Home Lifestyle The real Chalet Girl: What is a ski season really like?
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The real Chalet Girl: What is a ski season really like?

The real Chalet Girl: What is a ski season really like?
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Taking some time out of your busy schedule to work a ski season could possibly be one of the greatest times of your life. Thoughts of endless days of skiing, picturesque views, making new friends and plenty of drinking is probably what comes to mind when you think of a ski season. It can be all too easy to fantasise over what you imagine it to be like, and it’s therefore beneficial to do research before you go to avoid being disappointed. A ski season comes with plenty of pros and cons, and these range depending on what type of ski season you decide to take part in. Overall though, the pros will most definitely outweigh the cons and it’s important you make the right choices regarding what you do in order to get the best possible experience for yourself.

Destination

First of all, ski seasons vary depending on where it is you decide to work. For most Brits, they’re faced with a choice: Europe or North America. There’s pros and cons for both destinations, but the most popular among Brits is Europe, most commonly France, due to the higher demand of jobs. Despite the obvious pros of working in North America — including travelling halfway across the world and experiencing a new culture — it  would also mean that you’d have to obtain a Visa in order to be able to work there. Obviously there is no language barrier in North America, which can often be a problem with working in Europe. However, this may not be a problem with some ski resorts in Europe that need to cater to the high influx of British tourists they receive.

Type of job

Experiences in a ski season vary according to what type of job you decide to do. Jobs include; chalet hosts, tour reps, waiters, bartenders, hotel staff, childcare and many more. Working as a waiter or a bartender would mean working in the night and would therefore allow you to ski during the day in your free time. If you’re planning on being able to ski a lot, then this is probably the best option for you. Being a chalet host is also a popular job; it requires you to cook for guests and also clean their chalet which leaves you time for skiing in the daytime. The downside, however, is that you’ll also be required to wake up at around 7am to cook breakfast for your guests and ensure that you are always positive and friendly.

Wages

Wages vary according to type of job and also which resort you are working at. They are typically low due to the resorts trying to cut costs and on average, a chalet host will be paid around £100-150 a week. However, this also usually includes accommodation, food, a lift pass and ski hire which is actually a pretty nifty deal if you add up all of the costs. The majority of people that have worked on the slopes have emphasised how the experiences you gain are a lot more valuable than the financial aspect of working.

Accommodation

If you’re the type of person to flinch at sharing a room with people then you may have to re-think doing a ski season. Let’s face it- the accommodation is free so it’s not going to be luxurious. Your privacy might be limited, but it’s most probably going to be fun being around people 24/7 and being able to relax together at night. There’s likely to be limited space in your accommodation, but considering the fact that you’ll be busy working and partying — does this really matter?

The social side

It’s commonly known that the best part of doing a ski season is the amazing people you will meet. People that you’ve never met before may turn out to be some of your greatest friends by the time the season is up. Not only will you be working alongside these people, but you’ll also get to party together in the evenings; some resorts even make it so all staff have the same day off so that you can all spend your free time together!

Mairead Nolan Studying English Literature at University of Leeds

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