Hi there, I’m at KU right now and I’m in Allive Gositel… ammm if it helps this is the web page hope it helps

Hello, thank you for the website! Enjoy your stay at KU:)

I used to stay here too, during my exchange period. But only during my last 2 weeks in korea, still its an awesome place since we got to stay under one roof with my other friends. There’s like 9 of us, 4 of them are from K.U. That was in june 2012.

– Exchange student from Brunei

Hi there Ace Monster:) Yep, I agree, Allive is a great place for friends! Hope you had a great time at KU!

i sure did😀

Hi~ how much was the initial deposit? and what happens with the management costs (e.g. electricity, gas, water, etc). thanks (:

Hi there:) I’m not sure of the deposit since I got my room through KU back then. The management costs are all included in the room fee (500-550K KRW). Hope I’ve helped:)

[…] a personal opinion/review on the goshitel when I’m there but for now here’s a post by which is probably the most detailed description of Allive goshitel you can find. Allive practically […]

Hey! Did you pay for your rental for Allive hostel in one go or month by month??

Hello! I paid the rental month by month:)


I have a question about the rent. For example, if you move in on the 25/08/13 are you going to pay the rent for the whole month of august or rent 25/08/13 – 25/09/13 as one month?

Also, till when can you check-in? I think my plane will land around 20:35 :S.

Sorry for the questions!

Hi there! From what I remember, yes, the rent starts from when you move in. So, 25/08/13 – 25/09/13 (*if I remember correctly!).

My plane landed that late too, but it’s okay because the manager sleeps there. And I’m sure he’ll be there during that period since there’s so many incoming students. So should be no worries!:) Oh, I think by the time I got to the gositel was around 10pm -_- Hope I’ve helped!

Hi, saw this post while i was looking for accommodations for my summer school in KU! How do i book a room with them?? they seem to be only contactable by phone! Visited their website but there was no email ):

please help >.< thanks

Xiaowei from Singapore

Hi there Xiaowei! Perhaps you could email KU to help you sort it out if you don’t have any friends currently in Korea. I know how frustrating this all is😐

I just want to ask if you know if it’s possible that room sharing is allowed?
In case if my boyfriends wants to visit me, can he stay a few weeks with me in the room?

Thanks a lot! =)

Hello! I don’t think it’s technically “allowed”…as long as you hide your bf from the manager😉 I remember my floormate doing that:)

[…] a side note, if you plan to live at Allive, studying at the KUBS is super convenient, since it’s pretty much the closest academic […]

haiii.. do you know any places to rent near sookmyung women’s university (with private bathroom and kitchen)? thank you…

Hi Zetty! Sorry, I’m not sure, but I suggest you emailing the school for help since they will usually help out with housing. Good luck:)

Hi! I am planing to stay at Allive Gositel this semester but am wondering if you have any more pictures of the rooms and if you can explain to me what the bathrooms are like? Are they one single squared space with the toilet, sink and shower? or is the shower set apart? Thank you very much for your help!

If I want to secure a room that does NOT face the street, who can I contact and how?


Right now i am staying at Allive, You can ask the mangager to give you a room that does not face the street if you arrive here or if you want to call him : +82 10 49185856, it will be diffiult for him to understand you if you dont speak korean so maybe try it when you arrive. the bathroom is in your room and it includes the toilet + sink and you will also shower in there, it’s not seperate. allive has really one of the biggest rooms around anam and its pretty save. if you arrive there will be no blanket or any sheets. when will you arrive? i can leave my set to you

Thanks KU27! probably around February 20th. Do they provide pillows though?

no pillow no cover

Thanks a lot for your help!:)

Hi Maca, I’ll try to upload more photos when I can as I don’t have them with me right now.

Regarding the bathroom, yes, it is a single squared space with toilet, sink, and showerhead. The shower is not set apart. Therefore when you shower, the entire bathroom gets wet. (You’ll get used to it:) )

As for who to contact, I am not sure anymore as the contacts I had back then were all through KU. You could try calling them with the updated phone number I provided above. Hope this helps!:)

Hi, do they have wifi?

yes every floor has free wifi access

is it working on every floor? i heard it’s not everywhere accesable

Oh that’s great news they have wifi now:)

Hi Weilin, during my stay, they do not have wifi but you could still use the internet with LAN wire.

hello did anyone stayed in their double rooms before? how is it like?

