Working in France for 2012/13 for a couple?

Eslam

First Runs
Feb 15, 2012
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perth
Sorry if this is always asked but I'm new here and haven't found much info on it. (feel free to delete it if it is)

My husband and I are looking to work in France (maybe the 3 valleys?) for a season. I'm just really confused at where to even begin!

Has anyone worked a season in france? Was the resort work as grueling as some make it out to be? What are the average length of seasons? Is it massively difficult to get a job and all the visas needed? Do you need relevant experience? I'm a graphic designer which is the most useless service skill for this type of thing...

We live in aussie but are kiwis, I have a british passport but husband doesn't, will this make it more difficult? Has anyone got a job as a couple before?

I'm just a little overwhelmed and the more I read on the net the more confused I get from all the contradicting info.

Any experiences and hints will be much appreciated! Ta
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Eslam

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Feb 15, 2012
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perth
We're both 26 and have basic french currently but are preparing to do some classes to brush up and be a bit more fluent.

And yes my hubby just has NZ passport.
 

Snorkler

Part of the Furniture
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Check and see if that France has the working Visa for France, that would be the easiest way to get him there, though it is a once in a lifetime thing, so consider if you want to use it.

You'll learn the most french there if you work for someone french.

I worked in the 3 valleys 4 years ago. Had a great time but the work can be long. Trick is finding work and an employer. Most employers really start looking for workers about October/November period and start is at the beginning of December.

If you go to Meribel, there are a lot more english there and you'll get away with working for someone (not english) as they require english skills to a degree. The other thing to think about is which valley to be in, can try for Uber expensive or go for the cheapest which is Les Menuires. Courcheval area is nice to ski but as an experienced skier, I spent more time in Meribel and Valley des Belleville.

You might be able to find work where you can be employed together, it's not out of the question, the trick is getting word out and asking people. There is also a work website you can look at, it's called saisonaire or something like that.
 

Eslam

First Runs
Feb 15, 2012
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perth
Thanks for that info Snorkler. I haven't thought too much about where we would want to go, I kind of figured a job placement would make up the decision for us.
 

Anthem1

One of Us
Oct 25, 2008
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Have you considered going through one of the UK ski companies? Did a quick search, and found "http://www.ski-jobs.co.uk/ just for starters.

This could be a problem if they want a face to face interview of course, but maybe Skype could help out there?

I see that site is advertising for couples.

The other staff and guests would likely be Brits of course, which might not be what you're looking for.

I worked for a UK ski company in Val d'Isere many years ago. The hotel was basically hired by the company for the season, and apart from a week or so at the start and end of the season, all the guests were Brits. We had a blast. Language wasn't a problem for employment, and I still managed to use my school level French around the resort, and we met lots of French resort workers to practice on!

I have a UK passport, but there were also Kiwis working for the company, so not sure what the visa arrangement was.

I chose not to be a "chalet maid", as I'd heard the work was really hard, and there wasn't much time for the real reason I was there! I got a job as a waitress/barperson/cleaner in a smallish hotel. I could ski for 4 hours every afternoon till lift close, plus I had 1 whole day off a week. Responsibilites were minimal, hardest part of the job was getting up on time to get to it!

I was interviewed in about August. Working season was from mid December to end April. They paid for travel to/from the resort (from London), accommodation (we had a little apartment in Val village, separate from the hotel), all our food (we ate at the hotel), and subsidised the season ski pass. We were paid a pittance, which covered partying and French chocolate addiction, and not much else. I had savings that I dipped in to when I needed anything more, which I didn't really. I wasn't there for the money, of course. I think they also paid for medical insurance, as I can't recall buying my own.

I had very recent bar work and waitressing experience from my student days, which I think was really important.

Probably the best 6 months of my life to be honest - met this cool Kiwi guy, followed him back to NZ, and the rest is history.

Good luck.
 
H

Hacski

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Anthem2, so that is how it came about
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Eslam

First Runs
Feb 15, 2012
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0
perth
Thanks for that info!

Its always good to hear peoples experiences. I was thinking about chalet work vs. bar tending jobs. Always interesting to find out how much work you actually end up doing.

Wen are thinking of going through UK company as there are so many. I still don't understand the whole french visa deal so it seems to be the way to go.
 

SkiJobsFrance

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Aug 24, 2010
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Working in France for 2012/13 for a couple?

Just noticed this now.

It isn’t too hard to get the French working holiday visa. As you husband has a Kiwi passport check out http://www.ambafrance-nz.org/Working-holiday-visa-for-New.

Chalet jobs can be long hours working 6 days a week. Normally 7:30-8 am to 10:30-11 am. Then back for about 5-6 pm to 10-11 pm (every job is different though). Then working most of the day on the changeover day. But hopefully you can ski about 5 days per week. If you are a social person and love meeting people, then it is a great job to have. To work as a couple, one of you would need to have a passion for cooking to able to follow recipes and dish up 3 course dinners for groups. Once you learn the recipes, it is a set menu each week, so becomes second nature fairly quickly.

Bar jobs are the hardest jobs to secure in the Alps as almost everyone wants to work at night and have all day to ski.
 
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DVP

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Aug 14, 2002
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Just posted in the other French jobs topic. Also look at http://www.natives.co.uk - the forums on there are invaluable for info. I did one season with a british co (in Tignes), my wife 2 (Les Arcs and Tignes - we met on her second). Between us we have been to a lot of French resorts and know a lot of people who have worked at various resorts so will probably have some info to help if you would like to PM.

PS. 3 valleys is one place I can't comment much on - my training for my job was in Courchevel 1650 so had one day skiing in Courch. Try and steer clear of Courch or Meribel as all of your meager earnings would go on a couple of beers. Les Menuires / Val Thorens would be the more affordable villages from a living point of view, and the visitors would be less pretentious.

PPS. Anthem - great that I am not the only one on here to meet my other half on a Euro season!
 
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malibu

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May 17, 2007
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It would appear to be more enduring than a fling with the Kontiki bus driver
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I have been married 23 years and a shared passion for skiing/boarding is a nice thing to keep the magic going.
 
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WaitAwhile

One of Us
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Apr 29, 2012
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Another way to go if you get visas sorted out and you don't get any job offers is just head over there and find somewhere cheap to stay for xmas and new year,even moutiers or bourg saint maurice then start banging onn doors and. Going up to ski resorts knock on their doors and ask for work,a lot of young kids can't handle the work or the boss is a d..head or visa versa and move on. Or broken bones.usually there is a fair bit of work early jan,just have to be at the right place at the right time,there are lots of resorts up there,but 3 v and val d isere can be quite expensive if you don't get much work
 
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