Pre Season Frequently Asked Questions

The count down is on! Check out these commonly asked questions to better prepare yourself for the epic season ahead!

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Orientation & Documents

What documents am I required to send to EA?

As stated in your placement email, we require a CV or resume aimed towards applying for a ski or snowboard instructor job. Please use the formatted CV template here. We also require you to submit two written character references from an employer/supervisor/manager or a school reference. If these are not available, please ask someone that knows you well (not a relative) to be your referee. The reference should be on the letterhead. While we have no set format for this your referee may like to include the following information:

• The capacity in which they know you
• How long they have known you
• Your strengths
• Your communication skills
• If they would recommend you as an employee
• Anything they consider important
• Their name and contact details

Please submit these documents as soon as you can. Once we have received these, they will be forwarded to the ski school where you will be working. Please make sure your contact details are up to date with EA as the ski school may contact you for an interview. Some resorts require you to submit a copy of your passport, this can be a clear scan or photograph and will be specified if needed. Note: if you are a training program participant, the CV and references are not necessary as you will not be working after your training and exams are completed.

You are also required to submit your flight details to EA once they have been arranged. Please send this information to, in the following form:
Flight number:

What additional documents are needed for Japan?

Canyons ski school requires its instructors to hold a valid first aid certification including a CPR element prior to arrival in resort. If you would like any assistance finding a supplier in the coming months, reach out to us, and we can help. We would generally advise an official 2-day outdoor first aid course which includes a CPR element. However, a one-day course will suffice provided it has a CPR element. A good starting point is to check out Red Cross and St John as they offer a range of courses in most countries.

To drive in Japan, you need an international driving permit in addition to your valid driver’s license. This must be obtained before travelling to Japan. Many ski schools require their instructors to drive for work purposes, so we strongly recommend getting your IDP if you can. Please note: you will only be able to obtain an IDP if you already have a valid drivers license. In Japan, the only accepted forms of identification are your passport or an international driving permit. We recommend getting an international driving permit to reduce the risk of losing/ damaging your passport.

Do I need to plan anything for the orientation?

For every country the orientation is a little different, not to worry, this is planned out for you! Your program manager will greet you at the airport. Transportation, accommodation, and a meal will be provided. During the orientation, our program manager will assist you with bank accounts, tax numbers, onboarding forms, etc. The orientation is the first time you really get to meet your new mates for the season! If you are not attending the orientation, please reach out to your program manager to set a meeting time and place to join the group. Please remember to send your flight number, date and time to EA, this way we can organise transportation for you. You can communicate these details to

What documents do I need for arrival in resort?

Upon arrival at the resort, it would be a good idea to have a copy of your visa, passport, insurance, and another form of driver’s license, these documents may be used for onboarding forms.

Pre-Season Planning

How do I purchase new equipment for the season?

If you have equipment already- bring it, this will relieve the pressure of finding gear when you arrive, and you can always upgrade later! Your program manager will be able to offer guidance and advice upon arrival on the best skis or snowboard to buy. In most resorts, the program manager will arrange a group gear session at a local sports shop, and as a trainee instructor, you will receive a store discount too. Not sure about what gear you need? Read the EA Equipment guide blog here. Feel free to post on the resort specific Facebook group about equipment, and someone may have the same question.

What do I need to know about my seasonal accommodation?

We organise accommodation for all our programs. As part of your internship program, we cover the accommodation cost until the end of your level 1 exam. If you are on a training only program, we cover the accommodation for the full length of your program. For most of our internship programs, the accommodation we organise for your first month involves a longer-term commitment, or option to remain for a more extended period. This means we cover the initial cost and then you pick up the cost from there - in some resorts, this is done monthly while others require an upfront payment before the season. There are exceptions where you are required to move after the initial training period, but this is only in specific resorts, and we assist with finding alternative options.

Why is money management important?

It is important to remember that on any season, money management is essential. During the training portion of any program, you will not be earning an income, be sure to have funds during this time to support yourself. Several things factor into work levels at a resort, for example, snow conditions, weather, and business levels. Work levels will be high during holidays, after which there may be a significant drop-off. Planning your financial situation ahead of time will help keep money worries at bay and make the most of your season! Check out our tips on how to live within your budget here.

Will I have pre-season communication with the ski school?

Once the ski schools receive your documentation, they may decide to have a preseason interview over Skype or an in-resort interview during the training period. Follow these interview tips and advice to help send it in the interview. Remember to put your best boot forward, first impressions are important.

Where can I get assistance with the visa application process?

The visa application process can be daunting, but don’t fret our training consultants are happy to help and they have a lot of experience with this. Keep an eye out for an email about visa assistance, read this carefully, sometimes an overlooked detail can mean the visa will be denied and make the process a bit stickier.

