Snowsports Internship or Instructor Training – which course should you take?

Share the story

Story category

Advanced Ski Camp - Coronet Peak August 2021

Deciding which course to take can be tricky, especially with the varied options offered by SITCo. We have internships for unqualified skiers right through to those wanting to go to Level 3. We also offer 5 and 10 week ski instructor training programs.


Whilst the level of qualification doesn’t necessarily need to direct your decision, it should have some bearing. If you already have some form of snowsports internship or instructor training qualification, you may have a desire to gain more experience based on what you already know of the industry. Whereas, if you are unqualified, you may be a little unsure if you want to dive straight into the lion’s den. 

If you are unqualified but have had some form of coaching or teaching experience, this guide may help in making the right decision.

One of the biggest factors to consider choosing the right course is how much time you have available. The internship program for all levels begins in June and runs through late August or early September. So, taking this course requires a longer time commitment.

The five and ten week ski instructor training programs are shorter in duration and therefore more appealing to those with limited time. The five week course in particular is designed as a shorter more intense program specifically aimed to those with time constraints.


If time isn’t an overriding concern when choosing your course, then ask yourself the following questions to help make your decision.

  • What is my goal for the season? If your goal is to become qualified and gain experience in the industry, then head down the snowsports internship road. If you just want to gain qualifications or if the answer to this question is, “I don’t really know”, then the ten week training program is the way to go. This course offers a less pressured environment and gives you plenty of time to develop and improve, while also giving you a preview of what the industry is about.
  • Which course will get me the most training and snow time? Both snowsports internship or instructor training courses have a set number of days training. The differences are how the courses are structured. The internships begin with some training (and an exam for those not qualified) before moving into the work phase and finishes with a block of training to prepare for exams. The ten week ski training program has three set days of training each week. Which then gives you four non-training days to go out and ski and snowboard to your hearts content (apart from a five day exam mid-course and an eight day exam at the end). So, while the internship is a longer program it probably has a little less free time than the training program.
  • Will earning some money make life in Queenstown easier? The simple answer to this is yes. However, as long as you have the legal right to work in NZ, with a working holiday visa, residency visa, or citizenship, you can find work. It’s important to note: the internship program has work included. Many participants in the training program have found part time work in Queenstown and have been able to balance training and work effectively.
  • Which course will benefit my future the most? The internship gives you one thing the training program can’t – experience! So, if you’re looking to build a career in the snowsports industry, then experience, especially with a well-respected New Zealand company, is invaluable.


If you still have questions as to which course is best for you, contact us for a chat. We are contactable via phone, WhatsApp, Facebook, email or if you’re in Queenstown already, we can meet for a chat.


This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.