Will I definitely pass the ski/snowboard instructors’ exams?
No. Obviously this cannot be guaranteed, but if you can ski parallel or have the equivalent standard in snowboarding, the programme we have put together means that your German will be good enough to enable you to understand the compulsory part of the exam, and you will have enough “kilometres under your feet” as Hans, our director, describes it, to ski/snowboard well and confidently, to put you in with a good chance. We’ve had some beginners at German pass the course, and we had someone whose German was good, but who hadn’t skied for 4 years, pass the course.
What’s the exam like?
It’s in two parts, written and practical. It’s all in German, and it lasts for one day.
If I pass, will I definitely get work for the whole season?
If you’re a skier and a member of the European Union, there should be no problem working in Austria. If you are not European, you cannot be certain of getting work here, although there is a chance, especially if you can speak Russian. Having learned German will be an excellent advantage. Some ski schools don’t take instructors who can’t speak German, and others favour their German-speaking instructors.
If you're a snowboard instructor, you should be aware that getting work for a full season is sometimes tricky as a lot of snowboarders are young and can only come skiing during the school/college holidays.
How much will I earn as a ski/snowboard instructor?
About € 1 000 per month.
Where will I live if I work as a ski/snowboard instructor?
The ski schools have houses for instructors. This can be student-type accommodation with shared bathrooms and kitchens. It costs about from € 70 per month. Again, this cannot be guaranteed but generally the ski schools help instructors looking for accommodation.
How long is the season?
From just before Christmas to about mid to end of March. Please note: you should be available to work over Christmas.
Can I come back to DIT for further German courses after the end of the season?
Certainly! You’d be very welcome. We are open all year and you can begin your course on any Monday. “Graduates” of the Gap Year Programme will be offered the reduced course price for long term students.
I’m a good skier but a complete beginner at German, can I take the course?
Yes. The course is open to students of all standards. Your German ought to be good enough after 8 weeks of intensive learning. 2-4 lesson hours a day (depending on size of group), 5 days a week, concentrating on only one subject is very intense, and you should expect to make good progress.
My German’s excellent, but I’ve never skied – can I take the course?
This course is designed to teach you to teach. You should be a good skier already.
If you’ve never skied in your life ever, then it would be advisable to pay for private lessons for two or three weeks before the course begins to get you up to standard and to make sure you enjoy it! You could then decide whether you wanted to try for the instructors’ exam or not. If you wanted to stay in Kitzbühel after the course, during the season doing other types of work, then October and November are the months to start looking. There is plenty of bar/hotel type work advertised in the local papers at this time, and DIT staff would be very happy to help you. You shouldn’t expect to earn more than about € 500 per month.
How much progress in German should I expect to make in 8 weeks?
The “progress” question is always the hardest to answer. A lot depends on how hard you work, your aptitude for languages, your attendance record etc. At DIT, we have very small classes, never more than 6 students per class, which means that you progress much faster than usual.
How much “pocket money “will I need per week?
You pay for your own lunch. In Kaprun, this will be on the mountain, and in Kitzbühel most people go to the supermarket and buy filled rolls, yoghurt, fruit etc for lunch. You also pay for Sunday dinner. Apart from this it’s a matter of how much beer you drink, newspapers, souvenirs etc. In Kaprun, you may have to pay for the bus between your accommodation and the glacier in October. As this is always payable in very small amounts of cash, it was not really practical to include this in the total price for the course. € 100 per week is probably enough.
What should I bring?
Bedding is provided in all accommodation, but bring a towel as you might need it in Kaprun. Bring all your own ski gear as none is provided. You should reckon with all weather conditions. Bring a good coat and shoes for the evenings, swimming kit, gym kit, 2 notebooks for lessons, a dictionary and coloured pens.
How dangerous is the programme?
Skiing/snowboarding anywhere could result in injury, but glacier skiing/snowboarding is not more dangerous than on ordinary pistes. It doesn’t look any different and the gradients are rated in the same way.
If you have any further questions, please email Hans on firstname.lastname@example.org