… Israel? Maybe you did, but there are so many places all over the world that you can ski in that people are shocked to hear about. ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) is the globally-recognised ski instructor mark and has 40 member states and I bet you can’t name all of them? Here, we’ll run through the member states and their ski instructor opportunities and bodies, but there are more unusual places to ski on top of all of these.
Andorra is a small country nestled on the border of France and Spain, in fact it’s the sixth smallest country in Europe. Soldeu is probably the best known ski resort, and the professional ski instructor body is AAME (Associació Andorrana de Monitors d’Esquí).
Argentina is a large country on the southern tip of the South American continent. It’s home to the largest ski centre in Latin America, Bariloche and their professional ski instructor body is AADIDES (Asociación Argentina de Instructores de Esquí y Snowboard).
Often losing out in ski awareness to its Southern neighbour New Zealand, Australia has a recorded history of skiing dating back to 1860. The Australian Alps in the south-eastern area of Australia is home to most of the skiing activity (New South Wales and Victoria), but you can also ski in Tasmania. APSI (Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors) is the professional snowsport instructor body. Insert link to APSI article
Austrian skiing is hugely popular and is home to the well-known party and boutique resorts of Kitzbühel and Mayrhofen. Some of the world’s best known skiers are Austrian-born, including Franz Klammer, Hermann Maier and Marcel Hirscher. The professional ski instructors organisation is ÖSSV (Österreichischer Skischulverband).
Belgium is really only home to one main ski resort, Monte des Brumes, with a top altitude of only 530m, although there are some very small additional ski areas. AMBS (Association des Moniteurs Belges de Ski) is the national ski instructor body.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is becoming an increasingly popular destination for ski holidays, riding on the back of the cheaper European ski destinations that have been increasing in popularity such as Bulgaria. Their professional ski instructor body is ATUS u BIH (ASOCIJACIJE TRENERA I UČITELJA SKIJANJA U BOSNI I HERCEGOVINI).
Bulgaria has dramatically increased in popularity as a ski holiday destination, particularly with the British, in recent years due to its relatively cheaper cost than many other European countries. The Bulgarian Ski School is the national professional body for ski instructors.
Canada is an incredibly popular snowsports destination and has numerous large and small resorts across the vast country. Their professional association is CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance), which is one of the oldest and largest snowsports associations in the world, having existed since 1938. To find out more about the CSIA, follow this link.
This long thin country on the western side of the South American continent, nestled next to Argentina is home to the Chilean Andes and hosts a number of legendary ski resorts including Portillo, Valle Nevado and La Parva. The national snowsports instructor institution is ENISCHAG (Escuela Nacional de Instructores de Ski y Snowboard Chile).
Not initially famed for its skiing, Croatian athletes actually won 4 gold medals at both the 2002 and 2006 winter Olympics. There are 12 main ski resorts in Croatia located in the north of the country. HZUTS (Hrvatski zbor ucitelja i trenera skijana) is the international ski instructor association.
The Czech Republic has a host of variety of ski resorts dotted across the country, and perhaps best known for the huge length of cross-country trails available. Their professional snowsports instructor body is CR APUL (Asociace profesionálních ucitelu lyzování).
The country is home to a select few very small ski hills, but Denmark is also home to one of the world’s biggest snowdomes (include link to teaching on artificial snow). The professional ski instructor body is DAPSI (Danish Association of Professional Ski Instructors).
Skiing in Finland mainly takes place north of the Arctic Circle in Lapland, and Nordic skiing is incredibly popular in this Nordic country. The national ski instructor body is FNASI (Finish National Association of Ski Instructors).
One of the most popular countries for skiing, France has a huge number of ski resorts, which are well established and populated. Their main ski school, the ESF, is world-class and their national snowsports instructor association is SNMSF (Syndicat National des Moniteurs du Ski Français).
Whilst Great Britain has a very limited number of ski areas (mainly in Scotland), they have a highly recognised membership organisation for snowsports instructors, BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors). Include link to BASI article
Alpine ski resorts are only found within Bavaria in Germany, in the German Alps. There are a fair number of resorts, but they’re often much smaller than some other European counterparts. DSLV (Deutscher Skilehrerverband) is the national ski instructor association.
Yes, really! Although when you’re thinking of the crystal clear waters of the Greek islands, skiing is probably far from your mind, resorts such as Parnassos and Kalavrita boast some snowy slopes. You can even indulge in some traditional Greek mythology as Parnassos is apparently where Zeus created the human race anew. The national ski instructor association is the Union of Greek Ski Instructors.
Skiing is limited in Hundary are there are only 3 defined resorts, only one of which reaches 1,000m altitude. Their professional body is SMSZ (Síoktatók Magyarországi Szövetsége).
