You will find below topics we have selected from the most popular ones when moving to Geoje. For all other subjects like spouse employment/education, banking, shopping and many others, please download our Inside Guide by registering on the website. Once you are logged on, visit our library and all the documents we have published about living in Geoje.
Housing is normally provided by Shell and for the near future the base case is that Shell will appoint you an apartment and will match different requirements (singles, couples or families). Most people tend to live near the shipyard where they are working or, if you bring your family, near Okpo International School. Crown and Coens will assist in appointing a apartment or house for you and your family.
As Western style houses or row houses are quite scarce and difficult to obtain, most people live in 3 bedroom apartments. This seems to be the standard apartment size on the island. There are some larger apartments but they are very rare. However, new apartments are being built and they may have larger size apartments.
The average size of apartments range from:
• Two bedroom: 80sqm to 90sqm
• Three bedroom: 110sqm to 160sqm
• Four bedroom: 175sqm to 230sqm
Apartment buildings in Okpo
A three-bedroom apartment normally consists of a small hall, living room, kitchen and often a second smaller kitchen, one master bedroom with en suite, two other bedrooms (one bedroom can also be referred to as an office) and a bathroom.
Most apartments are fully furnished and have air conditioning and under-floor heating (ondol heating). Parking is normally underneath the apartment building or in front. Parking can be quite a challenge as parking spaces are narrow. Some apartment buildings have outdoor play areas. Most apartment buildings have a janitor who takes care of the mail, rubbish bins and sometimes small repairs.
An impression of some of the houses and apartments currently rented by Shell for its employees.
Gohyun - The Sharp Condominiums.3 to 4 bedrooms (or 1 study room) apartments with sports centre, swimming pool for children, gym and auditorium. Good quality furnishing and 2 car parks per unit. Example of sizes: A unit of 151 sqm consist of 4 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms (2x shower). A unit of 175 sqm consists of 4 bedroom and 2 bathrooms and could well be a penthouse.
Goyhun - Leaders Villa. 4 stories high buildings with 3 bedroom apartments. Units consist of bedrooms, study, 3
toilets, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen. There is also a communal garden.
Apartments in Leaders Villa buildings
Busan can be an attractive location as well, especially for those with older children of secondary school age. The commute from Busan to the shipyard is approximately 1,5 hours on way, do take into account the associated driving exposure.
Pusan has the full range of houses and apartments available that you would expect in any large international city. Similar to Geoje, employees will rent accommodation leased by Shell from local service providers on the island according to the Pusan rental ceilings for their salary group. Most foreign expats living in Busan prefer the Haeundae area because it is located near the beach and also because it has developed into a modern area full of restaurants, clubs, shops, medical services and international schools. The major residential areas within Haeundae district include Dalmaji Hill, Marine City, Centum City.
Dalmaji Hill: For the last 20 years, Dalmaji Hill has been the most popular residential area for expats living in Busan. One reason this area became so popular was due to the close proximity to the International School of Busan, which was located in center of Dalmaji Hill. The school, however, has recently relocated to a new campus as of August 2010, and is now about a 15 minute drive from Dalmaji. Even so, many expats still want to keep living in this area because it is a quiet residential neighborhood with spacious villas with beautiful ocean
views. It is also very scenic in the spring when all the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom.
Marine city: This area has developed as a modern and upscale part of Busan. Marine City is located near Dongbaek island and was originally built on reclaimed land. Many major Korean construction companies have built a number of modern high-rise apartments. This is a very popular area for many expats because the apartments are new with larger living space and good functional layouts.
Centum city: This is another developing area with both residential and commercial properties, exhibition & conference centers, and is also a well known shopping area. The Shinseage department store is well known as world’s largest department store and includes a movie cinema, book store, spa square, and many shops. Some expats are moving to this area for the convenience.
Haeundae Beach and high-rise apartment buildings
Please note that there are limited options on Geoje Island and therefore you should put your child’s name down at his/her nursery, primary or secondary school as soon as you know you may be coming to Geoje Island.
As most Korean children are looked after by their family or go to a daycare facility, nannies are hard to find on Geoje Island. There are however daycare facilities where children are looked after from one year old until they go to primary school. Days normally begin at 9.30 am and end between 14.00 and 18.00 pm.
