Ski instructor internships are becoming more commonplace, and a number of companies who run ski instructor courses or who employ ski instructors run them. Traditionally, an internship involves on-the-job training and are often unpaid or low paid (in return for the training). With skiing they actually tend to require money from you upfront for the training, but often subsidised compared to other courses and gap courses (insert link) because you teach for the company as well as training. Read on to find out more about the companies that offer internships and how they work.
The Winter Sports Company
Winter Sports Company offer two ski instructor internships, one of 17 weeks in Sun Peaks and one of 19 weeks in Panorama, both in Canada. Both of these include 3 weeks of training and the CSIA Level 1 exam, and then either 14 weeks or 16 weeks of work in the resorts. Job offers are not guaranteed as they depend on you passing the CSIA Level 1 exam and all job offers are subject to performance and behaviour. During your time working through the season, you will receive training from your snowsports school towards your Level 2 qualification and you will be encouraged to take the exam before the end of the season. Taking applications for the following ski season, the Winter Sports Company are able to help with visa applications for Canada so it takes the stress out of the process. The cost of the course also includes the outbound flight, but not the exam fees for your Level 2 exam. However, once employed, you’ll receive a wage and be expected to pay for accommodation and living costs yourself.
Nonstop Snow offer a season-long internship programme in Fernie, Canada. Once you’ve completed the CSIA Level 1 training and exam, you’ll join the Fernie Ski School or Nakiska ski school teaching for the rest of the season (subject to passing the exam). All costs are covered for the initial training and exam by your course fee and then after that you’ll be expected to pay for your own living costs as you’ll be receiving a wage from the ski school.
All Tracks Academy
All Tracks offer an internship course in conjunction with the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School University, one of the most popular snowsports schools to work for. By passing the CSIA Level 1 instructor exam and completing the training with All Tracks Academy, you can go on to get a job at the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School. Whilst it’s not guaranteed, All Tracks boasts that everyone who has completed their internship to date has gone on to work as an instructor at Whistler. Finishing before Christmas, this course gives you the opportunity to go on and work for the remainder of the winter season. Again, All Tracks also clearly outline what is included and not included in your package so that you can budget appropriately for any of the extras.
EA Ski and Snowboard
EA Ski and Snowboard are a big company, which means they actually have a reasonable amount of choice when it comes to their internship offer. You can choose from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA. Within their internship programme, there are three different levels, Ultimate, Ultimate Plus and Dual, all of which offer have slightly different options included in the price. Usefully, they also outline what’s not included so you know your requirements from the get-go. They also guarantee you a paid job at the end of your course, but this is subject to interviews, visa requirements and passing the exams.
Interski offer something slightly different, in that it is a more advanced level that you will training towards. They offer the BASI Level 3 (ISIA) qualification in a work/train scenario in Italy, although not officially labelled as an internship, it has the same characteristics. Over the full 21-week programme, you will have up 210 hours of training, a number of exams and the opportunity for up to 8 weeks’ worth of paid work, which means that you can offset some of the costs of the training and exams. Interski run their own successful ski holiday company and schools’ programme and so you’ll almost be guaranteed the work if you want it. In order to complete the exams within this time period, you will need to have all of the prerequisites for the BASI ISIA (insert BASI link).
Places on all ski instructor internships are extremely competitive due to the mostly reduced costs of your training and your employability at the end of the course. Therefore you need to check each company’s requirements and application process carefully and do your best to put together the best application possible. Generally, having some sort of teaching or leadership experience is beneficial and you will need to be a relatively good skier from the beginning.