Both an instructor course and an internship will give you the opportunity to become qualified to instruct

The main difference is that the internship is less of an initial financial outlay and you will be guaranteed work at the end of the the training – so long as you pass the exams.  

While you are not guaranteed work at the end of an instructor course, SnowSkool includes a recruitment service as part of the instructor courses you can choose to use to help you secure work. We can help with CVs, linking you with resorts looking for instructors, and interview tips, as well as crucial advice around visas and your working rights in different countries. 

So, perhaps apart from the financial differences, the main driver for choosing an instructor course or internship is really your level of commitment in terms of work post training. An instructor course gives you the experience and the qualifications and the time to reflect on whether you want to work as an instructor or not. An internship is for folk who have made that committed decision from the outset and are up for the responsibilities that come with working.  

SnowSkool Instructor Courses and Internships summarised 

You can of course find out all the information you need by browsing our website, but here’s an anchor overview summary with helpful links for further explorations. 

Duration and accommodation 

SnowSkool offers long and short courses for both instructor courses and internships.  

The ski and snowboard instructor courses in France, Canada and New Zealand vary between 10 days and 13 weeks and all offer accommodation for the duration. 

The ski instructor internships vary from 3 to 19 weeks in length and also offer accommodation for the duration. 

The 3 and 8 week internship courses in Saas Fée, Switzerland include accommodation after which you will be offered work in Switzerland, Canada or Japan. 

Find out more about Saas Fée here to see if it is a destination you fancy for your internship. 

The 19 week Big White internship also includes accommodation for the duration. 

We describe this course as a bit of a hybrid course during which you will be working as soon as you have passed your CSIA Level 1 exam. After this you will have a timetable that facilitates you learning and working towards your CSIA Level 2 exam in tandem with working at Big White. Over the 19 weeks (November thru April) your paid work will be interspersed with expert training. 

Big White trainers


You will gain qualifications with different awarding bodies across our courses and internships. They all fall under the umbrella of ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) qualifications, meaning they have worldwide recognition.  

Here’s a summary: 

Meribel, Three Valleys, France instructor courses – BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) 

Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada instructor courses – CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance) 

Big White, Canada instructor courses - CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance) 

Cardrona, New Zealand instructor course – NZSIA (New Zealand Ski Instructors’ Alliance) 

Saas Fée, Switzerland Internships – IASI (Irish Associations of Snowsport Instructors) 

Big White, Canada Internships - CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance) 

All of our courses and internships give you the option of gaining Levels 1 and 2 from these awarding bodies which will open the doors into the ski instructing field. 

Is there a difference between awarding bodies and opportunities?  

In short, not huge. There is some difference between european and non-european qualifications but it’s a duet of qualification and right to work in a country which you need to play well together to give you the best working opportunities. 

Find out more about qualifications this here 

Fun factor 

Both instructor and internship routes give you mountain life fun, and the après ski that goes with it, along with a new group of like-minded people to enjoy it with.  

On SnowSkool instructor courses you have the added benefit of reps to look after you, help comms with instructors and SnowSkool management staff, and co-ordinate social activities. Read our rep diaries to get a flavour of what this looks like at SnowSkool. 

Your accommodation and food are covered. And responsibilities minimal.  

One of our recent students said the instructor “course gives you enough structure to not feel lost and enough freedom to enjoy all aspects of the mountain” 

SnowSkool internships involve a little more independence and responsibility. But you’ll be quids in. And still having lots of fun. We often liken the difference between instructor courses and internships as being a bit like going to university or doing an apprenticeship.  

Whatever option you decide is best for you, so many of our students describe the SnowSkool experience as some of the best days of their life. 

Here are a few rave reviews for SnowSkool 2024 courses: 

"I have just spent the last 3 months in Banff Canada with snowskool and I’ve had the best experience I’ve ever had. Meeting lots of incredible people and making strong connections while improving your skiing to the best of your ability and develop you into an instructor ready to smash it on the slopes. Highly recommend"

"Living and skiing with everyone has been great and I will leave with new friends and amazing memories! I’d recommend this experience to anyone wanting to improve their skiing, qualify/work as a ski instructor, or just have the best 3 months you could wish for"

"Snowskool. Wow. Where do I even begin? What an excellent 11 weeks in Méribel, made some great memories

Had a 10/10 time on the course. The process was super streamlined with high quality teaching in a beautiful resort that you couldn’t ask for more from. The accommodation and food was also beyond expectation with puddings five nights a week!! Also had a great rep who made things so easy” 


Get in contact to discuss the best course or internship option for you whether you are planning a gap year after school or university or a career break. 

Read our graduate stories to find out how gap year students and career breakers have benefitted from doing SnowSkool courses. 

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