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My Experience as an International Model in Indonesia

As an international model, I’ve had the privilege to travel to 6 different countries in the past year and a half, which I am immensely grateful for. My second international modeling contract was in Jakarta, Indonesia. If you haven’t read my blog post about my first contract in South Korea, you can find it here:

Check it out so you can get the full picture of the beginning of my experience traveling! This second contract was pretty different from the first one, but I learned a lot in the 3.5 months I spent there. I went directly from Seoul to Jakarta, completely alone for the first time, I had never flown by myself before, and I had never lived by myself before either (or at least properly alone). This was a trip of firsts. But I made it there on my own, met my booker, and got to the model apartment all in one piece.

I was very lucky with the agency I had in Indonesia, because they really made me feel comfortable immediately upon arrival. They told me everything I needed to know, and got me some food. They also introduced me to another model in the agency so she could help me out, which was nice since this apartment was set up more like a hotel so I didn’t have any roommates to connect with easily. I had my room entirely to myself, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. It is always nice to have a room and bathroom to yourself, and to get your own privacy. But it is also very challenging to navigate a new country and make friends when you don’t know anyone or anything at all, so it was extremely overwhelming. Because of this I spent the majority of this contract completely by myself, which was very nerve wracking but also taught me a lot. 

my first day in Jakarta

Though I was pretty often alone during this time, I did get to make a couple of friends who I enjoyed spending time with. It gave me people to go to the mall with, get food with, and go out with. I was very grateful to make my first real friends on a modeling contract. This was my first time really getting to spend time with and get to know people from different countries than me, so I had to learn how to communicate with people through language barriers. Plus I got to learn a lot about how other countries live, and it really opens your eyes and your mind. Overall, this was a big experience for learning about other people and cultures, and how to navigate that within the modeling industry, and within interpersonal relationships.

Work wise, I was the busiest I’ve ever been, which is pretty common for Indonesia. This is the contract I worked the most, at least once a week but usually more. I got very experienced with how an e-commerce job works, and how exhausting a shooting day can be. I got to experience the responsibility of navigating and finding where I’m supposed to go and be on time, especially when taking into account the crazy Jakarta traffic. Overall, I gained a pretty well rounded experience of being an international model. Since my first contract was a bit unorthodox because I was with my family, this sort of felt more like my first “real” contract. I had to be responsible in taking care of myself and being professional, and really got to understand how difficult modeling jobs can be. 

In the spirit of transparency, though I worked a lot, Jakarta is a bit challenging to make money in because the expenses are quite high, and the budgets are on the lower end. I would say it is definitely possible to make money, since I have many friends who have, but for me this time around it didn’t work out that way. I had very high expenses at the beginning which always causes making money to be a challenge.

At the end of the day, this contract shaped me and the type of model I am now. This was a contract of firsts, and I am immensely grateful for both the friends I made and the agency who was so kind to me and worked their hardest to support me. My portfolio and my skills grew a lot on this trip, so I am glad I went. Do I think I would go back again? I would never say never, but at this point in my life there are many other places I want to visit first. I would recommend to a lot of models to give Jakarta a try, don’t discredit it, but as with any place, you just need to know what to expect while you’re there.  

Until next time, 

Sammie Taylor  

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