AFTER SIGNING THE CONTRACT

15. November 2019

When you have done a very important part of finding and applying for a job, doing the interview with the HR manager and signed the contract to work in a snowsports school away from home…

Now comes the planning part. There is a lot of small things you need to think about before going away for the winter such as visa, how to travel to the location, accommodation on the mountain or beneath it, expences of all that. So let's go from the start:

VISA

It is important to start working on your visa and all the needed documentation ASAP! Visa can take a lot of your precious time. It happened before that people bought airplane tickets and got everything planned and then got their visa rejected.

First, you need to check if you need a visa to work in your country of choice. Then check which visa you are eligible for. There can be restrictions such as age, education, experience in the field that you would like to work in, the number of times you applied for a visa in the past... The snowsports school should be able to help you with that since they have lots of experience with visas and they often set these restrictions in their job posts already…

There is a »working holiday visa«, where residents of particular countries are allowed to do short-term jobs while they are traveling and exploring the country. And there are the »working/ sponsored« visas where you normally need to have a signed contract before you apply for the visa.

Here are some helpful visa links: New Zealand, JapanAustralia, Canada, France

TRAVELING TO THE COUNTRY

It's always best to book your flight/train/bus ticket as soon as you get your visa (if a visa is needed).
Some of the snowsports schools reimburse your travel expenses (up to a reasonable amount), but if they don't, this will be one of your expenses before you start earning money.
You can read more about traveling with an airplane in our article »Travelling with snowsports equipment«.

If you are going to a destination that is close enough to go by car: try to find people to share the costs of the drive. Check with your employer if more people are going from your area or try the school's forum (if they have one) or Facebook groups. Be sure to state your amount of luggage so the driver will be able to calculate if they can fit everything in.

ACCOMMODATION 

Sometimes the accommodation is included in the job - that is usually a shared room with shared facilities and a common area. That can be a lot of fun: meeting lots of interesting people from all over and getting to know them through spending time in the kitchen and common areas.

If you are not the regular party animal that ski instructors tend to be, you will search for accommodation alone or maybe with your friends. The highest prices are usually right up on the mountain but as soon as you look at the outskirts, the prices will go down and you will surely find something affordable.
Be sure to ask the landlords/agency about heating costs, internet and other expenses you will need to pay on a monthly/ weekly bases, parking lot if you have a car…

COMMUTING TO WORK EVERY DAY

Some places have organized transportation on and off the mountain, somewhere you will need your car or get somebody to share the rides. You should look into it, ask about the bus/ shuttle system or check the FB groups for shared rides. The location of your housing is to be considered if you won't have a car.

INSURANCE

Don't forget that you are exposed to the kamikaze skiers and boarders when instructing. Ask the company about their insurance and what they cover. Whatever they don't cover – you should get covered! Check your possibilities of insurance in the country you are instructing in.

Make sure that your insurance policy will cover a big amount because expenses of a mountain rescue with the helicopter can be very costly. OK, let's not jinx it!

THE EXPENSES

Airplane ticket, gas money, season lift pass, uniform, insurance, new gear if you need it… These are just a few things you need to consider when planning your expenses before you get to the slopes and start earning money. It depends on the company if they cover your uniform and season lift pass. If not you need to have some money saved up just to start the season. The good thing is that your investment at the beginning of the season will return within the first couple of paychecks.

 

Enjoy the season!

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