After graduating from Exeter University earlier this year I was rather lost with what to do with my gap year. Having considered doing a ski season I decided to apply to YSE. My interview with Fiona was so lovely and more of an informal chat, which made me feel so comfortable and want to work for the company even more.
It is the best thing I ever did! I have met my absolute best friends for life as well as having the most incredible 5 months making brilliant memories and having so many incredible experiences. Everyone at YSE is extremely like-minded and similar in maturity, being all over 21 and I didn’t have to worry about just being surrounded by 18 year olds!
I worked as Chalet Host which was amazing for what I wanted to gain from the season – working from around 7:30-11am meaning there was plenty of time for skiing and more importantly Apres! And then working in the evening from around 6:30-9pm. This is due to the fact that a lot of YSE food is prepared centrally by our head chef – therefore you don’t have to be a top chef, whilst also saving a lot of time for staff. Not only is our salary and accommodation better than most companies in Val d’Isère but Annabel and John are absolutely incredible at looking after us all. With John doing ski lessons in his own time for his staff, and Annabel really caring about everyone’s happiness and you really can talk to her about anything. You don’t often think this is important but when moving abroad and making an entirely different group of friends it really is comforting. I couldn’t recommend the company enough if you are considering doing a ski season, it genuinely is the best thing I ever did if you are wanting to travel, meet new people, and more importantly ski.
Jessica Lee-Clarke, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
Working at YSE has been incredible. Having been at Durham University studying geography for 3 years, I decided to apply to YSE as a chalet host and cannot recommend it enough. As a host, we have lots of time to ski, socialise and meet a huge variety of interesting guests. Our staff accommodations are bang in the centre of town which makes skiing and going out really easy, while meaning we can get in 4/5 hours of skiing in a day. Before I arrived I enjoyed cooking but wasn’t amazing, however YSE has a food and hosting to a really high standard. Most of all, what YSE gives you is an amazing group of friends that we will all have for life. The staff are all from similar backgrounds and of similar ages (post university around 21-23) meaning we all jell quickly and have a serious laugh. On top of this, John and Annabel take great care of us as staff, and we are treated fairly with empathy. As staff, we are provided with accommodation, ski hire, a lift pass and food as part of our “package” which other companies in Val sometimes don’t give. Finally, Val d’Isère has been the most incredible place to work. Amazing snow, beautiful ski areas and lots of places to go out.
My time at YSE has been incredible and I cannot recommend the person reading this to apply more. Everyone you work with is up for a laugh, wants to work hard, play hard, and will be friends for life! If you do make the right decision and apply to YSE, I can assure you that you will not regret it and will have the time of your life. Thanks YSE and look forward to coming back soon.
Tom Hancock, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
I came out for my ski season with YSE just after I had graduated my Masters in International Marketing at Newcastle, and it was the best thing I have ever done! Having never heard of YSE beforehand, a few of my friends at university recommended applying to YSE as they had heard of it’s great reputation. From the initial interview process all the way to landing back home in Manchester, I felt so looked after by John, Annabel, Fiona, Murray and Christina. They really are the best bosses/management I’ve ever had.
I worked in chalet Tapia, both cooking and hosting. Running an 8 person chalet alone was something I never thought I could do, and maintaining high YSE standards was certainly hard work at times. However, with the intense training and the close help of having Annabel and Murray at the end of the phone at all times, you get into the swing of things so quickly and easily (meaning lots of time for skiing!) Also, it’s the most rewarding job, meeting such interesting and lovely guests every week.
Val d’Isère itself is the perfect place to be a seasonnaire, everything is central, the skiing is amazing, and the après is even better! It has such a great community feel too, with all the seasonnaires eager to get to know each other and before you know it you know everyone who works in the bars, ski shops etc!
