Practically zero security, unwanted visitors, theft, inadequate heating system, run-down building, there’s a reason they don’t show the picture of this dorm on KAIST’s website.
While KAIST has been around promoting its position as a world class university, apparently it has been neglecting the welfare of some of its international grad students by putting them in this run-down dormitory facility. I’ve been living in this dorm for 3 semesters now, and I must say it has been an ordeal on its own. I’m talking about none other than the dormitory building of W7, Nanum Gwan.
The name nanum itself means sharing – which might just actually the reason why people are sharing so much in this dorm. Like borrowing other people’s shampoo without returning it. My first semester in this dorm, I can say that it was cool. Actually, it was so cool that I think I’m gonna freeze at night. Combine Korea’s harsh winter with a crappy heating system, and you’ll get a grad student who couldn’t even sleep at night because it’s too cold. Heck, even during midterm I couldn’t even study at my room and considered spending the night at the lab because it was much warmer.
The dorm itself has next to no security at all. Outsiders can just come and go as they please, and the most secure place in this dorm that requires ID card seems to be the kitchen. Apparently cooking utensils are much more important than the belongings of the international grad students living here. In fact, I’ve been pestered by Jehovah’s witness several times, going as far as knocking on my room door. If this was any other dorm, they wouldn’t even get past the lobby. But then again, this is Nanum-gwan, the dorm for those whose luck flies off somewhere during dorm selection.
Theft. Actually the single biggest cause that I’m raging and writing this article. So far I’ve lost:
- A big shampoo bottle (and the thief was kind enough to also steal the conditioner bottle to prevent me from using conditioner by mistake.
- A bottle of soap.
- MY FAVORITE WINDBREAKER. This is a waterproof windbreaker that I use for exercising, and it looks cool. Got it during a spring clearance sale. And thanks to the thief, I had to finish my 130 km cycling to Gunsan getting blown by the wind! (more story on this later)
Hygiene and facilities. Room hygiene is pretty much each occupant’s responsibility so I won’t really poke into that. But the living quarter is..
SO, what to do if you enter KAIST and win the golden ticket to Nanum Gwan? Swap it for some other dorm.