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US instructors in Europe?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Where can US instructors teach in Europe? I have heard they in essence, can't but under certain conditions they can. For instance when I was in Switzerland, I met a gal waiting tables and she said they let her teach groups where the group has requested an American/English speaking instructor. I didn't press her for details ten years ago and it seemed like 95% of the Swiss, Germans and such spoke great English.

Now I know Europe is a big country ... (Bush humor .. .. )

What can and can't you do .. and where ... please comment on restrictions regarding certification as well as visa/work permit issues.

Thanks ..
post #2 of 15
Basically, you need to pass the appropriate exam for the country where you want to teach. A PSIA L III gets you access to ISIA, but that's not enough. You'll need to fill out the cert with the language exam and the race results, at the very least.

This has become pretty much universal. You may be able to convince a ski school to hire you otherwise, but they'd need to indemnify you, basically.
post #3 of 15

teaching in Germany

Yuki, another route to teaching in Europe (Germany) is via the AFRC in Garmisch- Partenkirchen. Yes, I know, you mostly will teach Americans, but it would get your foot in the door to learn the language and get to know a German ski school. With a connection like that it will be easier to go to the German ski instructors' exams.
To work for the AFRC you need to be interviewed and/ or hired in the US. (Years ago you could just show up in Garmisch and get hired.) The website link: http://www.edelweisslodgeandresort.c...plication.html

Leigh Plowman is the "Activity Director" (I don't know his exact title.) He does the hiring for the ski school. (He was just here in Montana for his training as an examiner of PSIA-NRM)

Ursula
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback ..

The reality check in this is that it is all "academic", just scratching an old itch now that I filed my retirement papers on Friday ... they become effective any time after January 1 if I want, but the "trigger date is January 1 of 2009.

The question was generated by the British instructors coming here (thread this week), it hit me hey, if a Brit can teach in France since he seemed to have some kind of International certification, aside from language, where could I teach? What are the technical barriers?
post #5 of 15
Yuki, The situarion is complex but in a nutshell.. ps i dont teach in france at the moment but train there...

France - you Must have an ISIA and pass a slalom race called the Test Technique as well as a language test. This will allow you to work in a sub set of ski schools that are "training centres" (the best known is the ESF but there are others) for 3 years while you work towards your ISTD. The test technique is difficult if you dont have a race background. The ISTD is very difficult if you are an older guy as part of it is a time GS run called the Eurotest which the oldest to EVER have passed that was 46 and an ex racer...

Italy - Is dependent as to what "state" your in. The best known is the Aosta valley region and you can teach for 4 weeks a season if you do a very simple language test (french or italian) and pass a very simple GS race similar to a Nastar race. See www.interski.co.uk for details, they run a large english speaking ski school there and would hire you.

Swiss - is not part of the EU and the easiest place to get work. Like the USA there is no "formal" requirement for a license or certifcate. PSIA L2 or L3 would be able to get work but competition is high as lots of people start on the Euro ladder there to build hours and time while working towards ISIA.

Spain is another option as the regs are not as hard there.

I am not familiar with austria or Germany.
post #6 of 15
What they said.
Plus the problem of being non-euro. You'll have to get a work permit in most countries (what the brits don't need). In France, a Carte de Séjour. Not impossible, but difficult for such a protected instructor job.
AFAIK (which is not that much), I would agree that swiss is your best bet as far as certifications goes. But, OTOH, their work market is not that open.
post #7 of 15
I really don't know. A loong time has passed since, but...
One of my instructor, in my youth, was a young American girl...
She was officially employed by the ski school and taught regular lessons.
Since she wore the "Maestro di Sci" badge she had either passed the examination in Italy and/or she wasalready an instructor with the American licence and had it accepted and "converted" (and thus had a "permesso di soggiorno" which enabled her to live and work).
It was the early to mid '70s, she was speaking Italian well, so she must have either been connected to someone or been living in Italy for a long enough time.
I don't know hwat happened afterwards, had she gone back to the U.S. or what.
I still remember that she had two different foot size, that meant that she had one boot of one size and the other of another, bigger (something like 36 and 38, Italian measures)
One of her drills involved us skiing w/o poles...don't ask me why I remember that. maybe because back then it was a real novelty
Also, those were different times...the class was a mix of children and adults...
How to I rememdber that? I've got a picture, of course (and it's in here, somewhere)!
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well the language barrier would not work in my favor, sadly, I never took any language other than English in school.

