Spent a season working at —— Australia
When did you decide to do your Ski Instructor training?
Before I left school I had never really considered becoming a Ski Instructor, let alone deciding to pursue it as a career. However, a lot can change in a week as I discovered shortly after I began to toy with the idea of doing a ski season. Sometimes you have to dip a toe in to test the water- without trying you would never know. I spent a week Skiing in what was at the time my ‘Gap Year’. I am now on to my fourth.
I signed up to the New Generation Ski Gap Course in Courchevel for Winter 2012/2013 after attending an open day at Hemel Hempstead snow dome. At the time, this really helped me make the decision on whether I would sign on to do the course as I was able to chat through the various aspects of the ten weeks that I had questions about as well as my future and finding out more about what it is like to live and work as an instructor. Seven months later, I was in the Alps ready to start the course. The course was more diverse than I had imagined, with ages ranging from eighteen to thirty, something I hadn’t really given much thought to before hand was the fact that many people did the course for a lot of different reasons. I did it to see whether a career in the snow sports industry was the path for me, many did it to gain a valuable qualification before heading of to University, others did it purely to improve their skiing and allow themselves to take a few extra weeks ‘holiday’ a year.
The course was great. Everything was organised for you including your transfer from the airport, accommodation, food and lift pass. I stayed along with eleven people in one of three chalets for the people on the course. We had a great location in the middle of Le Praz, a couple of minutes walk from the lift station and the bars were also very close by. Living with that many people was a great experience and also meant that other than the time we spent training during the week, we could all go out together in the evenings- especially on the Friday when training was finished for the week. After passing the Level two exam at the end of the course, I went on to teach in the Aosta Valley for three weeks at the end of the season. That was my first ever instructors job, I can remember the weeks very clearly especially Monday morning- my first day.
What did you do after your first season?
After the first season, I really wanted to go back to Courchevel again and start working towards the Level 3 exams straight away. So, after not much thought as I already knew I wanted to sign up, I secured a place on the New Generation ten week ISIA training course starting in January 2014. This is as the name suggests a 10 week long training only programme designed to get students to the level required to pass their ISIA exams as fast as possible. The course takes breaks during peak weeks and I and most of my friends spent these weeks away teaching in order to get the hours required to sit the exams. Most importantly we did a lot of skiing and made plenty of changes thanks to the trainers we had. Tom Speakman was the main trainer we had for the course. His passion and commitment to helping us get better was infectious meaning we really got as much out of the hours we spent with him as we could. We were lucky enough to have a week with Dave Morris as well, which helped us to see where we were with regard to the level required to pass the Technical exam.
Courchevel has a large reputation for being really expensive, but areas like Le Praz can be reasonably cheap to live in. Shared accommodation can be found and it is useful if you’re going to be self catered, that you have a car. The supermarkets down the hill reduce living costs significantly and make it easier to get about in general. Le Praz (1300m) was a great place to live. The lifts take you straight up to Courchevel plus there are runs all the way back which normally stay open until the middle of spring or whenever the snow gets too thin to ski on. There are a few restaurants that are well priced to eat at and there is a small shop where you can buy essentials. With no shortage of bars Le Praz has a buzzing nightlife scene with aprés music being played most evenings to keep you entertained. There are also the infamous ‘band nights’ on Tuesdays and Fridays at ‘L’escorchevel’ bar and restaurant in the middle of town.**
At the end of the season, I went over to Hintertux to sit the Technical and Teaching modules of the Level three and the UKCP Race Coach Level 1. I came home from Hintertux having been prepared perfectly to sit the exams which I passed and helped take some of the exam week ‘stress’ away.
After a Summer of gardening and grounds maintenance, I will be heading over to Verbier for the season, where I will be a part of the New Generation Work and Train programme that they have running gearing up Instructors towards the ISTD exams. I’m very excited to get started and to continue working and training with New Generation for the foreseeable future.
The past two years have gone by so fast. Skiing went from being just a one week a year holiday, to a very viable career path that I am now fully committed to. Hopefully I can continue through the Instructor qualifications and return back to Courchevel one day as an ISTD instructor to work- thats the aim.
Get more information
Becoming a ski instructor may seem a daunting task and the variety of courses available certainly does not make it any easier, but here at New Generation we have more than a decades experience running ski instructor training courses. During that time we have come across most situations, problems and variables.
We are available 7 days a week and will be able to guide you through all steps of the BASI system, at every level. So contact us today and find out more.
Note: If you contact us regarding a specific course we can also send you a full brochure, so don’t forget to enter your address details.
Choose Your Ski Instructor Course
Here at New Generation we offer a selection of complete ski instructor courses. You can join us on a residential course from 1 week to the whole season training, practicing and taking exams. We offer both BASI accredited training and exams, depending on the level you are trying to achieve.