Work / Live in Europe during Ski season for a family

Discussion in 'Europe' started by PiggabeenBoarder, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. PiggabeenBoarder

    PiggabeenBoarder Early Days

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    Hi community,

    Just wondering if it's pie in the sky or actually a reasonable idea to look into moving our family to somewhere in Europe for 4 - 6 months to live and work a ski season? We have a 2.5 year old and an almost 5 year old.

    Not too worried about the money side of it; have savings, it's more about the experience, culture and having the kids maybe learn some languages - plus the snowboarding for us!!

    Thinking Austria, Germany or even maybe France.

    Are there websites or organisations that help with this in terms of the process and information.

    Anyone done it and have tips or recommendations, more so around accommodation options for the family and types of work; and on the work side, we have no experience in ski resorts, never worked in one or any type of sales.....but willing to give most things a go, love the hardware and technical side of equipment, tuning, fitting etc. Wife is a school teacher if that helps.

    Thanks in advance for anything even if it's truthfully that it's too hard and/or not really worth it.
     
  2. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

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    Do you really need to work?
     
  3. PiggabeenBoarder

    PiggabeenBoarder Early Days

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    I've no idea but would assume so at least in some sort of capacity...... Would prefer not to but just thought it would be required in order to cover some of the costs. I don't want to treat this as a holiday, happy to keep busy and pay my way somewhat
     
  4. PiggabeenBoarder

    PiggabeenBoarder Early Days

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    Any help out there guys..... it's my first query, did I put it in the wrong area??
     
  5. Hyst

    Hyst One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

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    Working holidays visa or European Union passport? British passport will still work next season.

    https://www.chaletchardons.com/en/home/

    They have some times possibilities for long term stay. Ask.
     
  6. PiggabeenBoarder

    PiggabeenBoarder Early Days

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    Thanks will look into that. Will be Working holidays visa
     
  7. ThisAlpineLife

    ThisAlpineLife First Runs

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    Hi there,
    Awesome decision! If you don't need to work it will most likely be amazing!
    We are a family of 4 from Brisbane, we have done 5 winter seasons in Austria. The 1st when we had 1 child at 18months. Then with two kids at (2 & 5) then (4 & 7) then (5 & 8) and now we live in Austria for 2 years having just done their 5th season.
    We worked the least the when the kids where young and we had an amazing time for the 4-5 months we where in the snow.
    There is no denying that the first month of setting up is always a challenge. Finding affordable long tern accommodation can also be a bit of work. But once you settle in and can enjoy teaching the kids to ski and explore your new living area it's absolutely awesome. So many amazing moments and experiences to have with the kids.
    The kids was more than happy with just us as a family when they where younger, and the kids became very close friends. As they got older they craved to play with other kids. That was the reason we opted for a 2 year stay so they could go to school, learn the language and meet other kids to play with. Learning a new language will take 3-6 months for most kids if they get to be around native speakers several times a week. However with school and local work as a ski instructor we have less family ski time.
    If you have any more questions - feel free to ask.
     
    piolet likes this.
  8. PiggabeenBoarder

    PiggabeenBoarder Early Days

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    Hi @ThisAlpineLife, thank's heaps for your response and enthusiasm in regards to this, appreciate you taking the time.

    So you make it sound like an option and a rewarding one at that, in which I'm very pleased to hear.

    So if I could just ask a couple more specific questions if you have time to give:
    1. Regarding accommodation, did you organise this, at least temporarily, from Australia first, and then look for more long term over there. Either way, did you use an agent or website type company do to this?
    2. Regarding the visa and travel arrangement, how did you work this one out. I'm pretty sure mine would be a working holiday visa (I could potentially get a British passport as my dad is Scottish, but not sure if that helps).
    3. Lastly, work.....I mentioned that this is not necessarily mandatory (though would like to work and earn something at least just to give back while there) but don't they require you to be essentially working to have / use the visa. If so did you get the work once over there or again organise it here first.

    Sorry for pestering, but any other info would be great. Won't be for this winter as we'll run out of time, but would be keen for next year.
    Thanks heaps,
    Paul
     
  9. LDJ

    LDJ Hard Yards
    Ski Pass - Silver

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    I can’t comment on the family or visa side. As when I worked out there I had EU passport and was there with wife but no kids but there is always work in ski resorts especially for mature people (mental maturity rather than age). Language can be a limiting factor so if you don’t speak any forever go languges just aim for a resorts with lots of English holiday makers as will be easier to get work. Unless you go to a really mainstream resort and try and stay on the snow longer-term accom shouldn’t an an issue. My friends with kids were paying something like 200 Euro a month in Serre Che in France for long-term rent 10min walk from slopes
     
  10. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    I personally would get the British passport now - use it while you can and get your bearings. go over without a need to work and see what crosses your path. Much easier to get the work there, than from here.

    Re the passport. even if you can only use it for the first season the benefit is you typically can only get one or two WHV's and so the passport gives you an extra year. If you don't get the passport now, and they take away the working rights for british then you have lost that bonus year.

    Also i have had 3 WHV in 3 different countries - it has never been a requirement to have to work. It is only if you are sponsored. If you get fired or leave your job you typically have 30 days to leave the country or get a new job/new visa tied to that job.

    @Piste Again and @TJswish are two forum members who may help you
     
  11. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture
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    We have an apartment in France (Portes du Soleil) - not in a resort but 5-15 minutes easy drive from the lifts. We normally stay there for up to a month in January (school & uni holidays for our kids).

