I had been lucky enough to go on a number of ski holidays with my family as a kid and knew from the start that skiing was my favourite thing in the world! As long as I can remember I had wanted to take a Gap Year after college, so naturally, I spent both years there thinking about nothing else but a ski season!
After extensive research and hassling as many people as I could to ask about what they did during their ski seasons, I came to the conclusion that the best thing I could do would in fact be a Ski Instructor course! So why do a Ski Instructor Course I hear you say? Here are some reasons which made that decision clear to me:
1. Slingshot yourself into an amazing career!
The first clear reason of completing a course instead of a job for example, was that I wanted to use the time during my Gap Year to build towards something bigger. I knew a few people who had acquired the standard chalet or bar job at a ski resort and lived out their season happily; however the experience they took from that wasn’t at all relevant to what they wanted to do as a future career, I mean you can get a job in hospitality or bar work nearly anywhere! The only reason they wanted to work in a ski resort was so they could ski as much as possible, for as long as possible – it wasn’t for the work experience. Therefore if the goal is to ski, then why not spend my time skiing?! A temporary job in a chalet or bar would always come to an end, so I decided gaining an internationally recognized qualification, which would eventually result in me being paid to ski anywhere in the world, was an absolute no brainer!
2. It’s a chance to live in another world
If you think you know what it’s like to live in a ski resort because you’ve been for one or two weeks each year, you’re wrong. You can certainly appreciate the unimaginable views you come to expect everyday and the pure enjoyment and satisfaction of cruising down a beautifully groomed piste, but there’s another world exclusively for those who stay for even one season. A short paragraph will never come close to explaining how unique life in a ski resort really is, but to give you a taste it’s simply like living life without any of the day-to-day stress of first world. Living in a resort for even one season makes you feel part of the place due to the small bubble your world becomes. You quickly get to know a great many locals who either work or live there (A.K.A the ‘seasonaires’) as the majority of people are only in resort for one week. Another great thing is that of course near enough everyone you meet shares a similar passion for skiing and is why it’s so easy to make so many lasting connections with people. How many people get to do the thing they love everyday in a dreamlike, mountainous environment!?
3. Pick up invaluable skills which will help throughout your lifetime
To throw in a more serious reason, taking part in a structured course which requires a great deal of self discipline and teaches you how to positively interact with any kind of person is always going to be handy in whatever path you take later in life. Especially as an 18 year old straight out of college, it forces you to mature and become self dependant. It’s down to you to learn the content and get yourself out on that hill bright and early 5 days a week for some seriously intense physical training. Learning to be a great skier is one thing, but to be able to teach that to someone whilst maintaining their motivation and enjoyment of the sport is a different beast entirely! The communication, organization and leadership skills taught on this type of course will become truly invaluable to you.
4. Create lifelong relationships with incredible people
One of the scariest things to do is head out away from home to a foreign country for a long period of time, completely alone. This becomes utterly void during a ski instructor course as you’ll be grouped up with a number of individuals, who are in the exact same boat, to share your experiences with. Again, as everyone on the course shares the same appreciation for what you’re there to do, you’ll quickly feel like you’ve known them your whole life! Getting a job, finding a flat mate in resort and occasionally spending time together in the evening is fine; but spending every waking hour with a close group of friends, all working hard on the hill during the day and playing equally as hard at night, is a special privilege not many people get to enjoy. It’s quite simply impossible to not stay in touch after sharing such a time together.
5. It’ll simply be the best time of your life
To sum it up – a Ski Instructor course is going to be, hands down, the best time of your life. I’ve trekked through jungles in Central America; I’ve scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef; I’ve seen Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Pyramids in Egypt, but still nothing has surpassed the utterly sensational time I spent on my course and I can only hope you get to enjoy one too.
The Gapski Ski Instructor Training Courses in Tignes is the best gap year ski instructor training course in The Alps – with a free Heli Ski. Experience the life of a Seasonaire, make friends for life while gaining invaluable experience from some of the best instructors in the business!