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Becoming a SKi Instructor and Working Visa's Over 30.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All

I'm new to the group and just wanting to see if we have any instructors out their who could offer some advice. Myself and the Wife are looking at becoming ski instructors at the start of next season, with the aim to doing this as near as possible to full time. However we are both over 30 and British so I assume we will struggle to get visa's in other continents outside of Europe. Currently we are looking at doing our qualification in Austria and getting to Landes Level 1 in the first year, with the view of doing the Level 2 year 2. This should give us half a chance at getting work in other continents as I believe some will sponsor you if your equivalent to Level 3. But I'm wondering if anyone has any experience in this and if this sounds like the best way to go.

In all honesty we only want to do it for three or four years but if we don't get any south hemisphere work we may not even last that long. Any tips will be useful, the aim is to hit three of four continents. But is this going to be impossible?? Also open to suggestions of different qualifications if they will help our chances of work elsewhere.

Thanks in Advance.

Gav
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
What languages do you speak?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Just to point out, to tick off Landes 2 in two years you will need to already be good skiers (in real not holiday skier terms, which hopefully isn't patronising) and speak fairly fluent German.

I know quite a few Austrians who've done Landes 2 and seem to find summer work in Oz (more so than NZ for some reason) pretty easily.

PS... Did you do the Peak Leaders Anwärter course in St Anton a few years back, or a different Gav H?
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As you say, more likely to get sponsorship with the full Landes. As Clarky says though, you'd need to be very good skiers to begin with. The German may be less of a thing now, Snowsports Academy (Wiener Verband) offer the Anwaerters and LS1 and LS2 in English so may be a little easier I'm not sure. It's the summer work that may be an issue, those I know over 30 either have an Aussie/Kiwi passport, or have done seasons there on WHV and been sponsored since.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
For working in Oz there are quite strict rules about allowed occupations and I don't think Ski instructor is one of them. It is quite clear that an ordinary 'business activity' does not include providing services to the public so a visitor visa would not permit that kind of work. I suggest talking to the immigration bureau now rather than find out it's not possible 2 years in.
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Hi All

Thanks for the feedback. I'd say we're both good skiers but maybe not to the instructor level yet. I've been skiing a number of years. Granted holiday time but piste their is nothing that bothers me to much. I know if need to work on my moguls n off piste, but I'm not worried. The idea as it stands is to do the SIA Austria internship 2-1 next year which will get us to Landes 1 subject to passing. Then work the following season whilst trying to tick off Landes 2.

I've got the impression that obtaining sponsorship could be very tough, and as some have said the south hemisphere work could be near impossible, I was just wanting to see if anyone else has done similar or had any feedback or recommendations for alternatives.

Oh an the missus has done German to GCSE level and well. I'd be working hard on that but not phased from what I've read. I know basic French Poor GCSE level.

Open to any help or tips or advice. Thanks again for your comments so far.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Would brexit have impact on those who aren't already working in Europe?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Canada route is possible if a little unlikely now you are over 30.
Have a look at the cic visa points, if you have degree level education and experience in a Job type they want, you can get a Visa in less than 6mths. All you need is the points about 430ish at the moment. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/crs-tool.asp

Whistler is short of instructors this year and anecdotally so are other places in Canada as they have tightened up the Australian Visas so a lot of them had to go home.

Do a CISA L2 course and then you are qualified. Though that will not help with points for a VISA better to have a useful existing career. https://www.yesimprovement.com/programs/whistler-ski-instructor/intermediate for the course (7weeks) no visa needed to do the course.

Also once you are qualified you could get a job in USA as they can get Visas attached to the actual job. Daughter had an offer from Squaw Valley but went back to Whistler and is now in Management there having done 3 seasons with them.

Maybe a better bet than Europe with all the uncertainty coming up.

Additional languages that help over there are French (2nd language of the country) Spanish and Chinese.
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Do the oft mentioned (around here) BASI quals not count for much when it comes to employment around the world then ??
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abc wrote:
Would brexit have impact on those who aren't already working in Europe?
Potentially, yes. But nobody knows for certain at the moment.
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essex wrote:
Do the oft mentioned (around here) BASI quals not count for much when it comes to employment around the world then ??
There are two aspects to this question: (1) do employers (ski schools in the main) recognise BASI qualifications and are they prepared to employ somebody who holds those qualifications, and (2) to what extent is a work permit or visa required to work in any particular country or region.

In terms of (1), BASI qualifications (there are 4 levels) are fairly well recognised and generally ski schools are happy to accept them as equivalent to any other instructor qualification at a similar level, especially if the ski school has a proportion of British clients. In terms of (2) it varies a lot, depending on the country. It is sometimes easier to get a visa (or to not need one at all) if you have a Level 3 or Level 4 qualification than if you have aL evel 2 qualification (L1 is generally considered appropriate for teaching indoors or on plastic).