    I think working wouldn't be great. We've found that when we're there for that long we can't ski solidly for more than a few days at a time - we need the occasional rest day. If you have a job they tell you when the rest days are (and you can bet the boss will have one eye on the weather report to pick his days off). If you don't have a job, then the weather report decides your days off. If it rains for 3 days then dumps powder, you know when you'll be rostered on! Murphy's law will apply. The rest days are good for playing tourist, shopping and so on anyway.

    If you can pick up a regular job on sundays it wouldn't be so bad. In the areas near our place, that's the crazy busy day and we usually avoid it unless the snow's too good to miss out on.

    I'd look on AirBnB and Chalets Direct for places to stay. Ours was a family home before we bought it, they left most of their furniture and kitchenware behind, and because we live in it for a month each year it's pretty well set up. Ours has been booked for the whole 2018/9 season and it's costing the guy about €11,000 (so we'll have to go to Canada instead - bummer :) ). If you look at the reviews of the AirBnB places you should be able to get a feel for what's more of a "home" than "accommodation". If you want long-term bookings I'd be locking things in fairly soon as the xmas, new year and midterm break (most of February) fill up fast.

    You also have the opportunity to stay in a couple of different places if you want some variety.

    Bear in mind that your 5 year old will probably be starting school next year so you'll have to come to some arrangement with the school. I don't think they're legally required to start before they turn 6 (AFAIK) but they normally start at the beginning of the year. I'd at least make sure they have a place available.

    The UK passport will help but can the whole family get one? I'd check length-of-stay requirements as well. You may have to leave the EU and get a passport stamp into switzerland from time to time.
     
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  12. ThisAlpineLife

    ThisAlpineLife First Runs

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    Hi Paul,
    1. Regarding accommodation, did you organise this, at least temporarily, from Australia first, and then look for more long term over there. Either way, did you use an agent or website type company do to this?
    The very first season with our 18 month old we shared an apartment near St Anton that our friends organized. The second season with then 2 kids we had to find our own. We choose a location, Zillertal - Tirol, and then I pretty much emailed about 50 acommodation providers (found on various booking engines) those who had fully furnished apartments that they normally rent out as self contained apartments. I got very few positive replies but was lucky to get a reasonable offer from a family who had 2 holiday units in their house. Later that family has been our savior in accommodating all our following stays with friends in the same village. Knowing people is a huge help!
    We where actually eager to try other valleys and new resorts, but I did struggle to find accommodation elsewhere that was within our price range. For example in St Anton area (within skibus range) the price offered was 12k - 24k Euro for a full winter season (5 mts) - We have been lucky to pay only 1K euro per month all inclusive here in Zillertal. Even in St Anton 8 years ago we paid over 2K for an apartment that we shared with another couple.
    Also I will recommend that you are searching at least 6 months in advance, maybe even earlier as the apartment owners will often prefer a long stay visitor - rather than cleaning every Saturday - but they book out the peak season weeks very early.
    So yes I know it is hard to know what you get, but you can't get anything lastminute here - it has to be pre booked. However most Austrians keep their places really clean and warm, so I would say photos they send is reliable.


    2. Regarding the visa and travel arrangement, how did you work this one out. I'm pretty sure mine would be a working holiday visa (I could potentially get a British passport as my dad is Scottish, but not sure if that helps).
    The kids and I have European passports so that sorted the entire family, we have always registered it as our main place of residence when we arrive.(Being registered as our main residence also give us locals price on the season pass, about a 200Euro saving per adult)
    My husband has been immigrating via me for our 5 month stay. Once he just did the 3 month holiday stay time, but regretted not staying the full season - it is a bit of an effort with the paperwork - so he didn't bother - but spring is magic here :)
    But if you can only stay 3 months it's worth it too - accommodation might free up if you look to get in about a week after NYE.


    3. Lastly, work.....I mentioned that this is not necessarily mandatory (though would like to work and earn something at least just to give back while there) but don't they require you to be essentially working to have / use the visa. If so did you get the work once over there or again organise it here first.
    As a EU citizen I have worked, in a ski shop in St Anton and here in Zillertal as ski instructor, it is a great way to be social both with colleagues and visitors.(and practice and improve language skills) The pay in any work here is not much, but the social side is nice. There is also lift jobs going every year - and as I think you mentioned ski service / hire service jobs.
    I did contact the ski school in advance but they need so many staff - at least for the busiest weeks - that it does not need to be done in advance, as for other jobs I think it's a good idea to find some companies online to get in touch with, they might not seem to arrange anything formal, they might just let you know to drop by once you arrive, but at least they know you are coming.
    I have always been legally registered in all jobs, so work visa is required I would say. Also once you work you have health care included. Without work you need travel insurance for your entire stay.
    All the Austrians work with a lot cash - so you might be able to find a cash in hand job if it's just in a small place.

    Good luck - cheers
    Tina
    thisalpinelife.com
     
  13. PiggabeenBoarder

    PiggabeenBoarder Early Days

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    Thanks everyone for your input and replies, really detailed and thoughtful. I'm going to try and summarise and collate it all...... then pass it on to my wife who'll no doubt have a totally different take or questions on it all; can't lie though, I'm bloody excited. I knew it'd be difficult, sounds like you research as much as possible but in the end you just have to jump in and give it a go
     
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