An acceptable GS run isn't too far fetched as long as they had a "defib" unit and oxygen at the run out.

Sometimes an old dog just has to scratch an itch. And I failed that Canadian test on the web site? My wife can live in Canada but I can't, her MS degree and being a few years younger gets her in. Needless to say, I didn't tell her because she may do it!

Thanks all ...
post #9 of 15
if it's for that, if your wife can pass the canadian test and go, can't you then reunite with her (I think the Italian law allows that, if a person gets a job and a "permesso di soggiorno" here, he/she can then have her spouse/children to come over an re-unite, legally I mean)
Same happened when I worked in France...I got a "permis de sejour" and, when I married, my wife got one too.
post #10 of 15
My sister went to Austria with about 10 of her friends 2 years ago to become an instructor. About 5 passed the exam but all of them got jobs anyways as ski instructors because there was a need for them..
Funny that you can be a ski instructor without having passed the exam :O Maybe they passed some of the important parts of the exam? - I don't know
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
if it's for that, if your wife can pass the canadian test and go, can't you then reunite with her (I think the Italian law allows that, if a person gets a job and a "permesso di soggiorno" here, he/she can then have her spouse/children to come over an re-unite, legally I mean)
Same happened when I worked in France...I got a "permis de sejour" and, when I married, my wife got one too.
Yes, it works in France too.

If the goal is to broaden your horizons, travel... but not necessarily to earn a good living (you're retiring, right ?) , you should be able to teach as a trainee in a French ski school. But to become a fully certified instructor is a major PITA.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooK View Post
My sister went to Austria with about 10 of her friends 2 years ago to become an instructor. About 5 passed the exam but all of them got jobs anyways as ski instructors because there was a need for them..
Funny that you can be a ski instructor without having passed the exam :O Maybe they passed some of the important parts of the exam? - I don't know
In Austria most ski schools are privatly owned small companies.
They are often in dire need of capable instructors and while they will always try to employ ISIA or Austrian certified instructors (Anwärter, Landes 1 or higher) first I'm pretty sure they'll accept a US degree too.
I'm not sure how strict they are about the language though...
post #13 of 15
I've gone (I think I posted here this same thing some years ago) to the www.fisi.org site (Federazione Italiana Sport Invernali) in there there are information for foreigner ski instructors wishing to teach in Italy.
Alas, there was an English section, which seems to have disappeared...
But, in the Alto Adige/SuedTirol/South Tyrol page of Ski schools, the same informations are reported in English :
http://suedtiroler-skischulen.it/sta...and_20&lang=EN
.
Keep it in mind that knowledge of Italian and German languages is required only in South Tyrol, while, I guess, in Valle d'Aosta they may require knowledge of Italian and French languages (but I found no info about it)
My personal opinion, though, is that with all the "nouveau-riches" Eastern European coming to Italy (Esp to South Tyrol) to spend their winter holyday, knowledge of the English language will become more and more needed.
Another example...Some resorts in my region, Passo Tonale and Foppolo aretwo that come to mind (where the only language requested is Italian, afaik) have, in the recent past, received a lot of Brit snow-tourists. Thanks to the low cost air fares to a close to the mountains airport (Bergamo).
So, if you're really interested, just write to the addresses provided into the above links, for a start. And good luck!
post #14 of 15
Being from the UK I know it's very tough to secure work in France and out of the numerous times i've skied over there i've only come across half a dozen non-french nationals working there.
However, why don't you try Andorra? As far as i'm aware, you need minimum Canadain Level 2 to work there. Have a look on the website www.grandvalira.com and look up any contact details for the ski school there, you never know....
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Nobody, I don't think she has or would consider a move to Canada. She is a few years younger and has her own business and is no where near retirement.

I, on the other hand have started to examine an alternate lifestyle, that is to say, I hate where we live and my idea would be to relocate, not necessarily get divorced, but I have a need to get away from this urban mess we call New Jersey. She on the other hand would remain here for at least awhile.

Thanks all for your comments and at least there is some hope as Grook pointed out, they all got hired, some were just more hired than others.

Making PSIA III is out of the question at my age .. that would take a lot of work and sacrifice. I note that the web pages referenced "the highest level" in your country.
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