You’ve just finished college and you want to do a season in a ski resort. Congratulations – you are going to become a seasonaire! There are two basic options to making your dream a reality (unless you are really rich):
1. Become a chalet rep or work for a hotel in the resort, or even for the lift company, which is common in North America (a Visa is required). You will usually be lodged where you work.
2. Save up some money and pre-arrange your accommodation before you arrive.
Each option has its advantages and both will provide you with a much different experience. Option 1 will be a lot of work whilst you are at the resort with only 2 days a week on the mountain, which is obviously bad. But you will have a fantastically sociable experience and meet loads of people – both guests and your work mates.
Option 2 will depend on where you go much more, because your focus will be 100% on the mountain, having 7 days a week of skiing or boarding for an entire season would mean about 22 weeks of skiing or about 154 days of skiing in a row. This is an amazing amount of skiing that most skiers will never see; even ski resort locals don’t experience it, as they will be in work or school. So the mountain and resort will have to be really special for the amount of time you have, and if you go with some friends or meet some really great housemates then you will have an amazing time.
The beauty about college and university is that it ends in May. So if you have just finished college then this gives you an entire summer to work your socks off in the most boring job imaginable, knowing that when December comes you will have 6 months of savings to pre-pay for your accommodation and still have 5 months spending money (just!) So option 2 does require as much hard work as option 1, but you are just doing all of the work before you arrive, which transfers your free time from “sitting on the couch” to “skiing or snowboarding down a mountain.” I know which one I prefer, so if you like option 2 then you should move back home and save all of your summer earnings for the winter.
Being a seasonaire in Europe will be a much different experience to being a seasonaire in North America, but it is much more of an adventure, being thousands of miles from home and speaking the same language, and usually with fantastic amounts of powder.
As a chalet rep you will have to work your skis off and you’ll be so tired that you won’t want to go up the mountain on your off days – you’ll want to sleep. But it will be worth it, not just for the days you are on the mountain, but also for the people you will meet and the experiences you will have.
We at skithenet.com obviously prefer option 2, with most of our team having done both options, but it doesn’t mean that option 1 won’t be an amazing experience. So, go for either option. Live the dream.
Note: To work outside of the EU you will need a work Visa, which is easily obtained through BUNAC for North America.