Hi there! While I haven’t stayed in their double rooms before, I have been up there to visit my friends ^^ The double rooms are on the top floors and are quite spacious! If I remember correctly, the beds are L-shaped bunk beds (others please correct me if I’m wrong).:)

Do they have 2 cupboards, 2 desks? everything in double? haha

Oh geez umm *trying to remember*… I *think* they do. It’d be sad if you have to share one table lol. But…don’t trust my words yet. Hopefully someone would stumble upon this and answer this. Or better yet, try leaving a message on KUBA’s Facebook page and see if anyone could help you out:)

hey! so can i ask why you decided to not live in dorms? i’m still not sure if i want to live in dorms or not….i’m pretty much guaranteed a space in CJ or frontier but that stupid hill that everyone is talking about scares me LOL (i was also discouraged by the curfew but then everyone said that foreign students don’t have curfews but native koreans do)

what do you know/think about CJ or living on campus? and which would you pick if u were me?

Hey Rachel, I was not able to secure a room with CJ as there were a lot of incoming exchangers and there weren’t enough rooms for all of us. We were then assigned into different gositels by KU, and I was assigned to Allive.:)

Haha that hill really IS quite a thing…! And it’s extremely slippery when it snows so yeah…

Well, since I stayed at Allive, I would definitely prefer living off campus, because of the freedom (no rules), and it was easier to have friends gathering. But my friends who stayed at CJ seem pretty content too.

Are you staying in a single or double room in CJ? Do you prefer sleeping alone or sharing a room? Are you ok with sharing bathrooms? These would be some things I’d be considering when choosing accommodation. Good luck:)

ohh i see. were there a lot of rules at CJ? and there are any rules for allive? (besides no male visitors at CJ) and do you know any other goshitels? i know rachel livingtel….do you know if that’s closer to subway/campus or if allive is closer? thanks!

Hi, to be honest, I don’t know much about CJ’s rules other than the curfew and no male visitors. I suppose they aren’t THAT strict…just not as free as gositels. I haven’t heard of Rachel Livingtel but a quick google search got me this website: See if it helps:)

ohhh i see. and can i ask how did you book your room? rachel livngtel’s manager speaks english and i was able to exchange emails with them and stuff….but i’m not sure how to contact allive since they don’t have an email or website and i obviously can’t call (international calling + don’t speak korean) T_T how did u do it?!?

Hi Rachel, I got my room through KU. Like I said before, because CJ was full so KU assigned different gositels for us students who didn’t get a room with CJ. I didn’t need to do any booking myself.

Are you planning to live off-campus? Perhaps you could ask KU for help. OR search for KU’s exchange group on Facebook and see if any students there could help you out as some students may be in Korea already. Hope it works out for you.

Hi there!

I’ve secured a room at this gositel from the 20th this month (february). I arrive in Seoul around 2pm, what is the best way to get to gositel from there? Aiport shuttle to KU and then a taxi? Or subway?

So far I’m really excited because of the good stories about this place! How did you experience living in Seoul? Is it safe/fun?

Hi Thomas! Sorry about the late reply (I assume you arrived already too). Hope you arrived safely. Enjoy your stay in Korea! You’ll love it!

But to answer your question, there’s an airport shuttle that drops you off at Anam, where you can walk to the gositel (about 10 minute max).😉

Hi! Do you still have contact to Allive?:)

HI there! Sorry, I only have the contacts listed in my post above. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions:)

Feel free to leave a reply or ask questions :)

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Blog of a third culture Asian kid, participated in the student exchange program (SEP) of Korea University at Seoul, South Korea for the 2010 fall semester.

I'm not a pro, but I love to help! Feel free to leave comments and ask questions. I'll reply them as soon as possible :)

Happy exchange!

AsianGirl @ South Korea

Copyright © 2014 AsianGirl @ South Korea. Photos and content are taken and written by AsianGirl.
January 2011
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