But the absolute icing on the cake is the friends I made on my season. YSE hire similar people, who are all there to have fun and experience something new! I truly have made friends for life, and the best friends I’ve ever had. Being thrown in the deep end, doing challenging work and living in very close proximity to like minded people, makes bonds like no other. I’ll be eternally grateful for YSE for introducing me to who I value as some of my best friends for life. My season was without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever done – so much so I’m considering doing another one this winter!
India Birtwell, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
I can wholeheartedly say that choosing to do a ski season with YSE was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Having just finished my Master’s in Statistics at UCL, I wanted a break before starting work. I’d always wanted to do a ski season, and when I was able to defer my graduate job I decided to take the opportunity to do one; I’m so glad that I did! I applied to YSE because it was recommended to me by friends who had done seasons for them and sang their praises – I can now completely see why!
Working for YSE was a wonderful experience from start to finish. Being a chalet host is a really rewarding job. Whilst running an 8 person chalet by myself was a big responsibility and hard work, I’ve definitely learned some valuable life skills and feel lucky to have had the chance to look after some fantastic, interesting guests. It’s abundantly clear that John and Annabel make taking care of their staff their top priority, and they were really supportive and involved with us from the get go. John, Annabel and Murray couldn’t do enough for us and played a massive part in making the season so fantastic. I cannot thank them enough for their hard work in doing so. I think the best part of the season was the amazing people I met. Fiona did an excellent job of recruiting a team of likeminded people; everybody got on so well and I’m walking away from this season having made friends for life. I’ve truly had the time of my life and I know I’ll always treasure the time I spent in Val d’Isère.
I cannot recommend YSE highly enough – if you’re thinking about applying, go for it!
Eleanor Herdman, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
After 4 years at Exeter Uni I decided to do a ski season and I am so glad that I did! It is an experience I would recommend to anyone and the highlights most definitely make any hard work worth it.
YSE were a great company to work for as we had a lot of help from the beginning with visas, training as well as food preparation throughout the season. This meant we could be as efficient as possible and had even more time to ski, something which YSE really encourage. Annabel, John and Murray really listen to any concerns or suggestions too. Having accommodation and ski hire provided was a huge benefit and living with other YSE staff means that you do make some amazing friends. The people I have met at YSE are definitely the reason my season has been as great as it has been!!
Val d’Isère is such a great resort for seasonaires with so much going on, the best après and amazing skiing. I’m so happy that I applied for YSE and have no doubt that next year’s staff will love doing a season as much as I have.
Katie Kerr, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
This has been my first season with YSE having taken a small break from working in the NHS and it has been one of my best decisions! I heard about YSE through friends who had previously worked here and they couldn’t speak more highly of it, and I totally understand why.
I worked as a chalet cook and host in Chalet Perdrix, but don’t worry if you haven’t got masses of cooking experience, Murray (the head chef) supported us in training at the beginning of the season, including cooking for each other in the first week which was so much fun and a perfect way to get to know everyone quickly. It’s hard not to make such good friends here when you get to ski together for 6 days of the week, and live together for 5 months! The staff accommodation is amazing, I lived in a chalet with 17 other girls, and shared an en-suite room with one other, which felt like luxury compared to what I’ve heard from others. There’s also so many fun and quirky events to look forward to throughout the season, my highlights being New Year’s Eve and the Monoski World Championships! You also get so many perks, not only all the great additions YSE provide on top of your pay package, you also get seasonnaire deals in the resort! One of my favourites being the seasonnaire ski programme where I was able to learn how to ski off piste which I had never done before! Life as a seasonnaire is great out here, Val d’Isère is without doubt the best resort in the Alps. YSE have looked after me incredibly whilst I’ve been here, John and Annabel are fantastic. I can’t thank YSE enough for this past season and would highly encourage anyone to apply!
Sophie Dible, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
Before my season, I had just completed my masters from Exeter University and was looking for something to do before entering the real world! I have had such a great time over the last 6 months working for YSE.
