If there is one place that is recognized for its magical mountains and skiing culture, it would be Switzerland. It’s no coincidence that skiers from all over the world have this unique Alp country on the top of their bucket list and now you have the chance to make this your winter-wonderland on a full season in Nendaz!
We are proud to present a unique winter season, where you combine work and play throughout the entire season on our English spoken IASI level 1 & 2 ski instructor internship in Haute-Nendaz with the option to also become a dual instructor by taking your snowboard level 1 in March. You will live in Nendaz, which lays right in the heart of the world-renowned 4 Vallées ski resort, one of the worlds most famous and biggest ski resorts offering some of the best and most varied terrain in the world.
From the end of November and onwards, you will participate in our season long, fully English, IASI level 1+2 ski instructor internship, which is designed to prepare you for work as an instructor in a ski school in Switzerland. To make the most of the entire winter out here in Nendaz, unique to this resort, there’s also the possibility of getting a level 1 Snowboard qualification. So if you’re looking to further your ski career after your winter in Nendaz, signing up to this add-on option will allow you to be more employable to future prospective employers with a second discipline as well.
As a part of the course, you will receive a full season lift pass, organised season accommodation with one month included, 250+ hours of training, an outdoor first aid course, french lessons, a fitness program, freestyle and mountain safety training, video analysis, and much more. In short; with comfort in our highly experienced trainers from Sommet et Neige, we guarantee that this will be your life’s most developing ski experience packed with high fives and fun!
Once you have finished and passed the program, you can call yourself an official Level 2 IASI ski instructor. After completing your exams, you’ll have an interview with a partner ski school, and if successful have shadowing experience and job opportunities possibily during Christmas, during the February half term and Easter holidays. Basic language skills in French, German and/or Dutch will be very helpful to give more opportunity for work during the high seasons. But no matter how much work you pick up, we got your season covered. With a season lift ticket and organised accommodation, you can enjoy the slopes until the end of April!
- Jamie Kagan, Ski School Director Sommet et Neige
For good reason, Switzerland is one of the most desired ski destinations for both new and experienced ski instructors. The Swiss Alps offer some of the best skiing in the world, both on the slope, and off-piste. This is specifically evident in the 4 Vallées ski resort, which is known for its amazing off-piste terrain. It is not a coincidence that it has hosted the Freeride World Tour finals for years!
As Switzerland is highly sought after and receives a significant amount of wealthy clients it’s one of the best places to learn from experienced instructors and kick start your ski instructor career. As a newly certified instructor you typically receive between 13-20 CHF an hour depending on your ski, personal and language skills.
During the season, you will be accommodated with fellow Snowminders in a shared apartment with kitchen facilities in the village of Nendaz. Nendaz is a lively ski village with a great ski instructor community. The instructors typically meet up at a few local spots in the resort and on days off there are often a few of them exploring the resort together.
We’ve created a holistic winter experience from the end of November to the end of April, where you will become a level 1+2 certified ski instructor with the opportunity to work in Nendaz with possible snowboard certification add-on.
Benefits of the ski level 1+2 IASI course package:
Benefits of booking the snowboard add-on option (not included in course price):
In addition to your level 1 + 2 ski instructor course in Nendaz, we also offer the opportunity to take a level 1 snowboard course. This allows you to expand your teaching options and potentially increase the number of working hours. Contact us if you would like to add a level 1 snowboard instructor course to your season experience.
What is not included?
As a Snowminds trademark, we take care of all the practicalities and coordinate with our professional partners in Switzerland to provide you with a life-long experience that we are known for!
*Snowminds offers arranged accommodation for the entire season, allowing you to avoid the hassle of finding it on your own and giving you the opportunity to live together with other Snowminders. The first month is included in the course package, and in most cases, you will be asked to pay the rent for the rest of the season before departure. The price for accommodation typically ranges between 800-1200 CHF per month. If you are interested in booking your own accommodation for the entire winter season, please contact us for a discounted course price.
** There is a 300 CHF surcharge on the lift ticket for people that are 24 years or older and/ or a 300 CHF surcharge for people signed up later than November 20th.
