IASI Gap Course

Saariselkä Ski & Sport Resort has an exciting new training package for future ski instructors! This course is an 83 day programme (within UK to EU Visa Free travel allowances) and includes everything you need to become a ski instructor qualified through the Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors (IASI). The course content will all be delivered in English but anyone is welcome to join, from any nationality! 

Our IASI Gap Course includes:  

  • Saariselkä Ski & Sport Resort Kombo Season Pass (Includes rental and lift access) 
  • 5 days a week of activities 
  • 20 Full days of ski training  
  • IASI Level 1 and 2 exam weeks  
  • Ski School experience (20 shadow + 70 individual)  
  • First Aid training and certificate 
  • IASI Membership 
  • Child Protection Course 
  • Accommodation for duration of stay 
  • Other activities throughout the course including Snowmobiling and Husky sledding
  • Christmas in Lapland and Northern Lights Guaranteed! 

More information (including pricing, dates): info@skisaariselka.fi 

About the IASI Gap Course 

At Saariselkä Ski & Sport Resort our fantastic team will give you all of the knowledge and skills required to confidently start your career in the snowsports industry. Our course coordinator Tommy will be the main point of contact and available throughout your time in Saariselkä to make ensure a smooth stay. Tommy will deliver the on snow and some off snow training and organise all the other activities you take on.  

“I’m really excited to be delivering such a fantastic product to like-minded people interested in starting their snowsports career. Skiing has been my passion for nearly 20 years and it gives me great pleasure to be able to pass the baton on to those new to the industry. We all know skiing is a feeling like no other and to have the honour to do this as my job is something I still pinch myself about! I’m looking forward to meeting all of you wonderful people and getting to ski with you soon!” 

Tommy works the ‘summer’ ski season in Australia to keep his skills sharp, but will be contactable to talk in more detail about the course right up until the start date. We will be able to put you directly in contact with him if you have any specialised quiestions. 

What is a Gap Course?  

A gap course is a long term training and qualification programme for anyone wishing to take their first steps into the ski industry as an instructor. They can be anywhere from one month to a full season depending on what the company is providing. It’s named after a ‘gap year’ commonly taken after finishing school and before university. 

Do I need to be Irish?  

Nope! IASI welcome members from all over the globe and boasts a multi-national system allowing them to draw experiences from members to create the best content possible. Any nationality is welcome to join the course as long as you have strong English language skills. 

Who is it aimed at?  

Even though its named after a gap year, the course is aimed at anyone, any age! Skiing is also a great way to keep busy during retirement or as a career gap or change completely! It’s a great first step into the ski industry.  

How good at skiing do I need to be? 

As a training course, you obviously don’t need to be a perfect skier when you come and join us. However, we require a minimum standard of linked, paralell turns on blue/red terrain. This will give you the best chance at passing the course without needing extra support throughout. If you’re unsure, send us a video of your skiing and we can help decide if we think this is the right course for you! 

What if I dont have my own equipment?  

Personal equipment is recommended, but not required. As part of the course fees you will get a kombo season pass. This allows you to use our equipment in the rental store for the duration of the course. If you do have equipment, if your equipment gets damaged and needs some time to be repaired there won’t be any extra costs. The kombo pass also allows you to try different manufacturers, models and specifications of skis throughout the season to see what you enjoy skiing the best and can allow you to make informed decisions about any potential future purchases! 

Is it super intense or quite easy? 

As with anything involving exams, work is required to learn, progress and ultimately meet the standards required. However, the ski industry is not quite your standard work industry, clients come expecting fun as they’re on their holidays and so fun as at the core of everything we do! You can expect many amazing memories, laughter and lifelong friends.  

Why Saariselkä?  

Finland is one of the most beautiful, natural, untouched landscapes in the world, and Saariselkä is in a prime location. Being located in the far north, it may seem difficult to get to but regular flights go to Rovaniemi (3hrs by bus) direct from the UK and 1 stop flights to Ivalo (30 mins by bus). As a popular tourist destination Saariselkä is set up to accept international visitors and is a fantastic place to spend a few months! 

But what about the weather? 

Being located in the Arctic Circle, the temperatures are low. However, with the correct equipment and layering it is completely manageable, just ask the thousands of international tourists we get every season! The temperatures also work in our favour as the snow is some of the highest quality and most consistent in the world, this means you can be sure of fantastic skiing throughout the duration of the course. And of course, Northern Lights viewing are guaranteed! 

Isn’t the resort tiny?  

Don’t get thrown off looking at the statistics for our resort. It may be small, but it’s mighty! Most people will generally ski the same 10 – 15 runs in a resort when they take trips anyway! The terrain here in Saariselkä is more than enough for a course of this nature, with steep pitches and long wide blue terrain there is everything we need. I’m still finding new, secret locations every time I go for a ski! 

What about the town, are there other experiences?  

Yet again, Saariselkä is small but mighty. In the town we have a bowling club and multiple restaurants and bars offering quizzes, bingo and karaoke! In Ivalo (30 minutes by car or bus) there is a cinema and a sports club where trips are often taken by staff. If cross-country skiing is your thing, there are hundreds of kilometers to explore and if it isn’t your thing, Saariselkä won’t take long to convince you it should be!

Read more about the IASI SnowSports.

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