YSE has allowed me to go on some crazy nights out, ski in a resort which is arguably the best in the alps, while making friends for life. Post Brexit, I was unsure how the visa process worked and didn’t know if it was even possible to work in France for a long period of time anymore. However, YSE talked me through the complicated process step-by-step and made it as easy as possible to apply. Annabel was great at assigning the right chalet to the right people and could always be contacted at any time if you had any issues that needed an immediate fix. Unlike many other companies in Val d’Isère.
YSE offer a non-cooking chalet host role which I applied for. This role suited me very well as I’m not a confident cook. However, if I was to come back and work for YSE, I would definitely apply as a cooking chalet host. I’ve got to know many people from other companies out here, and it is really clear to me that YSE really look after their staff, so much so, that I’m considering doing another season for YSE.
Harrison Hurlstone, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
I really couldn’t recommend doing a season with YSE enough. I worked as a chalet host in the Chalet Les Comtes de Savoie (both cooking and cleaning) for YSE last season after a friend of mine had worked for them the season before and had such a great experience.
The staff are all above the age of 21 and similar in personality, mostly post uni, which was a massive plus as my main worry was that I was going to be surrounded by 18 year olds, with different interests. It also meant it was such a sociable company to work for as well. Another plus is that YSE is the only company that has the system of central cooking by the head chef. This meant that you didn’t have to be a top chef to be able to take on a cooking position and the prep time is so much less than other companies. Our hours were typically 7am – 10:30am and then 6pm – 9:30pm which meant plenty of time for skiing during the day and time to go out in the evening.
Working for YSE was exactly what I expected/wished for and more when thinking of a ski season. The experiences you share with people are so incredible and so much fun, and we’ve all made friends for life, as cringey as it sounds. The staff accommodation is all so central, which means short commutes in the morning. The chalets are all lovely as well, it was such a pleasure working in them. If you’re nervous about taking on the role, it is a lot of pressure but the training is so intense and well done that you’re so well prepared by the time you have guests. We’re looked after so well at YSE. If you ever had an issue, Annabel (chalet staff manager) and Murray (head chef) were always so happy to help and actually sorted it. They really don’t stop until you’re happy with your chalet and position. All in all, working for YSE has been the most incredible experience and I’m so sad the end of the season has appeared.
Mima Boam, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
I highly recommend doing a season with YSE. I have made life-long friends who are all very similar to myself. I was worried when applying I would be one of the oldest (23). However, I was happy to find that everyone was a similar age and nearly all graduates. The company looks after their staff very well and always makes sure everyone is happy in their chalet and working alongside their peers. Another great aspect is that you have plenty of time to ski and are on the same schedule as your friends, so never miss out! During the season I mainly floated (filling in for staff on their days off) which I loved. It allowed me to become closer to the other chalet staff and it relieved the pressure that running a chalet solo held. Working for YSE was the best experience and best choice I have ever made. I am extremely sad the season is over but looking forward to creating more memories with the friends I have made during the winter. Thank you YSE!
Lizzie Broadhurst, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
I absolutely loved working YSE! I had just finished a masters in forensic science and so was really glad that the majority of staff were all around 22 or 23 which isn’t as true for other companies.
One of the main benefits of working for YSE is the amount of free time we get in comparison to other companies, due to the fact, some food preparation is done for us. This makes the work a lot more stress free! We were able to ski everyday, except changeover day, if we wanted to, and for about 4 hours minimum. Which when you’re working and also going out is more than enough ski time a day! In terms of management and the company as a whole one of the nicest things. Annabel creates a really positive and enjoyable work environment and is amazing at organising everyone into a position where they are happy. So, you will never be in a role you don’t enjoy or working with anyone you don’t get on with. I was coupled with another girl in Chalet Lucaval and every shift was a laugh and so we had the best time and she is now one of my best friends. Which is down to Annabel pairing people so well. It goes without saying the best part of the season is the friends you make, which every company says, but I have really made friends for life and this has been the best experience I have ever done without a doubt!
