Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Survey: Seoul's Smoking Restrictions

I've teamed up with an English radio station here in Seoul to do a story on the city's new smoking regulations. I'll be recording street interviews, but you can also have your opinion counted by completing our online survey. Takes two minutes - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z7TQW9C

Sunday, July 28, 2013

PodCast Interview: English Church Services In Seoul

Listen to my interview with Anna Chung using the player above or subscribe via the iTunes Store HERE.


I grew up in rural Iowa, in a small town of only 1,200 people, and while I've never thought of myself as religious, I've attended quite a few church services. As a child, I usually spent my summers participating in our local Methodist church's "Vacation Bible School," and I also spent a year going to Catholic school where I learned about confession, first communion and how to recite my "Hail Marys."

Monday, July 22, 2013

PodCast interview: "Edutainer" Ashley J. Whiting


Listen to my interview with Ashley J. Whiting using the player above or subscribe via the iTunes Store HERE.


I've run into more than a few people from my past while living in South Korea, including today's guest, Ashley J. Whiting. We went to school together in Boston at Emerson College, and while both of us decided to work in the English sector here in Korea, her position is very different than your typical English teaching job. Ashley is an "edutainer" and I caught up with her to talk about working in the theater department of an English village outside of Seoul. Find more information about her job at, visit http://www.gev-edutainers.com/

Monday, July 15, 2013

PodCast Interview: Kevin Heintz of Magna Fall


Listen to my interview with Kevin Heintz using the player above or subscribe via the iTunes Store HERE.


Growing up in rural Iowa, I would sometimes load my car with friends and drive the 30 or so miles to music venues in Des Moines, our state capital, or Ames, home of Iowa State University. A few of those concerts featured the band Ephraim Zenh, lead by guitarist / lead vocalist, and Iowa native, Kevin Heintz.

Much to my surprise, I ran into Kevin in 2011 while I was playing music on the street in Seoul. Both of us had moved to Korea to teach English, and with our free time, had formed bands with friends. I ended up leaving South Korea to teach English for the Peace Corps in Colombia, but Kevin stayed in Korea where he continued to teach and play music in the Seoul area.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Flying To Seoul Days After Korean Plane Crash



I have some pretty bad luck when it comes to flying. I've had a plane's wing hit the ground during landing, I've fallen asleep during short layovers, and about two years ago, I landed in Seoul the day North Korea attacked an island just west of the airport. And now, I'm flying back to South Korea days after an Asian Airlines flight from Seoul to San Francisco crashed on landing, killing at least two people.

I'm not too worried about this as it looks like the pilot was inexperienced and will probably take the blunt of the blame for this one. And, after my first arrival in Incheon airport (where I was greeted both soldiers running around with machine guns), I feel like my triumphant return to Seoul would be a little less triumphant if it wasn't accompanied by some sort of traumatic event.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Preparing For Seoul Street Music

I usually hit the streets of Hongdae after dark, but here I am using at the
Hongdae subway station playing a fundraiser for the human rights
group "Justice For North Korea."
Before I joined the Peace Corps, I taught English in Seoul. I lived in Nowon-gu (northeast part of the city) and would take the subway for about 45 minutes every Friday and Saturday night to reach Hongdae. Why did I do this? Because playing on the street in Seoul is awesome.

PodCast Interview: English Radio In Seoul



For our inaugural episode, I spoke with friend and former Arirang Radio colleague, Jooch Nam. He describes the current climate of English radio in Seoul and how difficult it is for expats to get the necessary visa to work for Korean radio stations. The easiest way past the red tape? Marry a Korean.

http://www.spreaker.com/user/seoulitup/english_radio_in_seoul


Monday, July 1, 2013

Citibank - Perfect For Americans Living in Seoul?

When I lived in Seoul in 2011, I seemed to find a Citibank ATM about everywhere I went. Apparently, they're offering free money transfers between the U.S. and Korea if you have a bank account with them in BOTH countries, plus you can use their ATMs. Does anyone have experience using this service?

Transferring money from Korea can be somewhat easy, but most people get charged $20 or more for the transfer, and the exchange rate used can vary a lot from bank to bank.  If you're moving to Korea from the United States, it's probably a good idea to open a Citibank account before you leave and visit a local branch when you get there.