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How does an American become a Canadian Ski instructor?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi Epic,

 

I don't post here often, but I read the forums a lot for advice. I'm an American and I'm hoping to get my PSIA level I this season with at least 60+ hours of instructing. My dream is to bum around B.C. as a PT ski instructor. Does anyone know what the best way to get to canada is? I'm going to have a tough time getting there without a work permit or a ton of cash (to show I can support myself, some requirement if I don't have a job offer). I can't get a job offer from the resort because, they don't give them out, some policy they all have. I'm sure some of you have been in this situation before, how did you make it over to the great white north?

 

Thanks for your help, and any advice!

 

PS. I'm hoping Canada because I like the chill mentality.

post #2 of 20

Welcome to Epic!

 

I've heard it is hard in general to get work permits for Canada, but only anecdotally.  It is unlikely they will give you one to be a part-time ski bum, especially without a job offer.  If it's anything like the US, there is no shortage of people wanting to work as a part-time instructor.

 

Honestly, I would suggest saving up some money and just slumming it for a while on a tourist visa.  If you want to "bum around", you probably don't want to be tied to one resort anyway, or potentially forced to work on powder days.

 

If you really want to instruct internationally, you may need to get a higher level of certification (or at least more experience) before they will be interested in talking to you.

post #3 of 20

Teach in a border state and jump across the border from time to time for fun, but not to work.  I would suspect that Montana, Idaho, and Washington would give you experiences similar to those you would get in B.C.

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotsoffun View Post

Does anyone know what the best way to get to canada is? I'm going to have a tough time getting there without a work permit or a ton of cash (to show I can support myself, some requirement if I don't have a job offer). I can't get a job offer from the resort because, they don't give them out, some policy they all have.

 I usually get to Canada in a motor vehicle of some kind, although I did fly into Calgary once.

 

You aren't going to get a work permit to be a ski instructor. Period. There are plenty of Canadians who want to be ski instructors; they don't need minimally qualified people from South of the Border. There is a government Human Resources department that controls whether a temporary work permit can be issued for a particular job with a particular employer. You can't get some kind of generic one allowing you to work for a variety of employers. I got one when I came north because I'm an engineer. They need engineers.

 

Anyway, that's why the resort isn't going to give you a job offer. They couldn't sponsor you in even if they wanted to. If you had a Level 3 and considerable experience, a big resort (e.g., Whistler) might be willing to make a case for insufficient local talent of the desired skill level. It helps if you speak Japanese fluently. French is good, too, of course. The L1 won't do it.

 

Most (not all) ski areas will then require that you join CSIA. CSIA provides some insurance coverage that the resort may not provide.

 

Then you go to work. You don't free ski, except on your days off. You don't "bum around." You work. You teach children. You teach beginners. You pick them up when they fall down and you pull up their socks and you buckle their boots and you wipe their noses. You go to clinics and discover that you don't actually ski as well as you thought you did. If you go anywhere except your home area, you have to buy lift tickets like everyone else. (I am very much aware that certified instructors are often comped or given substantial discounts in the States, but the practice is far less common in Canada.)

 

Despite the length of time I've been in Canada, I still hold a current PSIA L3. Even so, I came to Canada as an engineer, not as a ski instructor.

 

I've had a CSIA membership, but since I don't teach here, I've dropped it.

 

I am now a dual citizen. If I wanted to teach, I could join CSIA and teach. Or I could drive down to Schweitzer every weekend and teach. But to move directly into ski instruction in Canada from the US with a L1? Ain't gonna happen.

 

So live in Sandpoint or Whitefish or somewhere, and, as Posaune says, go to Canada occasionally to ski. Cost of living is lower in the US anyway. Save your money. Buy a standby day on a snow cat if you can afford it.

post #5 of 20

As for Whitefish, they were hiring instructors months back.  I know because they approached my daughter back in August about it, but the race team has been spun off from the mountain and she prefers race coaching to being a babysitter (L 1 duty).  I haven't seen any instructor openings posted in months.  There is some kind of events person that builds stuff for the events, but it sounds like you work x hours and get paid with a pass.  

 

Last time I looked in the Help Wanted in the newspaper, there were 8 job openings, three delivering the newspaper, a nurse, a commercial truck driver, some jobs in Wyoming and something else.  Of course, the daughter tells me no one posts jobs in the newspaper anymore...

 

 

Quote:

  Commit to a predetermined event schedule of various events throughout the season to offset the price of a seasons pass. 

·         Be punctual and prepared to work outside on snow for 4-8 hours per shift. 

·         Assist with the production of events including registration, course set up and tear down, timing, gate judging, course maintenance, assistance with timing, transporting results, and/or other event related duties as needed.  Training for each specific duty will be provided on the job. 

 

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

thanks for the advice, guys. i talked to whistler and revelstoke and it seemed like a person with PSIA level I AND some teaching experience is quite useful, I think my biggest issue will be that pesky work visa. so i will prolly have to go about this diff. maybe i'll spend a season around colo/maine or VT first.

