Embarking on an international modelling career is exciting, opening you up to new opportunities and adventures. However, navigating the challenges of being an expat model can be daunting without proper preparation. So, refer to our guide to expat travel for models to learn some essential tips and insights to ensure a smooth transition into your new lifestyle.

The Best Countries for Expats     

Several countries can become prime destinations for models to move to, experience life as an expat, and expand their modelling careers. Below, we’ve listed some recommendations. These countries have thriving fashion industries, offering opportunities for models to grow professionally and personally:

  • Italy – home to renowned fashion capitals like Rome and Milan, is an ideal destination for models looking to live abroad. It has an exciting blend of history, high fashion, culture, and arts. The country is a dream destination for models, with numerous fashion shows, photoshoots, and opportunities to work with top designers.
  • France – with Paris being the heart of haute couture, it’s not a surprise many models choose to move to France. The city’s iconic fashion weeks, designer boutiques, and artistic ambience provide an inspiring backdrop for career advancement and cultural immersion.
  • United States – when planning to move to the US, models should choose New York City, the hub of American fashion. Here, endless opportunities await them. The city’s diverse fashion scene, extensive networking opportunities, and renowned agencies make it an ideal place for aspiring and established models.
  • Japan – in Asia, Tokyo is an incredible place for models to move to. The bustling metropolis is known for its blend of traditional and avant-garde fashion, presenting exciting opportunities for models. The city’s cutting-edge fashion scene and growing demand for international models make it a compelling choice for those seeking a new adventure.

How to Plan Your Travel   

Planning a move to become an expat model requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth transition. Begin by researching your destination’s fashion industry and understanding its market demands. Consider connecting with reputable modelling agencies in the new country and secure representation, as local agencies can provide essential support and opportunities. Ensure your portfolio is updated and tailored to the specific market you’re entering.

Next, handle visa and work permit requirements well in advance, as these can be complex and time-consuming. Seek advice from your agency or consult immigration specialists to avoid legal issues. Another thing to plan is your accommodation. Consider staying in places close to fashion hubs and studios. You may want to choose short-term rentals, as they offer a flexible option until you familiarise yourself with the city.

Financial preparation is also crucial. Save enough to cover initial expenses and have a backup plan in case you can’t find work. Finally, embrace cultural differences and learn the local language to ease integration and build connections. Being well-prepared will help you thrive personally and professionally in your new environment.

Important Documents for Expat Travel

You must prepare a comprehensive set of documents to ensure a smooth transition and successful integration when moving to another country to work and live as a model. Here are the essential documents to have:

  • Travel insurance – models should consider expat travel insurance for security while they travel. The insurance can cover medical emergencies and other travel-related risks.
  • Passport – ensure it is valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay.
  • Visa – obtain the appropriate work visa or permit the host country requires.
  • Employment Contract – secure a signed contract with your modelling agency. It should include the job terms and conditions.
  • Resume/CV – prepare an up-to-date resume highlighting your experience and skills.
  • Financial Statements – proof of sufficient funds to support yourself initially.
  • Medical Records – include vaccination records and any necessary prescriptions.
  • Accommodation Details – keep records of your housing arrangements, including lease agreements.  
  • Driver’s License – international driving permit if you plan to drive.
  • Emergency Contacts – list of emergency contacts in your home country and destination.

What to Pack for Expat Travel    

When preparing for your trip, it’s crucial to pack strategically to ensure a smooth transition, allowing you to feel more at home in your new country. Here’s a list of things to pack:

  • Clothing – pack versatile wardrobe staples, seasonal clothing appropriate for your destination, professional outfits for casting calls and jobs, and comfortable daily attire.
  • Electronics – mobile phone and charger, laptop/tablet and chargers, universal power adapters, and portable power bank.
  • Personal Care – basic toiletries, any necessary medications, first aid kit.
  • Work Essentials – modelling portfolio (digital and physical), resume, business cards, makeup and skincare products.
  • Miscellaneous – lightweight, durable luggage, daypack, travel-sized guidebook and map, etc.

Tips for Solo Travel  

Travelling solo to become an expat model in another country requires proper planning and preparation. Here are some tips:

  • Research your destination – familiarise yourself with local customs, culture, and language to ease integration and avoid misunderstandings.
  • Learn basic local language phrases – knowing a few key phrases can help you navigate daily interactions and show respect for the local culture.
  • Secure reliable accommodation – book safe and reputable lodging close to your agency or work locations to minimise travel time and ensure comfort.
  • Stay healthy – maintain a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and prioritise rest to keep your energy levels up for castings and work.
  • Stay connected – keep family and friends updated on your whereabouts and share your travel itinerary with someone you trust.
  • Carry essential documents– keep your passport, visa, employment contract, and other important documents secure and easily accessible.
  • Stay safe – be aware of your surroundings, avoid risky areas, and keep emergency contacts handy.
  • Network and build connections – engage with other expats and local professionals to expand your network and find support in your new environment.
  • Have a backup plan – be prepared for unforeseen circumstances with a contingency plan, such as emergency funds or alternate accommodations.