Instructor Course with a Guaranteed job?
This has to be one of the most popular options for a ski instructor course and why not? An entire season where you become qualified and start working for the ski school all before Christmas, it all sounds pretty fantastic, or does it?
We have a honest look at what it’s really like to do a Level 1 Ski Instructor Internship and some of the pitfalls to look out for.
This article also applies to SnowBoard Instructor Course Internships
Getting the Visa
First off you’re going to need a Visa that allows you to work in your chosen destinaion. For many countries they have Working Holiday Visa’s and if you are between 18 – 30 then your options are pretty good. There is a typical amount of paperwork and process’s to follow but The Winter Sports is always on hand to help.
Canada has a lottery style system which means even if you join the pool late you still have a chance of receiving a visa, although it really helps to get in early. This does mean that there is a chance you may not receive one, so it’s good to have a back up plan.
New Zealand for UK residents is very welcoming and there are no limits so you should always be able to get a visa if you are under 30 and fit the requirements.
Check out our Visa Page for more info:
Even though a Ski Internship package comes with a guaranteed job you will still need to have a successful interview with the ski school to be able to take the position (not everyone tells you this!). This is normally done over the phone 2-3 months before you arrive with the ski school simply wanting to have a chat to check that your the right type of person to fit in with their school. Being that anyone applying for a Ski Instructor Internship is mad about skiing, wanting to instruct and super keen then this is rarely an issue. The Winter Sports team are always on hand to discuss and help prepare you for the interview.
Your First Weeks
You will typically be flying out for the very start of the season. Joining you will be any of the early ski instructor course clients and you will start your experience as part of a larger gang.
Training normally takes place over 3 weeks and finishes with your Level 1 exams, in Canada’s case all before Christmas.
During this period your accommodation and meal plan are covered as well as all other necessities such as lift pass and training. Extra time will be put aside to sort out any necessary paper work for your employment such as bank accounts and permits but other than that it’s really like doing a normal ski instructor course.
So this is where things start to get real! Having passed your Level 1 you will now be qualified as a ski instructor and be an official employee of the ski school. You will move into staff accommodation and have your work orientation and Ski school uniform provided.
With the Wintersports you will know from the beginning which resort you will be working at, with the majority of Interns qualifying and working in the same resort. The Ski school will then roster you into the work schedule and you will start taking your own groups. Average hours over the season are between 15 – 20 per week but are resort dependant, some weeks can be quite and others super busy. This is a real job and you have to adhere to the ski schools rules of conduct. If you keep turning up late don’t expect them to be sympathetic just because you are part of an internship program.
Well you may be swimming in Powder but you probably wont be in money! Entry Level Ski Instructors do not earn much, it’s as much an experience as it is a job. The work helps you to stay out on the mountain for the whole season, sure you’re working but you also have a good amount of free time.
Pay varies between resorts but in Canada is normally between 13-16$ for an entry level Ski Instructor. At the end of the month you should earn enough to cover your rent, food and basics plus hopefully have little extra saved up, although that does depend on your lifestyle! When going for any Ski Instructor Internship position it’s best to take some savings with you so that you have the spare cash to enjoy yourself. Surviving on just your Ski Instructor wage can get a little boring although it is possible.
Staff accommodation can be pretty basic but it’s warm, comfortable and most of all a lot of fun. Working and living with your fellow ski instructors makes for an amazing atmosphere but does mean you don’t have so much personal space. Accommodation should be arranged by your internship provider before you arrive and at Winter Sports we always make sure this is the case.
- A guaranteed instructor job
- Fast track into the industry
- Gives you more on-the-job experience
- An entire season not just weeks
- Real life experience
- All important reference for future Ski Instructor employment
- Initial lower cost to join.
- You need a Working Visa – not always guaranteed
- You have to budget money
- You have job commitments – can’t just take a day off if the powder is great that day
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