 

saving money sounds good, i just dont want to deal with corporate jagoffs but i guess thats life, huh

post #7 of 20

Even with your level 1, you will not get a work visa. Canada makes it damn near impossible to get work when you have a USA passport.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

iWill, yea wtf is up with that? I was looking at this IEC program that canada has now which is like a working holiday visa for young persons of other countries. guess which countries are on the short list, i'll just mention a few:

 

australia

chile

costa rica

czech republic

hong kong

MEXICO

slovenia

ukraine

UK

 

source:http://www.international.gc.ca/experience/intro_incoming-intro_entrant.aspx?view=d

 

the fucking nerve of these canadians to SKIP US AND GO TO MEXICO, wth? why don't you want me canada???

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotsoffun View Post

iWill, yea wtf is up with that? I was looking at this IEC program that canada has now which is like a working holiday visa for young persons of other countries. guess which countries are on the short list, i'll just mention a few:

 

australia

chile

costa rica

czech republic

hong kong

MEXICO

slovenia

ukraine

UK

 

source:http://www.international.gc.ca/experience/intro_incoming-intro_entrant.aspx?view=d

 

the fucking nerve of these canadians to SKIP US AND GO TO MEXICO, wth? why don't you want me canada???


Because your government is not part of the working holiday system, young Canadians (or people from any other country) can't come and work in the states, why should you be allowed to go there? I've instructed in a lot of countries, and the U.S. was the most difficult to get a visa for (uncertainty, long processing times, 5 hour waits at the embassy), and now hardly any resorts are giving visas, because they became to expensive.

 

post #10 of 20

jhcoooly hit it right on the head.

I am Canadian living in the USA and unless you have needed skills for Canada or the USA it'[s actually very hard to work in our neighboring country.

I do find it odd that Canada and the US both will let people from countries apply and receive an unskilled Visa under several classifications but do not do the same for each other.

My wife lives in the US with me but even she can not work here ( also Canadian). She goes back to Canada and teaches skiing in the winters, hey maybe you two can just trade passports?? ( you got long hair?).

If you have a full time job with an American company with an office in Canada and you have a skill they need in Canada you could apply for an L1 A or B visa and begin the road down to permanent status in Canada. You would not be allowed however to work outside of your "skill "vocation until you had received permanent status from the Canadian government.

This is costly and can take several years. (upside is if the need exists for the company you work for they will pay).

Cheaper and faster and easier to just get your passport or enhanced drivers license and go ski in Canada (you may even find lodging with folk on here) You do not need a large sum of cash to cross into Canada just tell them at the boarder what you game plan is, ie I'm going skiing for 3 weeks at ....... and will be going home after that . Its all you need to tell them usually.

 

Have fun

post #11 of 20

Learn to drink stronger beerbeercheer.gif

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim. View Post




Because your government is not part of the working holiday system, young Canadians (or people from any other country) can't come and work in the states, why should you be allowed to go there?



^^^ This.  Because of too much paranoia, (i.e. every one wants to move to the USA and steal your jobs), your government does not make the USA a friendly country to get into; visa hoops and feral customs staff . 

 

 

post #13 of 20
Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Boot View Post
 

... just tell them at the boarder what you game plan is,

 

 


Couldn't help but laugh at your misspelling, because my mind conjured up the following.....

 

Tourist:  Hi, I'd like to enter Canada to go skiing.

 

Crossing agent: Yo duuude... those are sweet looking sticks on your roof.  Where ya gonna shred, man?

 

Tourist:  Huh?

 

Crossing agent:  Like me and my buds just got back from ripping the gnar at Revy. Whatta stoke, man.  You're so lucky to be headed up.

 

Tourist: I'm sorry?

 

Crossing agent: (insert further boarder comments here....)

 

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Learn to drink stronger beerbeercheer.gif



Stronger? Canadian beer is a lot weaker than the stuff brewed in this neighborhood.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post



Stronger? Canadian beer is a lot weaker than the stuff brewed in this neighborhood.


Not if you drink the good micro brew stuff for like $15 a six packeek.gif

 

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post



Stronger? Canadian beer is a lot weaker than the stuff brewed in this neighborhood.


Not if you drink the good micro brew stuff for like $15 a six packeek.gif

 


Actually, in my experience, the micro brews that are made in Canada are few and far between when compared to those found south of the border.  They also tend toward being weak and tasteless, though there are exceptions.

 

post #17 of 20

^^^^^^I am a real IPA snob and did find a really good one last summer.  I can't remember the brand, but it was a full on IPA for sure in the vein of a Sierra Nevada Torpedo.

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

America doesn't want to share its borders with other country's young professionals? . . . shoulda seen that coming. Well, damn, maybe I will just live in seattle for a while, i guess I could always attempt the education route to immigration. I will ski bum though! this i know. might have to be colorado, what a shame :P

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post


Actually, in my experience, the micro brews that are made in Canada are few and far between when compared to those found south of the border. 


Population density maybe

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post


Actually, in my experience, the micro brews that are made in Canada are few and far between when compared to those found south of the border. 


Population density maybe

I was comparing Vancouver to Bellingham.

 


 

 

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