Getting the visa or work permit is often the most difficult part of the process, and that can be unrelated to which national system you are qualified in.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
As you've correctly realised, being over 30 makes you ineligible for working holiday visas, which are many instructors' primary route into the industry. In addition, you want to do southern hemisphere seasons, which are incredibly competitive because of the limited number of roles.

I wouldn't worry too much about which system you qualify in - most qualifications are well recognised worldwide.

I'd approach this from the other way round. It's going to be very, very hard for a pair of rookie l2 qualified single cert instructors with no experience, no WHV and no languages to get a job in Aus, NZ or Chile. If you have some cash to spend on something like the SIA internship, I'd look at spending that down in NZ at CP/Remarks or Cardrona with a company like Snowtrainers, Rookies or Sitco. These guys have guaranteed employment programs, where if you pay the money and make a half decent impression, you'll be offered some work the first season and most likely a job your second season. Check that this route works now that you're both over 30 - I think it does.

With that under your belt, you'd be in a good position to return to Europe with NZ or BASI qualifications - probably l2 - and get work. You should be able to manage Austria, Switzerland might be tricky, and Andorra and Bulgaria/Poland would be worth a look too. You can walk into a big Austrian school in December without qualifications and get a job - with a season's experience and an L2 you should be able to get a decent one.

From then on, you're in the system as L2s with experience, and you can work on the languages / high level quallies / 36 months work (Japan!) you'll need to make a career out of it - for as long as you like.

Other routes - Australian resorts are often desperate for kids instructors - you teach 5-12 year olds for the whole season. Wouldn't be for me, but some people love it, and it's a way in. The SIA route sounds great, but I really think you'll struggle to get southern hemisphere work - that would work well if you could find something else to do in the summer. Finally... Scotland! Lack of languages not an issue, and it's genuine teaching experience that will look good on your CV for future seasons.

Good luck!
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Regards to the above about offerings down under from the likes of Rookies, they still require you to have a visa from what I understand (you can't work without a visa), so for us over 30's, it's a no go.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Sitter wrote:
Regards to the above about offerings down under from the likes of Rookies, they still require you to have a visa from what I understand (you can't work without a visa), so for us over 30's, it's a no go.


Ah - that's not good. Well, still worth considering, as they won't get a job offer with sponsored visa after a single season's internship in Austria, and they won't get hired at a hiring clinic without the right to work. Worth seeing if just being around the school could lead to an offer the following season as a known quantity - the money on offer during an internship season won't be huge anyway.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just to update anyone if you care. We have decided to do SIA 2-1 Internship. This is a six weeks intense course to gain Antwarter (Level 1), then your are packed off to resort to teach for three months (paid and accommodation), after which you come back and attempt your Landes 1 (Level 2) including another 4 weeks training, on the back of the resort training and experienced gained teach for the three months previous.

The course involves intense language training so our German should hopefully improve quickly which is always a bonus, even if we only really want to teach in English.

As it stands if we love it as much as we hope, we will return for a second season (anywhere in Europe) and attempt Landes 2 (Level 3) which could in theory open sponsorship doors in the south hemisphere.

This is all signed up for starting in Nov extremely excited already.

As for next summer it's looking like another six months back in a boring office in the UK. Boooooooo.

Thanks everyone for your comments.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
jiagedaping wrote:

From then on, you're in the system as L2s with experience, and you can work on the languages / high level quallies / 36 months work (Japan!) you'll need to make a career out of it - for as long as you like.


yes good luck.

Japan is out.

Over 30s have to show certification and 36 months documented work experience. That's the equivalent of 9 seasons for most people.

By which time you'll have bowed out of the industry.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@gavh, Glad you have it sorted and yes we do like to know what happens.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@gavh, Of course we care, but it’s mostly envy snowHead so keep us posted. I’m sure you’ll lurrrve it.
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Mike Pow wrote:
jiagedaping wrote:

From then on, you're in the system as L2s with experience, and you can work on the languages / high level quallies / 36 months work (Japan!) you'll need to make a career out of it - for as long as you like.


yes good luck.

Japan is out.

Over 30s have to show certification and 36 months documented work experience. That's the equivalent of 9 seasons for most people.

By which time you'll have bowed out of the industry.


Well, you can easy reach 36 month in that way! Madeye-Smiley

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhQryhygMhg/?taken-by=mikethesnow

Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Brexit could be the stumbling block for future work in Europe. No one knows if british nationals, whether qualified via BASI or other European instructor systems, will be able to get work in Europe

Will they need a visa or will barriers be put in the way of employment ie ski schools only employing their own or other european nationals?
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@gavh, Good luck on your course!

The SIA route is quite an expensive option and modelled on the British expectation of following a BASI pathway.

You have to have a job to go to after the Anwaerter course anyway (otherwise you won't be accepted on the course... in Land Salzburg anyhow).