Our accommodation is also a lot nicer than some of the other companies in Val. I lived in a flat of five girls right in the centre of Val, and that was one of the highlights of the season. I really couldn’t recommend YSE enough, and if you are thinking of applying, absolutely do, because you won’t regret it!
Molly Nagle, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
I left Exeter uni last summer having studied Business Econ and Spanish. I have been a guest with my family in YSE chalets for 10 years and this year I decided to join the YSE team ! I have had the best 5 months, made friends for life and done some of the best skiing I’ve ever done. YSE is a fab company to work for – plenty of skiing time, 50 like minded co workers, some big company nights out, and some genuinely nice guests – all giving life long memories, would recommend to all.
Phoebe Beggs, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
I have had the most amazing time working for YSE this season, definitely six months I will never forget. I’ve come home having made so many great friends and so many one in a life time memories! I worked in a six man chalet on my own as a cooking host which, with the majority of the prep being done in the head kitchen by Murray, takes away a lot of pressure and stress! I met some amazing guests who are always trying to make your life easier and get you out skiing as soon as possible! Val d’Isère is such a great resort to live and work in with incredible skiing and the best apres at Cocos! Annabel, John and Murray have all been so supportive throughout the season ensuring we have all had the best six months possible! Having had lots of friends who have done ski seasons, I couldn’t recommend YSE more.
Susie Wright, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
After graduating from Newcastle university and completing a masters at UCL I really wanted to take a year out. I always liked the idea of a ski season, but I felt unsure due to having only skied for a week before and not being a great cook. I worked in YSE’s chalet hotel, Les Chardons, in a non-cooking role. I thoroughly enjoyed working in the hotel due to working in a bigger team. There were also a number of us of lower skiing ability who were able to organise lessons together and progress massively. My time with YSE has been the best 5 months of my life. What makes YSE particularly unique is the relationship with John, Annabel, Christina and Murray who always looked after us. John and Annabel always appreciated that we wanted to spend as much time skiing as possible, enabling us to get out on the slopes everyday, and John was always keen to give us a carving lesson! Another bonus of YSE was the high quality of staff accommodation that we lived in, as well as the high quality food we got to eat all season. I couldn’t recommend YSE more, and Val D’Isere is definitely a great resort to spend 5 months in!
Darcey Morse, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
Having left 5 years of a covid infested uni, I wanted to spend some time travelling and meeting new people, which has definitely been the best part of my time here. There’s a great mix of working hard delivering for chalets, and then immediately getting on the slopes to get to La Rosée Blanche. Typically we worked from 7am to midday, and then 6pm to 8pm in the evening, driving around Val d’Isère in the yellow landies, being offered bacon sarnies and coffees from the chalet girls. The way that the interview process worked meant that everyone gets on so well right from the off and we’ve all become really close friends. All in all, even though I didn’t achieve my season goal of landing a backflip (7 attempts) I’ve had such an amazing 6 months with a great bunch of mates and wouldn’t have swapped it for anything.
Eddy Loring, Kitchen Staff and Deliveries, Winter 2022-23
I heard of YSE through a friend who lives in the resort and she highly recommended YSE as they are known for having a good balance between work, skiing, partying and making friends and I can attest to this now that I have completed my season with them! The friends I have made have made my season as cliche as it sounds, they are some of the loveliest, funniest and most supportive people I’ve met.
Along with that John and Annabel have ensured that we are looked after at every point of the season, this has made such a difference as it has made the season which can feel quite long more homely!
I lived in an accommodation with 16 other girls and, as daunting as it sounds it was one of the best times ever and we all had so much fun as there was always someone around. I would even go as far as to say one of the best accommodations! I came to the season not being able to ski and found other people within the company who were the same level. YSE managed to organise a few ski lessons which got us to a good level and continuously supported and ensured we were staying safe and enjoying ourself! The ski time within the job is amazing, you have from around 11:30-5.30 or 6pm, 6 days a week, which is highly specific to YSE. The resort also offers amazing skiing as you are also able to access the Tignes ski area. The job itself can seem quite daunting at the very beginning but once you get into it and get a routine going, it is extremely enjoyable. The guests I have met this season have, in the vast majority, been lovely and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them. The cooking and cleaning is all very manageable as you have very in depth training before you start working. In a whole the time I’ve spent with YSE has been some of the most enjoyable months to date, I am so extremely jealous of all up-coming chalet girls/ boys and drivers.
