What It's Like To Be An International Model

05/18/16  |  Rebecca Perez  |  10722 views


Did you ever wonder what it feels like to travel to exotic locations, and shoot modelling gigs for a living? Quite the dream, one that only about 2% of a model life actually looks like.
But just like anything else, if you're prepared to work hard enough for it - you might just make your dreams come true. 
I sat down with beautiful Romanian model, Raluca Ungureanu who's based out of Shanghai, China. Raluca has been walking the runway for over 10 years now, including doing various magazine covers and photoshoots. She has built such a name for herself in the fashion industry, that she is now recognized internationally. She is signed with KAT Models in Shanghai, and 3D Management in South Africa.
Find out why she makes it as this week's ultimate #GIRLBOSS. 

When did you first start modelling?

I started modelling at the of 15. My mother sent some of my pictures to a beauty contest in Romania and I got selected. After I won the beauty contest, I got my first local modelling contract. My first contract abroad was a few years later, when I went to Turkey for three months.


How did you land your first International gig?

After I graduated University, another modelling contract was offered to me, but this time in Asia. I decided to take it, and I think it was the best decision I've ever made in my career. After China, I went to India, Thailand and South Africa. Each and every one of these trips helped me to improve as a model and to expand on the international modelling market. Not only that, but modelling has given me the opportunity to travel in so many great countries, and learn about so many cultures, and this is something that I'm so grateful for.

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Describe a typical day for you?

Wow! Sometimes I feel like 24 hours are not enough to do everything I have to do, not only as Raluca "the model", but also as Raluca "the woman". I have been living in Shanghai for the past six years, and the rhythm of life here is very fast. I usually wake up everyday at 7 am if I have castings, and I start to get ready: I do my make up, chose the clothes I will wear for that day, check to always have comp cards with me. Most of the time, I just grab a quick coffee and a bagel and that's my breakfast. 
We have a van that belongs to my agency, which transports us to the casting places. We usually have 5-6 castings a day, so the time I get back home is around 4-5 pm. While in the van, on the way to castings, I usually read books. 
Once a week I take Chinese private lessons, and sometimes in the van I do my homework or review what I have learned. I belive it is very important to speak the language of the place you live in.
When I get home I spend some time with my boyfriend, then I start thinking what we should have/prepare for dinner, and then schedule my next day's things to do. If instead of castings, I have a day when I must work, then my call time, might be even earlier than 7 am. Sometimes i must take a train at 6 am to go to another city, and do the shooting there. It might be very tiring sometimes. And I can say I spend a lot of my time, in trains, planes, taxis, subway etc... I try to end my day by 11pm, as sleep and having a good rest is very important in my job.


What is the hardest part about your job?

For me the hardest part about modeling, is that I never know for sure when I have a free day. Jobs or important castings can come up at any time, and I must be ready for it. Also sometimes I am forced to postpone or cancel activities with friends, or family, due to important jobs. Another negative aspect, at least, in what concerns China, is that everyone's time seems more important than yours. You are often put in the situation of waiting for hours, either for a client, a make up artist, a photographer or the job itself that should start. In my opinion, this is not very ethical, but there's nothing I can do about it.


What are some exotic locations you've shot at? 

I have shot in Bangkok, also in Phuket - which is a beautiful island in Thailand. I got the chance to do a big Fashion show in Goa, India. Also the beaches of Cape Town, welcomed me and some photographers to get amazing pictures. I have had the chance to work with great photographers and clients, and I had the privilege of meeting very talented and interesting people in my industry.


What does a "Goss" represent to you?

I believe it is a woman who's not afraid of being independent, of speaking her mind, sharing her ideas, being an example for the others, having the ability to lead and to be organized. 
I know it sounds like a superwoman, but I personally know a lot of women that fit in the "Goss" profile. They are amazing women that not only have a great career, but also a great personal life, and are able to handle and keep the balance between the two. 

To see more beautiful pictures of Raluca, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


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