By Grace May Biddulph
- A ski or snowboarding season abroad is an excellent opportunity to gain some valuable skills in a wide variety of areas, whilst working in a new environment with new people.
If you are unsure what to do when you graduate, I would encourage you contemplate a season abroad. Not only does it look good on your CV, but it also provides you with an opportunity to progress in language, catering, cultural and social skills. The season stretches from November through to April, and applicants normally start applying at the beginning of May, however positions are available throughout the season. No previous ski or snowboard experience is needed, however it is encouraged.
Now an important question is where? It depends on your preference – it is always snowing somewhere! First time applicants tend to stick to the Alps, therefore you’re not too far away if any trips home do need to be made! (Fingers crossed they don’t). The world snowboard guide suggests St Anton in Austria is the best resort overall, but again it depends on your personal preferences – if you know any French then of course it’s logical to head to France, where your language skills will be recognised when applying.
Bulgaria is a top-rated resort by a lot of companies in terms of value for money. Val d'Isère is recognised for its size, and is a good resort for first timers. However, if you are feeling adventurous, head over to the USA or Canada. Both are well known for their excellent resorts, lots of snow and provide a different experience culturally. Something to note when applying to either is that it is important you get a visa well in advance. Some companies do supply you with a visa, some don’t, so it is important to do your research!
Next on the list is of course what jobs are on offer within each resort. Again it is important to do your research and find the best job which matches your particular skills. If you’re a bit of a wild one who likes to party and can carry on through hangovers, then working at a bar may be the job for you. If you prefer something daytime-oriented then working in a chalet may be more appropriate. Jobs range from ski lift assistants to nannies, chefs, resort reps, waiters and waitresses. A quick hint when applying is that it is important to look at the perks each job supplies – for example if you are a chalet assistant, you get a ski pass, skis, accommodation, food and a small wage thrown in! Not bad eh! Have a look into each job description because previous experience of any kind is always noted, so bear this in mind. Finally it is always worth mentioning the amazing night life. Generally ski resorts are full of a lot of graduates and young professionals looking for a different kind of experience before entering a full time job, so the night life is pretty awesome!
This article only covers a minute amount of the many positive aspects of working at a ski resort. To find out more, go to www.natives.com – a great website that can answer any queries you may have. This website includes chat rooms, advice and what steps to take next. But the most important decisions is, will you ski or snowboard?