There is no official 'shadowing' requirements expected to progress from Anwaerter to L1. You are just expected to work a season as an Anwearter and then progress on to the L1 course (if you fancy it).

I did my awaerter in 2011 with Land Salzburg... I wrote a blog about it if interested ( http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1775896&highlight=anwaerter#1775896 )

I still have not taken my L1 due to lack of time really!

I'm a little concerned that you haven't mentioned the Alpin course. This is a course requirement to pass L2. It is a specific course for off-piste skiing and safety and only normally runs once or twice a year so make sure your timings are good!

All ski schools are required to hold training sessions for personal development when you are employed.... whether they do or not is another question!

The SIA route does have its own training and language options, which is an excellent benefit. I've decided (even after living here since 2006) that I'd do my L1/2/Alpin with the snowsports academy as it is well priced and n English!
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@flangesax, all well and good that Snowsports Academy offer the courses in English (incidentally, SIA send their participants to do the Snowsports academy courses), but not all ski schools/regions will accept that from what I understand, it has to be in German. I have heard somebody say that Tyrol wouldn't recognise their English LS for instance, so might be worth checking.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Sitter, This is quite interesting.
I expect the main language will be marked as English and the second language as German.
My Anwaerter was all done in (terrible) German.
But i had to do a little extra speaking test too.

I can imagine the qualification would be recognised but could be useless to a school that doesn't need a native English teacher!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
gazza330 wrote:
Brexit could be the stumbling block for future work in Europe. No one knows if british nationals, whether qualified via BASI or other European instructor systems, will be able to get work in Europe

Will they need a visa or will barriers be put in the way of employment ie ski schools only employing their own or other european nationals?



This is likely to be the case .

I do not think in Austria , Ski Schools will put up barriers (Franc very likely) but the hassle for them to apply for Work Permits maybe the problem when they have plenty of Ski Instructors from other Parts of the EU wanting work.
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flangesax wrote:
@Sitter, This is quite interesting.
I expect the main language will be marked as English and the second language as German.
My Anwaerter was all done in (terrible) German.
But i had to do a little extra speaking test too.

I can imagine the qualification would be recognised but could be useless to a school that doesn't need a native English teacher!


Yup. I'm gonna email Tyrol about it and get a definite answer. I'm planning on taking my SB LS at the end of this Winter, and if it is anything like last season's course schedule then the English language one fitted in better than the German one. It is stipulated in the Tyrol ski school licence that they ensure employees can communicate in German for things like emergencies, communicating with lifties etc. If my Anwaerter is anything to go by, the second language part (in my case English as I did a German AW) covers nothing like this, it was just a chat in English with the examiner for my SB one, and a written section for my Ski one answering questions such as the progression for teaching children how to snowplough.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
stanton wrote:
gazza330 wrote:
Brexit could be the stumbling block for future work in Europe. No one knows if british nationals, whether qualified via BASI or other European instructor systems, will be able to get work in Europe

Will they need a visa or will barriers be put in the way of employment ie ski schools only employing their own or other european nationals?



This is likely to be the case .

I do not think in Austria , Ski Schools will put up barriers (Franc very likely) but the hassle for them to apply for Work Permits maybe the problem when they have plenty of Ski Instructors from other Parts of the EU wanting work.


So will Norway and Switzerland be easier?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Mike Pow wrote:
stanton wrote:
gazza330 wrote:
Brexit could be the stumbling block for future work in Europe. No one knows if british nationals, whether qualified via BASI or other European instructor systems, will be able to get work in Europe

Will they need a visa or will barriers be put in the way of employment ie ski schools only employing their own or other european nationals?



This is likely to be the case .

I do not think in Austria , Ski Schools will put up barriers (Franc very likely) but the hassle for them to apply for Work Permits maybe the problem when they have plenty of Ski Instructors from other Parts of the EU wanting work.


So will Norway and Switzerland be easier?



Norway depends on if United Kindom stays in the EEA:

https://www.udi.no/en/want-to-apply/the-registration-scheme-for-eueea-nationals/?c=gbr

If not nobody knows! Puzzled

No idea about Switzerland. Embarassed
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
stanton wrote:
gazza330 wrote:
Brexit could be the stumbling block for future work in Europe. No one knows if british nationals, whether qualified via BASI or other European instructor systems, will be able to get work in Europe

Will they need a visa or will barriers be put in the way of employment ie ski schools only employing their own or other european nationals?



This is likely to be the case .

I do not think in Austria , Ski Schools will put up barriers (Franc very likely) but the hassle for them to apply for Work Permits maybe the problem when they have plenty of Ski Instructors from other Parts of the EU wanting work.


And why shouldn't/wouldn't they, no point in having a club if you don't favour its members over others. We're the ones who decided to leave.
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