Republic of Ireland
There are no ski hills in Ireland, but that doesn’t stop the Irish from skiing. The Ski Club of Ireland owns and runs the only artificial slope in the Republic of Ireland in Kilternan and their professional body is IASI (Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors).
Mount Hermon is the only ski resort in Israel, but yes the rumours at the top of this post are true, you can ski in Israel. IASI (Israel Association of Ski Instructors) is the professional body for ski instructors.
Italy is well-known for its skiing, as well as the good food. Italy plays host to some excellent ski terrain, and with borders with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia, sharing some of their awesome terrain as well, including the tri-nation Matterhorn. Their professional body is AMSI (Associazione Italiana Maestri di Sci).
Japan receives some of the biggest snow falls across the world, with Niseko rumoured to be the most. The professional ski instructor body is SIA (Ski Instructors Association of Japan).
Skiing in the small country of Liechtenstein is mainly limited to the resort of Malbun with four lifts, so it doesn’t have vast instructing potential for foreign instructors. Their professional body is LSSV (Liechtensteinische Ski- und Snowboardlehrervereinigung).
MASI (Montenegrin Association of Snowsport Instructors)
The Netherlands is home to 7 snowdomes and one of them is one of the largest in the world (Dubai has now taken over), as well as many dry ski slopes. Whilst they don’t boast any natural resorts, they do have a professional ski instructor body; SNOWPROs.
New Zealand has some of the best-known ski resorts in the southern hemisphere with 9 within easy reach of the popular towns of Queenstown and Christchurch. NZSIA (New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance) is the professional organisation representing snowsports instructors.
You’ll find snow in Norway for around 6 months of the year, and the snowfall is very reliable. And with some runs floodlit until as late as 10pm, you get a really full day of skiing. DNS (Den Norske Skiskole) is the professional ski instructor association.
There are literally hundreds of ski areas in Poland, ranging in sizes and all below 2,000m in altitude. Their professional body is SITN-PZN (Association of Ski Instructors and Trainers – Polish Ski Federation).
Joining the ranks of one of the cheaper Eastern European destinations for ski holidays, Romania has lots of great quiet resorts good for beginners. Their professional association is AMPSR (Asociatia Monitorilor de Schi Profesionisti din Romania).
With parts of Russia within the Arctic Circle, it’s no wonder that this large country is home to many ski resorts, the most well-known located in the Caucasus and Urals. NRLI (National Russian League of Instructors) is the professional body in Russia.
San Marino is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy and only has a total population of just over 30,000 people. But they do have a professional ski instructor association; SIAS (Ski Instructor Association San Marino).
There are only a select number of resorts to choose from, but Slovenia is home to some picturesque ski locations and resorts. Their professional instructor body is ZUTS/SIAS (Ski Instructors Association of Solvenia).
With a select few resorts, most of the resorts in South Korea can be found in the Gangwon-do region, which receives the most snowfall in Korea. KSIA (Korea Ski Instructors Association) is the professional ski instructor body.
Away from the popular holiday resorts of the Costa del Sol and Brava, and the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, the Aragon and Catalonian Pyrenees, Spain is home to a number of resorts and Europe’s most southern ski resort. The Cantabrian, Iberian and Central mountains and the Penibetico mountain range in the south offer skiing opportunities.AEPEDI (Asociación Española Profesores Entrenadores Deportes de Inverno)
Åre is Sweden’s largest ski resort but there are also a number of others to choose from in this friendly Scandinavian country. Their professional ski instructors’ association is SSLF (Svenska Skidlärarföreningen).
Switzerland is home to a number of effortlessly stylish ski resorts including Dazos, Zermatt and Engen. And with influences from France, Germany and Austria, you can take your pick for the style of resort and type of food you want to be eating. The professional body for snowsports instructors is Swiss Snowsports.
There is only really one main ski resort in this eastern European country, Kopaonik. As well as good snow, a variety of terrain and a good apres ski culture, Kopaonik is also home to a great snow park, so one resort is plenty when there’s all this on offer. Their professional ski instructor body is Strukovna Organizacija Interski Srbija.
The Tatras mountains are home to Slovakia’s best-loved ski resorts, and with cheap prices for ski holidays, Slovakia’s popularity with tourists looking for a good ski holiday is increasing so it may provide some work opportunities. SAPUL (Slovenská Asociácia Ucitelov Lyžovania a Snowboardingu) is the professional ski instructor body.
Another popular summer holiday destination, Turkey is also home to a number of ski resorts and offers world-class heli-skiing opportunities in the Kachar mountains in the north-east of the country. The professional body is TSIA (Kayak Ögretmenleri Dernegi/Turkish Ski Association).
The USA has the highest number of recognised ski resorts of any country in the world and has hosted 4 Winter Olympics. Their professional ski instructor body is PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America). Include link to PSIA article.