Inspired to take a gap year? Your one-stop shop for monster, ski-season-long adventures to get qualified, prepare for uni life – and have an unbelievable time doing it.


skier on groomer with arms out in blue jacket


For over a decade we have helped people escape to a new life on the slopes and making sure young people have an incredible time on their year out is our bread and butter.

If a break from the ordinary is the plan, you’ve probably got ideas for excitement and a chance to chill out, without completely taking your foot off the pedal – which is what makes a ski and snowboard instructor course the perfect gap year option. We give you serious fun, with endless opportunity to socialise – and you get some incredible career options afterwards.

Courses that are popular with our Gap year clients are our ski internships and snowboard internships.

Top tips to plan the perfect skiing gap year:

It’s by no means uncommon to do some sort of ski season in gap years, but beware of what you might be getting yourself into. Most offer plenty of time on the slopes, but with early starts and late finishes looking after guests, some options could leave you just wanting to catch up on sleep instead.


Gap years don’t have to be extravagant or expensive, and a shoe-string budget can go a long way if you plan well.
Look at the overall costs.
Seeing a price tag of several thousand pounds for a course or internship can be pretty daunting. However, when you add up the cost of accommodation, meals, lift pass, ski/snowboard lessons in a premium ski resort. Plus, with flights and other included services, the price is comparable, if not better, value for money compared to a DIY skiing gap year.
Flexible Payments
We offer everyone a flexible payment schedule. Once you’ve paid the deposit, we can accept payments as frequently as you need, whether a small amount every other week or a lump sum 12 weeks before you travel.

Working on a gap year

Travelling and working is one of the most popular ways to do a gap year. If you’re planning to work a gap year, you will likely need a working holiday visa. Those looking to do a ski season have several options:

– Ski or Snowboard Instructor Course: You’ll spend up to an entire season living in a ski resort training to be a ski instructor – you won’t need a work visa for this, and once you’re qualified, you can apply for visas for many countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan and follow the snow.
– Internships: Work as soon as you qualify as a snowboard or ski instructor. Our ski and snowboarding internships are incredibly popular and great for spending a gap year. Our internship packages include everything you need to start as a ski or snowboard instructor. By week 4, you’ll be part of a sports-school teaching people the sport you love. You must be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa to apply for an internship.
– Seasonnaire: In the do-it-yourself option, you’ll need to find work in a ski resort and then arrange your travel, accommodation, lift pass etc. Many popular jobs include chalet-hosting, hotel or restaurant staff, lift operator or other similar seasonal roles. Unlike ski or snowboard instructor courses and internships, your time on snow may be limited to days off, which are usually 1.5 days a week.


Another overwhelming factor can be the choice of resorts. This is where you need to do some research – do you want to explore somewhere new or head to a family favourite? Are large powder fields your bag, or do you prefer endless pristine pistes? Do you want a cosy, family resort or a larger resort with a seasonnaire vibe – or a bit of both? Do you prefer ski-in, ski-out or a bus ride to the mountain daily? These are all factors to consider – if you know what you want from a resort, we can advise which is the best resort for you.
Once again, cost rears its head. Although, believe it or not, it can be more affordable to do a long-haul course than closer to home, resorts in Europe can be costly. That being said, most of our courses include a meal plan, which means low spending-money budgets can be accommodated.

Making great memories

Don’t let the name fool you; a gap year isn’t about the length of the experience but the quality. So whether you are taking an entire year – or more – away from education or a few weeks or months sabbaticals from work, it is what you do with the time that counts.
Ski & Snowboard instructor courses can be just 3 weeks for a level 1 instructor course or up to an entire season (and everything in between) for internships and level 1, 2 and 3 courses.

Support and advice

We understand that planning a gap year is a huge decision. So we are happy to discuss your options, payment plans and the finer details – with no obligation to book a course.
Once you have booked with us, you’ll get full support in the lead-up to departure. We have dedicated client liaisons who can answer any questions you have and will send out important information and advice on how to prepare for your course.
After-course care is an essential part of our service, and we love to keep in touch with previous customers. Clients are eligible for ongoing advice and support when applying for work visas. In addition, we supply references for employment and university applications. After completing a course with us, you can opt-in to exclusive job-alert emails for ski and snowboard instructor vacancies. Once you have participated in a course with Winter Sports, you are always part of the family.

“I really enjoyed the 18 weeks of training, to become dual-certified in one season was amazing. Sun Peaks is great because you always bump into friends, can meet instructors in the bars and also make friends in the town.” – Peter Clague