Skiing and snowboarding is a worldwide industry so you do not necessarily have to limit your working experience to Europe or North America, With some careful planning, good networking and dedication it is possible to work in most worldwide destinations; here’s just a few ideas…
Argentina and Chili have a number of big downhill resorts with the main ones being Cerro Catedral, Valle Nevado Portillo, and Las Lenas; they also have almost a dozen other smaller resorts which offer winter sports during the UK summer months. However, work is extremely limited as there are no working visa arrangements with the UK and payment is in local Pesos making existence even more of a challenge. Learn about Australia Work and Holiday visas – we have the latest information for prospective expats.
Australia and New Zealand also offer skiing during the UK summer months in resorts such as Perisher Blue and Thredbo in New South Wales (Australia) and on both the North and South Island in New Zealand. You will of course need a working visa for either of these countries and there are similar costs and conditions to those already given in the Canada section of this article; the only drawback here is that you can only be employed for a period of 3 months by the same employer so your best chance to find work would be at the start or midway through the season to help fill any gaps.
Knee-deep powder days seem to be commonplace in Japan and this is one of the countries where even on a busy day you’ll still not be fighting the crowds. As with most of the ‘further afield’ destinations, direct employment experience will greatly support any applications and the skiing/boarding tends to be more of an obsessive past-time than part of the actual work. Niigata, Nagano (which once held the Winter Olympics) and Hokkaido are three of the main ski areas with each one housing a number of vibrant resorts. Work could come through a number of different channels with two of the most common being a teaching position (provided you have excellent English skills) and work in the hotel/hospitality industry. Job advertisements in the UK are few and far between, so again research is vital and you should look to make contact with Japan-based companies directly.
There is a working visa scheme in place that allows residents of the United Kingdom, between the ages of 18 and 30, to work part time over the period of one year. As with the Canada visa process you will need £2,500 in funds (last 3 months bank statements must be shown at visa application time) or £1,500 and a return or onward journey ticket.
South Africa also offers skiing from June until August in resorts such as Sani Top, Oxbow, and Tiffindell but the scattering of fluffy powdery stuff may not be as prolific as it is in Europe or North America. Again visas can prove a problem: only the employer can apply for the work permit for the employee, and the employer will have to convince the authorities that the person invited to do job, can do the best job ever, and that there can be no substitute for this worker from the local work force! For this reason it may prove difficult to pursue this one but it is by no means out of reach.
Whatever destination or job you decide to aim for, working a ski season can prove to be immense fun! You’re sure to make some lifelong friends that you’ll share some amazing experiences with, while picking up valuable work skills along the way, and you will get to ski or board in a resort you know well on some of the best snow days they have in the season. Have you packed yet…?