Rainbow International Playschool
Yesra, kindercare early education center
Wiver School (Sports and Art & Piano)
Total View Playschool
Other Korean Playschools
Okpo International School
In Okpo there is the Okpo International School which offers pre-school, primary and secondary (middle school) education. This school is sponsored and run by DSME and was founded in 1984, then known as Daewoo Foreign School, in order to provide education for children of foreign staff at DSME. In 2002 it changed its name to Okpo International School. It can now provide international education for up to 120 children and caters for children from 3 years to 13 years old. The school curriculum is based on the International Primary Curriculum for the primary school. For the secondary school (middle school) the curriculum has been based on the educational systems of the USA and the national curriculum in the UK. The school is located opposite the Admiral Hotel.
Ai kwang Won, school for children with special needs
The school is free of charge and includes school meals and a school bus to pick up and bring home the children. All lessons are in Korean and the school follows the Korean school year which starts in March and ends in February with a long winter break (from late December until beginning of March) and a short summer holiday. Some of the teachers speak some English or German.
website: www.akw.or.kr (in Korean)
Taejon Christian International School (boarding and day students)
TCIS is an international Christian school with approximately 500 students (pre-kindergarten to 12th grade) and was founded in 1958 by U.S. missionaries. TCIS is governed by a board of trustees composed of members appointed by the founding U.S. church missions and two parents elected at-large from the community. The headmaster is the chief administrator and is directly responsible to the board for the operation of the school. Taejon Christian International School is located in Daejeon, 300 km north of Geoje Island.
CLOV Total School
CLOV school is a Total company school, where they teach the French curriculum. The school caters from petite section (3 year old) to Baccalaureat ( A level). You can get an idea of school activities and functioning on their website www.ecolemlfclov.org, however it's all in French.-It is located in 2 Admiral Townhouses, near by the Foreigners club.
Busan International Foreign School
The International School of Busan was established in 1983 by a small group of employees from international companies who wanted their children to have an international education so that, having finished their contracts in Korea, their children could transfer to any school system in the world without detriment. The school is a nonprofit school run by a Board of Governors drawn from the parent body and the local community. The school offers education to children from 2 years to 18 years old (playgroup, preschool, kindergarten, reception, primary and secondary school). It is based on Primary Years Program from the International Baccalaureate Organization in the primary school. The school curriculum for the secondary school is based on the educational system in the UK. The school is located in Haeundae. In 2010 the school had just fewer than three hundred students from over thirty different countries.
Foreign School of Busan
The Foreign School of Busan was established in 1996 and is located in Haeundae. It is an international school with a curriculum based on the American educational system. The school offers education to children from 3 years to 17 years old (nursery, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, primary and secondary school) and serves the expat community as well as third culture children and Koreans having lived abroad for five or more years. School year runs from mid August to Early June.
The Gyeongnam International Foreign School (GIFS)
GIFS is located at Sacheon just over 1 hour’s drive from Okpo. It offers schooling up to the age of 18. The disadvantage of this school is that it really caters only for children coming from, or going back to the American curriculum. Teachers are also mostly from the USA and Canada.
In Busan you can further find:
- Busan Japanese School, which is an elementary and middle school. School year runs drom End of January to December. http://user.chollian.net/~pusjpnsc/
- Busan Russian School. Elementary School & High School, http://buruss.com/
- Busan Chinese School, Preschool, Middle School & High School. Year runs from early August to Early July, http://kbces.com.ne.kr/index.html
Life expectancy has increased significantly in South Korea since 1950 and Korea is rapidly becoming a centre for medical tourism. Medical tourism refers to the practice of visiting another country to obtain medical treatment that is either not available in the tourist’s own country, or much cheaper in the destination country.
Busan is establishing itself as a destination for medical tourists, and this results in improvements in quality and type of health care, but also pressure on availability of health care. The Korean Government spends 6.5% of GDP on health care.
Please note that in almost every hospital and at almost every doctor you will need to register first before you can see a doctor. In most cases after you have seen the doctor, you will be asked to pay in advance before receiving treatment. Most doctors will have good reading and writing skills in English and most of them speak English well.
To have a complete overview of clinics, hospitals and specialists in Geoje, please download our Inside Guide.