What communication platform will I use prior to and during my season?

Each resort will have a private Facebook group, you will be invited to this group closer to the start of the season, it is essential to be part of this group! We will be using this platform to post information and important reminders before and during the season. Joining the Facebook group is a good way for you to get to know your program manager and other course participants before the season kicks off!

What is a webinar and why should I watch them?

A webinar is a live online video, it is an educational and instructive session. There is an option to post questions for us to answer during the webinar in real-time. We will be conducting webinars in the lead up to the season. We will be posting about the webinars to give you a heads up on when they will be taking place, and where they will be uploaded to watch later. These webinars are helpful to get you prepared for the season to come and the best chance to get any questions answered!

Things To Keep In Mind

What can I expect from training and exams?

The training and exam period consists of high intensity and long days. It is essential to sleep and eat well to give yourself the ability to perform your best. During training, there is a combination of indoor and outdoor sessions. You will learn and improve your riding and teaching ability. The schedule will be laid out by your ski school managers and trainers. Remember to exhibit professional behaviour and focus on your goals.

What governing body will I be certified under?

The resort ski school trainers will train you, but the exam is done by an external body. Most snow focused nations have their own governing body. We work with these different governing bodies in our various countries/resorts to provide the most suitable qualifications for your employment within the ski school. Every single one of our courses uses a highly respected, internationally recognised qualification. For your specific resort, check out the resort page on our website for more information.

Who will I be in contact with from the ski school?

Your program manager will be your main point of contact during your winter season, they are often employed as an instructor at the resort and will know the ins and outs of your workplace (alongside the EA program of course). You can go to your program manager for personal or program-related matters. You will also have communication with the ski school manager; they will handle anything contractual and work-related, but for smaller questions about these areas the program manager is an excellent point of contact and will know about other things ski school/employment-related.

Who will I be in contact with from EA?

There are several contacts at EA that you will be in communication with before and during your season. Your first point of contact will have been with a training consultant. Either Ray, Alex, Tristan or Ashley will have taken you through a pre-screening process and found you the resort that would fit your goals and needs. Prior to and during your season, you will have contact with Katie and Chris, they help with organising details of your season and making sure you feel prepared and supported. Our team is here to make sure this is an epic season. Please feel free to contact any of them through Facebook or email at any stage.

How does the guaranteed job offer work?

There are several conditions associated with the guaranteed job offer. These conditions include passing the level 1 exam, abiding by the applicable terms of employment (just like all other staff) and showing the required professional attitude and application during the training period. With some resorts, there are also specific conditions such as requesting a first aid certification, which we will discuss with you if applicable to your resort. The job is there waiting for you, remember to put in the effort!

Next Steps

What should I do to ensure I am set up for future seasons?

The snowsports industry stretches across many ski school and countries, but it is also a small network of people. You’ll soon see, everyone knows everyone! This is an employment opportunity and can open up doors for seasons to come, making a good impression is critical for a successful season. Being on time, professional, hygienic, positive, helpful and a solid effort will ensure you have a strong season. Your trainers and ski school staff can assist with references and contacts for other ski schools. We have included some tips to help with this! When resorts begin their hiring process for the following season, we will be conducting a webinar to assist with landing a job. Check out our resort re-hire guide here.

How do I sign up for further certification(s)?

We love to hear that our interns are setting goals and working towards something. First off, we recommend talking to your ski school manager regarding additional training, this often happens in the resort. Next, it’s a good idea to speak with your trainers to make sure your abilities are on the right track and what could be improved. We recommend researching dates on your governing body website. You’ll have an account in which you use to sign up for an additional exam. This process is new for most of you, please reach out to your program manager or an EA team member, and we can point you in the right direction.

How will I transition into work after the exam?

Once you have successfully passed your level 1 exam, you may take part in something called shadowing. Shadowing is an opportunity to observe an experienced instructor in a lesson. This is a useful tool to set yourself up for your role as a snowsports instructor. You will be able to learn teaching methods of other instructors and build up a catalogue of ideas and general understanding. Shadowing is an excellent way to transition smoothly into your new role. During quiet periods of the season, when you may not have a lesson, we recommend you request to shadow other instructors on their lessons. There is always something to learn, and this will show the ski school your initiative and enthusiasm!

Watch Our Instructor Review Videos

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Colin In Grouse Snow School Manager

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Tom In Lake Louise, Canada

"The thing I like most about being an instructor is the ability to be able to teach on the mountain on a daily basis."

Charlie In Shiga Kogen, Japan

"I wanted to do the EA program, in Shiga Kogen, to experience the Japow and develop my skiing ability as well as experiencing a new culture."

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