Over the last 2 decades taking a gap year has changed from something done by a few who wanted to escape and get a break from education to something done by nearly 3 million school leavers every year. One of the main reasons for this is a change in the way people were looking at a gap year. Employers and Universities have started to realise the value they have. So why become a ski instructor during your gap year? What difference will it make to employers and universities in the future.
Students who have taken a Gap Year overwhelmingly report being satisfied with their jobs. Upon further inquiry, Haigler found that this was related to a less-selfish approach to working with people and careers. [Karl Haigler & Rae Nelson, The Gap Year Advantage, independent study of 280 Gap Year students between 1997 – 2006]
What ever you decide to do during your gap year it will be an incredible experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Deciding what to do though is the tough part, volunteering in Africa, travelling Asia or South America or being an Au Pair in the bustling european capital cities the opportunities are endless and we are not here to tell you which one is right for you.
What is your intention?
Simply put, why do you want to pursue this? What do you want out of the program? Many benefits of taking a gap year are difficult to quantify: maturity, confidence and a refined sense of direction for instance and these are key things that only you will know the answer to that you need to consider when choosing your course.
Other benefits of taking a gap year though are more obvious and easier to quantify to a university, your parents and even employers.
What are the benefits of becoming a ski instructor during a gap year?
Well first up you should leave with a qualification. Regardless of which ski instructor system you train in you should be able to reach a level of qualification that allows you to teach in your home nation or abroad. More than that it should be a qualification that if you need to you can fall back on for employment. Being a ski instructor may not be your overall goal but there is work around in the industry and spending the day skiing, helping other learn and having fun easily beats working at the pub around the corner from your parents.
You will also develop some really important life skills. All of our BASI Level 1 & 2 residential programmes include as standard language lessons. As the world shrinks and international trade becomes an every day occurrence a 2nd language is a very desirable trait and could make the difference between you and candidate B even if your day to day role does not require you to use that language.
During any ski instructor course you will learn how to lead and guide people. We use the same people skills, teaching styles and communication techniques while teaching people to ski as you will while trying to get the best from your staff or colleagues. Learning to communicate your point concisely and accurately while inspiring people to believe what you are saying could be the most valuable thing you ever do. Ski instructors work in a harsh environment as you will quickly realise when you do a ski instructor course it is not always as sunny as the pictures and the weather can change rapidly. This can lead to stressful moments and tough decisions regarding the safety of your group and yourself, learning what to do and how to manage these situations is also hugely important. During the course your team and group management skills will constantly be tested and improved and as you get used to presenting to large groups your confidence will also grow.
As if all of that is not enough. You will make friends and memories for life and what could be better than living in a ski resort for 3 months?
It is a gap year when am I going to use my ski instructor qualifications?
I am often asked but I am heading back to university when am I going to use this qualification? Universities have long holiday periods and these coincide really well with the busiest times of the season for the ski industry. During the busy Christmas, Half term and easter periods ski schools can not find enough ski instructors for love nor money. Work is easy to come by and it is a great way to spend your uni holidays.
Don’t forget about the summers either. The southern hemisphere winter season runs from June till September. With your BASI level 2 you will be able to find jobs in New Zealand or Australia, again quite a nice job to do during your uni holidays.