Deciding To Become A Ski Instructor

My name is Charlotte Leutloff, and I did the level 1 internship at Panorama Mountain Resort in Canada. I am from Germany, and I’m 22 years old. Before going to Canada, I studied English and German to become a teacher. The Winter Sports Company made it possible to live my dream! My studies require a stay of at least three months in an English-speaking country, but due to Covid, I did not have any opportunities to study abroad, so I decided to organise something by myself. Since I have always wanted to spend a season as a ski instructor, I thought: Where can I speak English and ski? In Canada! So, I googled: “Becoming a ski instructor in Canada”, found the Winter Sports Company and knew immediately this was it.


CSIA Level 1 Training

My time overall was just fantastic. When we arrived in Calgary, everyone on the course got along really well, even though we were all so different. But this is something I soon realised: You get along with the most people because everybody has the same passion and is there to enjoy themselves. I loved the first weeks because you really got to know each other in the group. Even though the training is intense, you have a super fun time. The level 1 training and exam were structured very well, and all the instructors were super fun and professional. When people were more advanced, they gave us opportunities to improve, and when somebody had more struggles, they took their time to work with them privately for a bit. That made it possible for everybody to pass level 1 and later also level 2 (those who wanted to attend). Some of us were offered to do the race coach entry-level which I also took in addition to the CSIA level 1. I am super thankful that my instructor allowed me to go even further.

Choosing The Winter Sports Company

I decided on the level 1 internship at Panorama because I wanted to improve my skiing, language, and teaching skills. Working in the ski school was important because I wanted to use my level 1 and gain real experience teaching. It didn’t take me long to decide since the website offered everything to click through to find the perfect course. I liked that level 2 training was included, which allowed me to continually progress throughout the season and allowed me to sit the exam at the end of the season. I had been working as an instructor in an indoor ski centre before, which gave me some advantages, but more importantly, the money to afford it. I worked two to three times a week a year before leaving. I took some money from my savings, and my parents also paid for some parts. If you really want to go, there are several ways to afford it.


Living In Canada

After the exams, we moved to the accommodation we would stay in for the whole season, and I loved it. We lived in 3 flats with four people. I shared my room with a lovely girl; we had endless late-night talks and are still really good friends! But if wanted, there was always a way of finding space for privacy :). Outside was a hot tub, which was awesome when work or training was exhausting. I had no struggles paying the rent and food, and I still had enough to go out for drinks or do some shopping. At the end of the season, I did the paragliding and the Banff Blow out as Bolt Ons. Both were absolutely amazing, and the price was reasonable. Especially after skiing the resort the whole season, it was nice to see it from above! And I’m glad I made the trip to Banff since it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A Day In The Life Of A Ski Instructor

Plans For Next Ski Season

After my stay with the Winter Sports Company, I can say that my season was super successful, and I am looking forward to what could be next. I will continue using my race coach certification and hopefully do my level 3 in the next two seasons. If I had another year left on my visa (Germans only get one year), I would definitely do another season in Canada! But I will stay in Europe for the next winter and see what time brings to me.  Need some help with visas? Working Holiday Visa

Making The Most Of Your Season

To sum it all up, the program was perfect for me! I was super successful regarding certifications and had the best time ever. I was not too worried about my skiing, but I had other fears; all these were put to rest once I arrived. Since English is not my mother tongue, I was afraid of being unable to make friends or having problems explaining things in English. But no, everybody was super kind and one day, my instructor helped me write down all the vocabs I would need for my exam so I could practice which was super friendly and helpful. I have never been away from home for such a long time, but I never felt lonely or wanted to go home. I am super happy that I did the course and proud that I overcame my doubts. It was worth it. Thanks, Rik and Emma, for going above and beyond so that we can have the best time! The Best Things About Being A Ski Instructor


Advice For Someone Taking A Ski Instructor Course

What I think is most important is the right equipment: get advice! The first weeks of training are especially pretty intense, and 8 hours a day in ski boots can feel like an eternity when they don’t fit properly. You don’t need the most expensive high-performance race ski, but you do need boots that fit perfectly. Another example is thermals and ski socks; you’re better off paying a little more money on products made for cold temperatures than wearing five layers. I bought some stuff from the websites Rik suggested and wasn’t disappointed! It’s worth investing in some high-quality gear. Everything Else You Might Need For Your GAP Ski Course


If you’re interested in our internship program or any of our courses, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us.


Interested in becoming a ski instructor? Check out some of our most Frequently Asked Questions.

How Do I Become A Ski Instructor In Canada?

To become a ski instructor in Canada you must successfully pass the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) Level 1 instructor course as a minimum requirement. To increase your employability and work internationally, you need to obtain your CSIA Level 2 after further training. Similarly you can achieve a secondary pathway through the newly formed Professional Ski Instructors of Canada (PSIC). Both governing bodies’ qualifications and prior training programmes are available through the Winter Sports Company. Getting a ski instructor job in a resort will be achievable with these certifications and guidance.

Can You Become A Ski Instructor With No Experience?

This wouldn’t be easy to achieve without proper training and certification by a governing body or a ski instructor provider such as the Winter Sports Company. Internationally recognised ski schools will always employ people who have been professionally trained to a standard accepted by the governing body recognised in that country. Additionally, the resort or ski school will likely not allow an unqualified, uninsured person with zero experience to teach on the mountain. Fortunately The Winter Sports Company can teach complete beginners to become ski instructors in as little as 6 weeks.

What Is A Ski Internship?

A Ski Internship is the most affordable, full season programme involving ski instructor training, free skiing and a paid position within the snow school. A balanced yet immersive experience into the ski industry giving you world recognised qualifications and work experience allowing maximum improvement in teaching and overall confidence in a ski school role. The Winter Sports Company offer different versions of internships to suit different goals, so its worth understanding what is best for you.