***We are happy to assist with recommendations to booking airline tickets and airport transfers to your final destination. Please reach out to us ANYTIME if you are interested.
****Most work permits in Switzerland require you to also pay for mandatory Swiss health insurance which must be paid in addition to the registration fee to be eligible to work. This varies depending on the canton, but is typically around 250 CHF a month for a full work permit. Sometimes there are options to pay a daily rate for days worked instead. If you are not on a work permit, and not working, then Switzerland requires you to pay a daily tourist tax instead. This is typically around 2.50 CHF a day, depending on your accommodation set up. If you are interested in reading more about work in Switzerland as a foreigner, we refer to the official Swiss government website.
Our Nendaz level 1 and 2 instructor internship is perfectly designed for those looking to take a gap year, a career break/change as well as those wanting professional training to improve their skiing and take it to the next level in 4 Vallées, some of the best and most varied terrain in the Alps.
Below is an example of what the ski level 1& 2 IASI program could look like*:
End of November – Mid December
Christmas & New Year’s
End of January – Early February
February – End of season
Snowboard Add-on option:
Early March – Mid March
Training including teaching methodology, video analysis and IASI core snowboard development
End of March
Level 1 IASI Exam Snowboard
Eastern holiday with potential work and shadowing
End of April (TBD):
Season ending and moving out of accommodation
*The Travel Itinerary is approximate and can be subject to changes. Please note that the Level 1 and 2 training programs consist of on-slope days, off-slope days, and off days. The exact planning is made in accordance with the weather conditions during those weeks.
At Snowminds we pride ourselves in selecting the right people for our team of ski- and snowboard instructors. We are renowned amongst the ski schools for educating competent, energetic and top motivated instructors. The most important thing for you is to be positive, outgoing, adventurous, and ready to work hard to get the memory of a lifetime as a part of the Snowminds team.
What we expect from you:
When you have sent your application, we will give you a call to discuss your course choice and hear more about why you want to become an instructor. You will then be invited to an interview where we will evaluate your candidacy. This also give you the opportunity to get more information about our courses and the experience as a ski instructor in Switzerland. After the interview, we will call you and let you know whether or not we can offer you a spot on our team.
We receive a lot of applications for our courses and the spots fill up quickly. Therefore we have a “first come, first serve” principle with an application deadline each month. This means that the earlier you apply, the greater your chances are of joining the team and getting a spot at your dream destination.
Further information about course dates and prices can be found below, where you can also hit the button to apply now.
Since you are employed directly at the ski school, not Snowminds, it is the ski school that independently defines the scope of your work, pay and other work-related conditions. Thus, your employment relationship is between you and the ski school and we cannot guarantee, for example, a minimum number of work hours. We will of course help and assist in the event of any questions or anything else.
You can often expect a more high-end clientele in Switzerland which leads to higher expectations from your ski school. The amount of work therefore highly depends on your motivation, appearance and attitude and how you interact with your guests.
From past years experiences, some Snowminds instructors worked already around Christmas with a level 1 certification and some even without certification in the beginning if they fulfilled the criteria mentioned above but most tend to work after the level 2.
So if you want to get the most out of a season in Switzerland, have the right mindset and attitude ready from the beginning and throughout your course!
As a newly-educated instructor, one is typically on the “bottom of the food chain” regarding work. In other words, the more experienced instructors get first preference, but the more you show your passion and desire to work hard, the better. We highly recommend making the most of the busier peak periods in the ski school by showing your supervisors you are motivated to teach as many lessons as you can. The busiest periods during the peak season are Christmas & New Years, February and in some resorts Easter. It is common that you are booked for hours according to your language skills, social skills and people skills. There are always opportunities to shadow lessons before teaching your first which can be a great way to show your enthusiasm and motivation to your ski school.
Our ski school partner prefers instructors that can speak some French and/ or German, and knowing some basic phrases can greatly improve your local experience. Language skills may be more valuable as the level of certification and some resorts even offer an hourly wage increase for every additional language you speak!
The more you practice the language spoken in your destination country before departure the better. This will help your integration and in general provide you with a better experience. We recommend using Duolingo to practice and ideally we recommend taking a language course.
