Your Name (if you would like it to appear):
S. Korea, Seoul
How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present)
2008 – present
What is housing like? On-post? (waiting list, conditions, etc.) Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy?
There are many apartments off-post that are a short walking distance to post which is great because my husband can come and go. It is only my husband and me, but we live in a 2 bedroom, 1 office, 1 bathroom apartment for roughly about 3000 US dollars including utilities and depending on the exchange rate. However I do believe the average of off-post apartments to be lower. Here in Korea, one thing I have noticed over and over again is plenty of shelves so you can store whatever you like into the small compartments. We had a normal bathroom so the bathroom wasn’t soaked every single time. You also wash and dry clothes in the same machine, which is kind of cool. We also must separate food and garbage into special bags that we can buy from the Korean shoppettes around the corner. As for on post housing so far as I’ve seen, I can’t say much, but they seem pretty decent. There is also a curfew on-post which is one of the reasons why I like living outside post. For those who don’t have a car, we have cheap efficient cabs and the bus to get us from one place to another on post, otherwise, it’s walking all the way, which can also be a workout due to all of the hills.
Rate the PX & Commissary.
The PX here is pretty nice I would say and the prices are decent. I took a bus ride to Osan once and the BX there is much bigger but that’s just another option if you want to visit some of the other areas around Korea. The commissary is great although it is a little distant from everything else. And it is not as well stocked as many of the commissaries in the states. I sometimes find better deals at the commissary than at the PX.
Activities on base?
I’m not much of an active person since it’s only me and my husband is usually working, but there is a movie theater, a bowling alley, a driving range, and a few clubs that usually open around 1600 everyday. There is a monthly pamphlet that I pick up to see what kind of activities or fun run is going on. There’s usually something going on, you just have to get involved.
Active Spouses Club?
Not active in any spouses club so I don’t know. I’m sure there are some however.
Things to do in area?
There is a museum right off-post that you can visit. I had a chance to visit the zoo during a company trip. You’d have to take the subway for this but it’s a lot of fun especially with the kids. A lot of people go to Itaewon to shop and have fun.
I don’t have any kids so I don’t know. From what I hear, it takes a while to register your children for school.
Any colleges in area?
I’m not attending college either so I can’t say. I’d say online schooling is probably the best option for the time being.
Jobs? (on post and off)
I’m not quite sure about jobs off-post but unless you are specializing in a certain area such as teaching English, then the language barrier may be our disadvantage. As for jobs on-post, there are a few to my knowledge from childcare to working at the commissary, and even working in the hospital if you are qualified in that area. You can always volunteer too.
Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city?
I think my favorite aspect of this base would be that the PX and commissary is only walking distance and I wouldn’t have to plan a day to get to those places if I needed something. For that I’m very thankful.
Least favorite aspect?
The fact that the PX and the commissary are the only places that you can shop really besides the shoppettes. There are no Wal-Mart’s or anything like that so what they have at those two places are just about your only options unless you decide to go out to different areas. I really enjoyed my time although I didn’t go out much. I really believe it’s what you make of it. Invest in jacket for the winter cause it gets really really cold. During the summer, it gets ridiculously humid.
Any other tips?
Definitely take advantage of the view, from where I come from, I don’t get to see this every day. And when you’re new to the country, it may be easy to get lost. I was once told that if I ever wanted to find my way back, just keep turning right and eventually I will end up back where I started, Here in Korea, this does not work, you keep turning right and you may end up somewhere totally different so don’t go out alone until you know the area well. Also, Koreans also adore little kids, so if you have em, they will get a lot of attention.