Gap YearsSnowboard and Ski
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.
GAP YEAR SPECIALISTS
SKI AND SNOWBOARD GAP YEARS
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.
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.
Top tips to plan the perfect skiing gap year:
Gap years don’t have to be extravagant or really expensive, and a shoe-string budget can go a long way if you plan well.
Look at the overall costs
It can be quite daunting to see a price tag of several thousand pounds for a course or internship, however when you add up the cost of accommodation in a premium ski resort, meals, lift pass, ski/snowboard lessons, flights and other included services, the cost is comparable, if not better value for money when compared with a DIY skiing gap year.
We offer everyone a flexible payment schedule. Once you’ve paid the deposit, we can accept payments as frequently as you need, whether that is a small amount every other week or a lump sum 12 weeks before you travel.
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 are likely to 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 to be a snowboard or ski instructor. Our ski and snowboarding internships are incredibly popular and a great way to spend a gap year. Our internship packages include everything you need to get started as a ski or snowboard instructor, and by week 4 you’ll be part of a sports-school teaching people the sport you love. You will need to be eligible for Working Holiday Visa to apply for an internship.
– Seasonnaire: The do-it-yourself option, you’ll need to find work in a ski resort first 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 want ski-in ski-out or a bus ride to the mountain each day? 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. Believe it or not, it can be more affordable to do a course that is long haul than closer to home, resorts in Europe can be very expensive. That being said, most of our courses include a meal-plan, which means low spending-money budgets can be accommodated.
Don’t let the name fool you, a gap year isn’t about the length of the experience but the quality. Whether you are taking a full year – or more – away from education, or a few weeks or months sabbatical 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 a full season (and everything in between) for internships and level 1, 2 and 3 courses.
We understand that planning a gap year is a huge decision and 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 important part of the service we offer, and we love to keep in touch with previous customers. Clients are eligible for ongoing advice and support when applying for working visas and 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 on a course with Winter Sports, you are always part of the family.
Thank you again for running a company that provides us with such an opportunity, it was certainly the experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to get back next season.
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.
I had a fabulous season in Sun Peaks becoming CASI and CSIA dual certified. Winter Sports also arranged for me to do the Adaptive Sports Level 1 so it was a full packed 18 weeks. I had great fun with the rest of the guys on the course and made some amazing friends. Thanks Wintersports!
I’ve just returned from the 2018/19 season with Winter Sports & it was amazing, I was all sad to leave! The best part though was the people. We all got on so well & the instructors were incredible, they completely changed our skiing! We had a great rep on hand 24/7 as well so for us it couldn’t have been better. Thanks for a great season Winter Sports!
Arriving by yourself wasn’t a problem considering everyone else was doing the same and there was chances to make friends with a wide range of people. We were all taken very good care of, the hotel was nice and the staff were friendly. I loved the resort so much I now live here.
Winter Sports look after you the whole way and look out for you to make your season the best it can be and the most productive with all the extra courses you can do. I would highly recommend a season with Winter Sports.
The instructors were amazing, everyone knew how to improve you in their own different ways, which made your skiing ability and your teaching ability improve every day.
The Internship course was great and packed full of experience. It definitely helped me when applying for jobs. It made me stand out in front of the crowd. Without The Winter Sports Company I would not be where I am today.
The best part of being a ski instructor is definitely the early morning skiing, every day we got the chance to warm up and train with top-level instructors before the mountain opened to the public. That meant I got the best training in resort and fresh tracks every single day!
The whole course feels like you are all friends helping one another to improve, there is no ‘teacher/student’ strict boundaries which makes the whole experience more enjoyable. I have certainly improved my own skiing and feel very confident with being able to teach others of all ages.
The training was brilliant everyone in the group had their own things to work on and successfully completed all the courses. I felt the training worked to everyone’s comfortable pace and was instructed by the some of the best instructors in Canada.
Thank Winter Sports Company for providing me with a once in a life time opportunity and making my first full season so enjoyable.