Stefanie left her corporate office job in Switzerland and moved to New Zealand to become a snowboard instructor. Read Stephanie's story of her winter living in Queenstown in the Q&A below.
What were you doing before your snowboard instructor internship?
Before the EA Ski and Snowboard program I had a typical 9-5 office job back home. I wasn’t fully happy in my job and was always living for the weekend. I hated constantly being in the office all the time. I knew I had to change something. I spend a lot of time outdoors doing different sports back home in Switzerland so I already had a quite adventurous and active lifestyle. But I was spending half my time at a desk, and wanted to turn my hobby of snowboarding into a career. That is when I decided to look up for a snowboard instructor training course. As winter in the Northern Hemisphere was just about to finish, I looked up for some places in New Zealand and that is when I found the EA Ski and Snowboard program in Queenstown. Why not jump from a winter season to the next winter season? So I took the plunge, quit my job, and moved to New Zealand.
How did you find the snowboard instructor course?
The moment I arrived in the EA Ski and Snowboard accommodation in Queenstown I felt very welcomed and excited. We had such a cool mix of different nationalities in our group. The fact that everyone wanted to have a great season experience connected us from the beginning. Everyone enjoyed the training so much. The training was really good, everyone could change some bad habits and get better every day. The EA instructors were incredibly good and they could really adapt to everyone's needs. With the possibility of a season pass, we just spend almost every day on the mountain to work on ourselves, our skills, and to strive to improve to help to pass our instructor exams.
How was the instructor exam?
The time and effort to the exam was quite intense with training. As we spent almost every day on snow, our bodies got tired but as soon as we passed our exams life got a bit more chill and we finally could enjoy the Queenstown nightlife to the fullest.
What’s it like being a snowboard instructor?
Life as a snowboard instructor is amazing. The daily snow and nature dose makes everyday special and full-filling. It is physically intense but all the reward you get from the ski school class is totally worth it. As my season has come to end, I immediately decided to do another season back in Switzerland. Who knows maybe I am coming back to New Zealand for the 2024 ski season? The lifestyle is just too good!
What was the highlights of your ski season?
There were so many highlights every day. The mountains were great to “shred“ down, Queenstown the city itself had such a cool ski vibe, the nightlife was amazing but basically the biggest highlight for me was to ski during “summer“ in a totally new place far away from home. Thanks to EA Ski and Snowboard!