Interski Gap Year Student 2017/18 – Dan Cordeschi’s experience…
October 28, 2018
I found out about the Interski Gap course after doing some research online. I’d heard from friends that the Aosta Valley is one of the best places to ski in Europe and it certainly did not disappoint. Being based in Aosta itself, we had access to all the common comforts that a large town provides, and Pila was only a fifteen-minute gondola ride from just outside the centre. Pila itself was a great ski resort for a course like this, with ample runs of all levels to get the miles in before the exams. Plus, when we were feeling a bit more adventurous, there were plenty of off-piste bowls and tree runs (just make sure not to get too friendly with the trees like I did).
The hotel staff were beyond friendly and simply could not do enough for us. Every morning we were greeted with a smile from the breakfast lady. Within two weeks she had already memorised everyone’s coffee preferences and brought them out without us even having to ask. The lady at the front desk was always there to help with literally anything, from needing a towel to getting the TV to work. Living in the hotel for over two months meant it really did become a home for us. On Christmas morning we all huddled around the Christmas tree in the hotel foyer and opened our secret Santa gifts that we had bought each other. The hotel staff had become family to us. Saying goodbye as the course came to an end was certainly a teary occasion.
Regarding Interski itself, the Resort Team was so friendly and welcomed us into their group with open arms. Any questions we had about gear, teaching or even the best places to go out in town were gladly answered. On busy weekends we also got to work in ski hire, fitting boots for literally hundreds of kids on Interski’s School Ski Trip programme. This not only provided great work experience but also gave us additional spending money (mostly on Friday-night drinks).
In terms of my peers on the Gap course, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people. Being the only Australian in the group, I was quite nervous about how well I would integrate amongst the Brits. Nonetheless, everyone quickly moved past my weird accent and, after living and skiing together for three months, many long-lasting friendships were made. Dinner was always a group occasion (once we’d decided where to go among the range of restaurants to choose from), and it was a great time for us to catch up. Aside from the late night antics in the bars of Aosta, of which there were many, even in our downtime we’d still chill together and usually watch a movie in someone’s room.
Training was something I looked forward to every day. The trainers managed to create an atmosphere that was relaxed, with heaps of fun and banter, while still keeping us focused on improving our skiing and teaching for the BASI exams. This was a testament to their experience and skill as instructors, as well as the fact that they genuinely cared about helping us achieve our potential.
While every BASI instructor has a different approach to assessment, I felt adequately prepared for both Level 1 and 2 and I knew roughly what to expect. There certainly weren’t any major surprises.
As a newly-qualified instructor, the first time having a group of clients that have never skied before was always going to be daunting. Nonetheless, with the experience of shadowing other Interski instructors and the help of the Interski Resort Team, the transition from client to instructor was made as smooth and easy as possible.
In summary, I can’t recommend the course enough!
For further information about the Interski Gap Year Course visit https://www.interski.co.uk/Academy/gap.php