Natalia Zurowski

Natalia Zurowski, Features Columnist

The Best of Both Worlds: Modelling While On A Student Exchange

(continued from October 5th)

The CONs:

  • Demanding
    So far everything sounds pretty good right? Well, I won't lie, it most certainly is a great experience, but every positive always has a negative. Having said that, modelling can be very demanding, especially if your are juggling your studies at the same time. Regardless of program, doing both can be stressful. You may have class from the morning until the afternoon and then straight after off to a casting and then sent to a fitting for a show. Such a scenario is a very probable situation, especially around fashion week. Get your boots ready because you are going to be walking!

  • FOMO; Fear of Missing Out
    I did mention your experience would be a unique one. Along with being one of which very few other exchange students can say they have had the opportunity to experience. But because your schedule will most likely be demanding, you may not find yourself with ample free time. What about weekends? Weekends are usually free but if you want to build a book, your agency may set up some test shoots or a creative then to help you build a stronger portfolio. This way, the shoots won't interfere with your school or casting schedule.

    But wait, why FOMO? Allow me to explain: Exchange students often travel to nearby countries due to the cheap cost of flights, trains etc. Especially if they go to i.e. Europe or Southeast Asia; two of the most popular exchange destinations. With such beautiful countries so close by, many students take advantage of the opportunity to travel, especially with it being significantly kinder on the wallet. You on the other hand, as much as you would like to join them, may not be able to do so, or not as much as you would like. Of course you can tell your agency your availability but if you are serious about modelling, you may have to miss out on the Facebook album tags for your career.

  • Exhausting
    Don't like coffee? I don't advocate it, but it may become your new best friend especially during the busy months. Depending as to which country you are in, you may find yourself running between shoots and school almost robotically. It's like the old cliché goes, "if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life"; and words have never rung truer. In contrast, if you are like me, you may find this newfound sense of being busy to actually be a kind of stimulant! Instead of sitting around watching reruns of Entourage or better yet, American Dad (don't judge), you can take pride in knowing that you are being productive every day and making the most of your time. If you enjoy the 'go go go' pace of life and like being on the move, you will find the experience to be almost exhilarating. Just don't forget to do your homework because remember, you are there to learn and good grades are important!

    The verdict

    Modelling overseas while pursuing a post-secondary education is a rewarding, unique and life-changing experience. If you choose to go on exchange and model at the same time, I assure you that you will have the time of your life and leave with a host of new memories, along with what will surely be a new and growing portfolio. Being a model already, you have the opportunities given to you to travel the world and see so many exotic and wonderful places. Why not leverage off that and do something also beneficial for yourself in the long run? It really is the best of both worlds; your job and your education. Be sure to check out your university or college's exchange program for details via their website or your faculty's guidance office for more information. Make it a university/college experience you will never forget. I know I won't

    Natalia Zurowski is a Chantale Nadeau model who attended NTU; Nanyang Technological University and was a model with Mannequin in Singapore from January - May 2011. She is currently in London, Ontario finishing her final year of studies at the University of Western Ontario.

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    Cailin Hill (The Model Burnbook)

    Natalia Zurowski & Jasmine Chorley Foster (The Business Model)

    Madison Schill & Addison Gill's (Mind Over Model)

    Ania Boniecka (A n i a . B)