Become a ski instructor on your gap year

Snowminds May 20, 2019

Kasper Jakobsen got into his dream education after 2 gap years. The admission requirement for his study afterwards was to have A+ on almost all former subjects, but the work-, language-, and personal development from Kaspers seasons in Canada and Austria was his ticket for the dream education. 

When Kasper Jakobsen graduated from the high school in Denmark, he felt like many others, that he needed a break from school and decided to take 2 gap years. Being an avid skier and a wish to discover a new continent,  he packed his things and flew over the Atlantic ocean to experience a winter season in Canada during his gap year. In Canada, Kasper worked in a restaurant with 240 coworkers from 35 different countries. Here he learnt a lot about the culture, language and people. When he returned home from the adventure in Canada, he decided to become a ski instructor on our course in Austria.  


Together with 200+ other young people, he went to Austria with the ambition to pass the Austrian ski instructor education and a few weeks later he was ready to teach his first group – speaking german. At first, this was a big challenge, with learning German and teaching, but very quickly it all started to be fun!

Kasper in his Austrian Ski School uniform


After his season as a ski instructor in Austria, Kasper was ready to get back to school. And what was supposed to be 2 fun gap years turned into being the admission requirement for his dream study International Business and Politics on Copenhagen Business School, where the grades from former educations needed to be almost only straight A’s to get in. For the application, one of the assessment criteria is a stay abroad and a business-related work. As a ski instructor, you work in a foreign workplace with a foreign work environment – even in a foreign language. It requires a lot from one person both mentally, physically and academically, when, as a ski instructor, you take care of skiing guests and must be respected by children, adults and managers. And all in all, Kasper’s two years of skiing during his gap years have given him enough experience to be admitted to his dream education.


As Kasper’s story shows you can with a job as a ski instructor gather invaluable experience, not just for your CV, but also for future job interviews. This is something we are very aware of, and since virtually everyone at the Snowminds Team  has either read or is reading a higher education, we do everything to ensure that after your season you can document your experience at the best possible way. Below we have tried to list the experience a winter on eg our Austrian 5-week course and subsequent work in Austria is giving you:

  • Approx. staying abroad for 6 months in Austria.
  • 5 weeks with intense ski instructor course with sports technical, educational, linguistic and personal development training.
  • An Austrian state-certified education as a ski instructor – even in german!
  • 6 months with german training. On our course, all training takes place in German, which means that you will be able to document 35 days of German training of 6 hours, which is 210 hours. You can also choose our 12-week online German course, which corresponds to approx. 5 hours a week, ie. 60 hours of German training
  • 5 months of international work experience with a focus on teaching kids, young people and adults at a foreign employer you refer to in German
  • Being abroad, where you have worked with guests from all over the world, and have lived and worked in an international environment.
  • A recommendation and course certificate from Snowminds, so you can document this in the future applications.
  • 5 months of work experience, where you have taught in English, Dutch (yes, you will also learn this in Austria too), as well as German, ie. work experience in 3 languages


Kasper became a mentor for new instructors going to Austria


Especially the foreign work experience should not be underestimated. There are many who can add to their CV that they have, for example, worked for a e.g. Danish employer at a ski destination, or for example, travelled around in Asia for 6 months with a backpack. However, few people can document a long foreign work experience, which even involves 3 languages, as well as teaching experience of all age groups.

In order for you to document all the above and make your ski season a success, it is important that you not sit back, take the training and work on cruise control. Being a ski instructor and working abroad is a big challenge, and it is a challenge that needs to be tackled rigidly and with a willingness to implement.

As a ski instructor, you will at a young age work for a foreign employer who sets other requirements for one than at your local workplaces. There are, for example, certain Austrian manners and traditions that are expected to know. It could be a certain way to teach, ski or behave. When you put on the ski uniform, a big role is assumed as you become the ski school’s “face” in the village, in the supermarket, at apres ski or on the piste, when you teach and yourself ski. It is a unique way to live and work abroad and get close to the locals. But besides the locals, you also meet people from other nationalities, as many skiers may come from countries such as Israel, Holland or Russia, where again an understanding of foreign cultures and people is re-opened.

Kasper enjoying a day off in the pow!

Although it is a huge experience to meet people from other countries, there is not much you can compare to that moment when you first come out to the ski school to teach a group of 5-year-old children. Here,  you develop some fantastic, educational skills. It is a great challenge to learn the skiing technique and communicate with Russian, Dutch or Austrian children while leaving parents are leaving you a great deal of expectation and responsibility with you as “the adult”.

// Snowminds

If you want a season in the snow, get your application in now. The places are getting filled quickly!

Apply here if you want to have the best gap year possible!

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