The Independent Parent: Where can our son learn to be a ski instructor?


Q. Our son, who is a good skier and will be 18 in November, wants to do an intensive residential ski-instructor course either in Europe, Canada or the US this winter during his gap year.

Q. Our son, who is a good skier and will be 18 in November, wants to do an intensive residential ski-instructor course either in Europe, Canada or the US this winter during his gap year. Can you suggest reputable organisations? We know some expensive ones, but have heard that others might be able to offer both work placement and instructor training.
V Pettit, via e-mail

A. Alas, you're right - intensive residential courses for ski-instructors do tend to be very dear. To answer your second query, the chance of combining a work placement with instructor training is rare, if not almost impossible.

Training to become a ski instructor is fun, but intense. Students are immersed in all aspects of snow sports and must be highly motivated to achieve the final qualification. Due to the expense and dedication required, it's not something to opt for on a whim.If your son is hoping for a less pressurised break between A-levels and university, he might consider working a ski season as a financially viable alternative. Though, inevitably, this still requires hard work, it is less goal-focused.

Plenty of courses that lead to a ski-instructor qualification in one season are available. But ski certification is a tricky business. For example, some resorts in France demand extra skills, while the Professional Ski Instructors of America - PSIA Level One (of four) and the Canadian Ski Instructors Association - CSIA Level One (of four) are not considered advanced enough to find a teaching job in France, Switzerland or New Zealand. Your son should look only at courses that lead to quailifications recognised by the International Ski Instructors Association (ISIA; 00 41 31 810 4111; www.isiaski.org), the umbrella organisation for snowsport instructors.

The basic qualification of the British Association of Snowsport Instructors or BASI (01479 861717; www.basi.org.uk) is the minimum UK qualification needed to teach on snow. It is widely accepted in Europe, but may not be acceptable in parts of the US and Canada. BASI offers 10-week, specifically targeted "gap-year" courses starting from £6,000. These take place in various locations in Europe and the US, including Courchevel, Tignes, Val D'Isere, Soldeu, Zermatt, Pila and Vail. Prices include flights, accommodation with evening meals, and a ski pass giving unlimited use of the slopes.

If your son reaches the required standard, he will become an official "BASI Ski Instructor". An initial pre-selection process comprises a two-hour session at one of several dry-ski slopes in the UK. These sessions take place from now until the end of October.

Several private companies offer training. The International Academy (02920 672500; www.international-academy.com/skiboard/index.htm) has courses in North America, Chile and New Zealand. Prices from £5,250 to £6,950. Or try the Base Camp Group (01403 820899; www.basecampgroup.com) which has courses in Europe and Canada from £5,545 to £6,495.

The book Working in Ski Resorts: Europe and North America by Victoria Pybus (Vacation Work, £11.95), is an excellent source of information for winter-sports work, from chalet cook to ski or snowboard instructor.

Send your family travel questions to The Independent Parent, Travel Desk, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS or e-mail crusoe@-independent.co.uk

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
i100
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Voices
The number of children in relative income poverty is currently 2.3 million in the UK
voices

Environment
A Brazilian wandering spider
natureIt's worth knowing for next time one appears in your bananas
Life and Style
Time and Oak have developed a product that allows drinkers to customise the flavour and improve the quality of cheaper whiskey
food + drink

Sport
football

Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday

Life and Style
The final 12 acts will be facing Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh tonight
fashion

The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell

Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
    Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

    How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

    'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

    Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

    Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
    Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

    Terry Venables column

    Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
    The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

    Michael Calvin's Inside Word

    Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past