Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Monthly Living Cost in Korea As a Student (Housing, utilities, food, etc.)

Living Cost in Korea as a student
What it costs to live in South Korea may be quite different from your home country. How it compares depends on where you are coming from and what region of South Korea you live in. Being a foreigner student in Korea, especially in Deagu city, I am sure that at first you will wonder about living cost in this country. In general, living cost in Deagu is more adaptable than Seoul and some other big city like Busan, Incheon with many the same of facilities.  If you have just arrived in Deagu and you want to find the living cost is more (or less) than you expected. Here is some main expenditure that you may concern:

Kyungpook University Campus in Buk-gu

Being a student, you may have many choices in house rental like one-room (원룸), dormitory (기숙사), two – bedroom (투룸), home-stay (홈스테이) The price is various mong these kind of room and depends on situation of them. For example, for new one-room 20m2 near the campus, you are expected to pay around ₩300,000 per month and deposit at least ₩1,000,000 (this deposit will be returned when you move out). In this room, you have private kitchen, toilet and some furniture, you can cook at home. If you don’t want to stay far away your campus, dormitory is a good choice. Normally, monthly fee to stay in dorm is around ₩170,000, however, you must share the room with another and cannot allow to cook in dorm. Hence, you have another choice, two – bedroom, it’s great if you can find a nice roommate, you can share the cost and take care for each other, this room may cost about ₩350,000 per month. Moreover,  home-stay is very popular for student too. You can rent a room in local resident house. The owner will prepare a small kitchen, private rest room for you. You can stay alone or share the room with your friend, the price is around ₩170,000 and ₩240,000 respectively.

Utility costs are varied and depends on payment method and house owners. If you stay in dormitory, congrats, you don’t need to care about gas, electricity or internet bills. By contrast, if you stay out, let consider about gas cost on winter and electricity on summer time. During cold from December to March, your gas fee can reach over ₩100,000 per month because of heating system. In other time, gas mainly use for cooking, the cost will decrease dramatically to around ₩20,000 or ₩0 if you totally use electric products. Other while, in hot season, especially from June to August, you need air conditional to reduce the heat. The cooler you get, the higher cost you pay. Internet depends on your house contract or package that you register. Some house contract includes internet and water fee already, if not, you can pay average ₩15,000 monthly.
One more important thing, every student has their own cell phone. Data/call/text depend on the package that you register. You can choose one of the packages as photo below:
2GB data plan costs around 43,000KRW

Food (meal/snack):
Your meal consumption is depend on situation. If you stay in dormitory, you can’t cook and must eat out totally. In average, your expenditure for food is at least  ₩15,000 per day if you eat in school cafeteria, mean  ₩450,000 per month. This cost will be much higher when you have meal outside in some nice restaurant of course. Normally, a meal with fried pork or chicken with some free refills are followed cost ₩6000 – ₩7000. On the weekend, student life can’t without diner together, bear, soju with barbecue or fried chicken are the most popular choice. You are expected to pay about ₩13,000/person. It will be cheaper if you can cook at home and share with your friend. You can eat anything you want and make it in your way, you have chance to practice local food or perform your country food in South Korea.

Barbeque dinner with friends
Inexpensive meal you can find in Daegu
Dolsot Bibimbap ususally costs around 6,000 - 7,000KRW

Coffee, milk, milk tea, soft drink, fruit juice, ice- cream etc. are consumed everyday by student. The price is much more varying by the shop. It can be less than ₩1000/cup of coffee of fruit juice in automatic machine. If you go to coffee shop with a nice view, let prepare to pay at least ₩5000. To sum up, your expenditure for drink minimum is ₩30,000/ month.

With Tmoney card, bus and subway fare is ₩1,250 per time you check in. Important note, you will pay only one time if you transfer bus - bus or bus – subway within 30 minutes. The bus ticket in green color is cheaper than red color by ₩500.
Taxi fee is higher than the bus of course, but it’s more convenient and comfortable in some case. Open fare is ₩3000, with each km after the first two, it cost around ₩1000. If you travel in group with the short distance, taxi is a good choice.

Other expenditure:
Beside the basic expenditure above, the are some other expenditure that you must consider such as clothes, cosmetic, entertainment, travel, health care, etc. You should prepare a budget for these items. You are expected to pay ₩200,000 for clothes each season. Korea is very famous with cosmetic products, you can find these stores in everywhere, normally, a set of skincare product costing around ₩80,000 and you can use it for three month. Note that the price in store is higher than you shopping online. However, you can buy your items with a good price on sale events.

Making a detailed propose budget is a great way to help you make sure that do not spend more than your income. You can control your pocket and if yet, let save money for travel and enjoy all the attracting views in Korea. Let use this calculator to find out what your budget and expenses may be*.
Cost (won)
Proposed initial budget (I + II)
 ± 185,500
 stay alone
Stay with
a friend
I.              Settle down
 ± 50,000
II.            Monthly expenses
 ± 135,500
- House rental
 ± 30,000
- Utilities
 ± 10,000
- Phone cost
± 5,500
- Food (meal/snack)
 ± 50,000
- Travel cost
 ± 10,000
- Miscellaneous goods and services
 ± 30,000
*Estimate for average expenditure in general case.


  1. Hello! I was wondering, is it cheaper to get phone data plan for a month from the airport or from the ones in town? As well as, any recommendation for places I could rent one room for about a month?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi! The prices should be the same regardless of where you get the data as long as it's the same plan. However,service centers at the airport are specialized for service for tourists so I'd recommend you consult with the ones in town.

      For the housing, one way is to contact owners at Airbnb and see if the owner can rent a room for a month for significantly discounted price:)