Rachel is in her second year of a biomedical sciences degree at Newcastle University. Rachel took her gap year with SnowSkool from January to March before starting university. The qualifications she achieved on the course led to a job with the British Ski Racing Academy in Australia, for the Australian winter season. She has used her qualifications to coach the university ski race teams on the local dry ski slopes.
What was your motivation in applying?
I had been skiing for quite a long time but I wanted to do something different and get a qualification. I wanted to learn how to instruct, and it made sense to go out and get the qualifications at same time.
What did the application process involve?
Quite simply, I rang up the guy who ran it and asked him what it was all about. The skiing group was split into two sides: those who had done some skiing and those who had done quite a lot. There was no particular application form to fill in.
What did you do?
Normally, we would start in the morning on the mountain skiing, trying to improve our techniques. Then, we would do some instructions; within the group we would take turns and teach different parts of lessons. We had three exams to do and each one was about three to four days long.
How did you sell the experience on your CV?
I have been working with the university ski race teams and I am hoping to get work at the dry ski slope next year. I have gained leadership skills and the ability to work with other people.
Did you enjoy it?
It was absolutely fantastic! My brother is going to do it next year because I have spoken about it so much.
What did you learn?
A lot of it was learning to work as part of a team. It improved my confidence and made coming into freshers’ week a lot easier.
I made some really good friends that I’ve kept in contact with. Everyone is out there to do the same thing and really enjoy themselves.
Some days the weather was really bad. It could be minus 40, but we’d still be out on the mountain.
Advice to readers?
Go for it. You come out with a qualification you can use and you get the chance to travel.