Our team has jointly done more than 25 seasons across the world and we know better than anyone what it is like to start working with a new language for the first time. Whilst it may seem confusing at first, we know that it is more than possible to pick up with a bit of practice. Other than normal language courses, the Snowlingo courses specifically focus on what you actually need when working as a ski or snowboard instructor. On our website, you can read more about it.
In terms of financial expectations, let’s be clear: You do not get rich in a season as a newly certified instructor and we always recommend having a minimum of 2000 Swiss francs in pocket money so you can make the most of the season. In general, it is very different from what our instructors earn and spend during the season since habits/personal budgets vary so much.
Your wage depends on many factors, but typically as a newly certified instructor, you receive between 10-25 CHF an hour. In addition to this there are often bonus opportunities, for example, tips and extra private lessons. It is common for ski schools to have returning guests who come back frequently throughout the season and request you as an instructor directly if they were happy with their first ski course.
Sometimes, there are opportunities to pick up additional hours of work in the resort during the winter in other mountain departments, such as ski shops, activities and guest services.
To stay and work in Switzerland for the winter season you need to be an EU or EFTA citizen. (EFTA which consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it is part of the EFTA and thus grants freedom of movement to those from EU/EFTA countries.
Nevertheless you have to get a work permit while in Switzerland, before you start working at a ski school. Your ski school and your team leader will help you and advise you on the most suitable permit, which varies depending on the amount of work per month.
Your ski school will help you with paying the relevant fees to the registration office.
Mandatory Swiss Health insurance / Tourist tax
Most work permits in Switzerland require you to also pay for mandatory Swiss health insurance which must be paid in addition to the registration fee to be eligible to work.
If you are not on a work permit, and not working, then Switzerland requires you to pay a daily tourist tax instead. This is typically around 2.50-4.50 CHF a day, depending on your accommodation set up.
If you are interested in reading more about work in Switzerland as a foreigner, we refer to the official Swiss government website.
In Nendaz, the first month of accommodation during the course is included. You can decide whether you want to have the accommodation arranged by Snowminds for the rest of the season.
Many ski schools in Switzerland do not include accommodation in the work contracts as they often work with a lot of local staff. Therefore, we work together with the ski schools to arrange good and fitting housing for you. You’ll be in shared accommodation with (mostly) other Snowminds Instructors in a fantastic community.
The rent won’t be deducted from your salary but paid separately. Since housing is secured for the full season a signed housing contract and full payment will be required before departure. Rent varies, but typically lies between 800-1200 Swiss francs a month.
A deposit should be paid to cover potential damages, missing items, cleaning, washing of bed linens, towels, and/or anything else that the landlord will have claims to after the lease. It will be transferred back to you electronically after the season less any deductions by Snowminds.
Prancondu 1 and 2
In Nendaz, you live in shared apartments with 4-6 people right in the centrum of the Village. You are within walking distance (5-10 min.) of the 3 supermarkets and the first lift station is 2 min. walk from your apartments and if the snow conditions allow it, it’s ski-in, ski-out.
Bed linen, towels and free wifi are included in the apartments and you will have a shared washing machine between all of the Snowminders located in the basement of building 1.
Inside the apartments, you will have shared bedrooms some with single beds, double beds and bunk beds. Our 6-person apartment has two bedrooms and a sofa bed in the common area.
In the main room, you will find your shared kitchen, common area, bathroom and balcony. The kitchen is equipped with a microwave, 4 induction hobs, a refrigerator with a small freezer and a dishwasher. The apartments do not have ovens installed so from our experince and stories from previous instructors, you learn to become creative in the kitchen.
Skis and snowboards can be stored in the ski room in the basement including.
From our experience, your seasonal accommodation soon becomes your home and the people you live with become your family. It is often with a huge lump in your throat and maybe a tear in your eyes, that you leave it after the season.
Season with lvl 1 +2 ski instructor course in Nendaz
from €7,195 (Ask for price if you have your own accommodation) + €2,495 for snowboard level 1 add-on option
November 25th - End of April 2024
Sign-up deposit: €200
Any Questions? Call us!