In the Korea Herald from October 10, 2007, two things gave me hope and possibly will convince me to stay in Korea possibly indefinitely: “Seoul upgrades webzine for expats (expatriates)” and “Seoul City keen to widen its global appeal: Global Zone project aims to improve living, business, and cultural environment for foreigners.” This was quite timely given that just on August 13th or so, my opinion was published in the Korea Times saying we need “a better solution to the long term need for English” meaning what basically these two articles in the Herald show are occuring.
For the webzine, foreigners will be able to read more “high-quality information” living in the capital city. Expats will be able to share their experiences on this webzine. The city of Seoul aims to be one of the top 10 cities by the year 2010. It has ‘designated 15 areas to become special zones for residency, international business and cultural exchange” starting next year. The goal is to also provide foreigners “more residential facilities, international schools and better medical care.” The city also plans on creating more information on the web in multiple languages so people from different cultures don’t have to rely on just learning Korean.
The areas listed as International business-oriented areas were: Magok, DMC Sangam, yeouido, Downtown Seoul (near City Hall), Samseong-dong (near the Trade Center) and Yeoksam-dong. Yeoksam-dong also is listed as one of the “Popular living areas for foreigners” along with Hannam-dong, Itaewon, Tongbu Ichong-dong, Seorae Village and Yeonnam-dong/Yeonhee-dong. In the list of Frequently visited places for foreigners, Insa-dong, Dongdaemun, Namdaemun, and Itaewon occupied spots in this list. I’d say these last destinations are definitely common “tourist hot spots.”