Feeling Home Sick? Try Singapore Expat’s Radio Guide

Expatriates in Singapore who may be feeling a little homesick have several sources available at their fingertips to bridge the gap with their home base. From the traditional FM and AM radio dial to the internet, it is now easier than ever to stay tuned in to your local community, be it in the UK, the US, Canada or most anyplace.

British expats have it easy, with the BBC World Service (Asian feed) being available 24 hours a day on the FM dial at 88.9 FM. The BBC World Service is a legendary station that broadcasts in many languages from the venerable Busch House in London . Long a staple on shortwave radio, the BBC still uses several frequencies that can be received well here in Singapore . In the mornings 17.79 MHz is audible and in the evening 6.19 MHz puts in a strong signal.

American expatriates also have many options in tuning in their homeland, but unfortunately not on the FM dial. With a good shortwave receiver the Washington based Voice of America can be heard with a news and current affairs program on 9.885 MHz or 11.725 MHz from 9 to 10 AM ( Singapore time). At night the VOA can be heard from 8 PM onwards on 6.16 MHz and from 9 PM on 9.76 MHz. Alternatively the Voice of America website offers podcasts and streaming audio at http://www.voanews.com/english/Webcasts.cfm

While the VOA is the official government broadcaster in the US , many regional FM and AM radio stations can also be heard in Singapore via the internet. Great talk stations like San Francisco ’s KGO-Newstalk 810 (www.kgo.com) and New York ’s WABC (www.wabcradio.com) can bring a slice of American life right into your computer speakers.

Canadians abroad are also well served by their local broadcasters on the web and by their highly regarded national and international services on the shortwave dial. Legendary broadcasters like Windsor ’s CKLW (www.am800cklw.com) and Montreal ’s CFB (http://radio-canada.ca/index.shtml), once only heard in the cold white north, can now be tuned in while drinking a cappuccino on Orchard Road . Shortwave listeners in Singapore in the morning ( 8:00 AM ) have the pleasure of hearing Canada ’s fine news programs ‘The World At Six’ and ‘As It Happens’. Don’t have a shortwave? Don’t fret these award winning programs are also available online at the CBC website (http://www.cbc.ca/w6/).

Being an expat used to mean a divorce from your home country, your hometown and your home culture. But with a few tweaks of the dial or clicks of the mouse you may be hearing the latest baseball scores or weather forecasts directly from your hometown.

Written by:
Stephen O’ Rourke