Issie Murran, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
After graduating from Bristol university I decided to do a ski season. My role included a combination of cooking, cleaning and hosting. I was a little apprehensive about the cooking part, however, much of the food is prepared by the head chef. As such, you do not need to be an experienced cook to apply. You will meet so many like minded people; living, working and going out together has created strong friendships. I had never been to Val d’Isère before, it definitely exceeded my expectations! Finally, YSE look after you really well. The management team are very approachable, get to know you personally and have your best interests throughout. YSE arrange your accommodation, ski pass, ski hire and food. The season I had was truly more than I expected, I couldn’t recommend YSE enough.
Tami Harvey, Chalet Staff, Winter 2022-23
Working for YSE this winter will be a decision you will never regret. I chose to work for YSE just after graduating from Newcastle University. After completing the season now I cannot dream of doing it with any other company or resort. Val d’Isère is not only a world renowned ski resort with runs suitable for all skiers but it’s is also a beautiful part of the world with an incredible social scene. YSE do an amazing job of employing people with similar interests and ages ranging from 21-23 which is not the case with other companies in Val d’Isère. When I first applied to work for a ski season, multiple friends and family told me I would make life long friends but I really didn’t believe them. However, the friends I have made are truly amazing and have created many hilarious memories I will never forget. In terms of work you will be worked hard but the experience is totally worth it. YSE ensure you are able to ski 6 days a week for at least 4 hours. Not only do the management give us enough free time to ski but also ensure we feel at home and comfortable at all times. Annabel is a fantastic boss and, if you are applying to be a driver, you will never have a dull moment living and working under John’s management. So If your are thinking of doing a ski season in France, YSE will not disappoint you. They are an amazing company and I could not recommend working a ski season for them enough.
James Macinnes Poole, Kitchen Staff and Deliveries, Winter 2022-23
I heard of YSE from a friend whilst at uni and decided to do a season after graduating from the Uni of Reading. Working with 50 others, most just graduated like me and all 21+ was such a pro for YSE. I have had an amazing season working in Maison de Rocher in a non-cooking role which I really enjoyed – meeting really, really nice guests which is unique to YSE.
I lived in a chalet with 16 other girls, which has been such a wonderful opportunity to make friends for life and incredible memories. It seems daunting living with so many people but being able to always come home to someone made it feel so homely. We were able to ski 6 days a week is unique to YSE and often from 11-5.30 ish. 2 days off a week is also quite unique in Val. I have had the best 6 months and would throughly recommend working with YSE, you get so looked after by Annabel, John, Murray and Christina who ensure you get the perfect combination of work, skiing and partying throughout the season.
I will forever treasure the incredible memories, lifelong friends and invaluable work experience which I gained from working with YSE this winter. Having recently graduated from Bristol University, I found doing a ski season to be the perfect transition between university and my career. I spent the season working as a chalet host in Chalet d’Isère (16 person). The management of staff was exceptional, with Annabel and John providing staff members with a high level of responsibility, yet remaining a phone call away if something went wrong. I feel very fortunate to have worked for YSE and would do it a hundred times over if I could. Living in Val d’Isère is a privilege in itself; with endless skiing, an amazing nightlife and wonderful people around. Above all, I feel truly grateful to have returned home with a group of friends who I know will be friends for life. I cannot believe it’s come to an end and I will continue to look back on my season with the biggest smile on my face.
I would recommend YSE to anyone considering a ski season, whether you’ve skied your whole life or never put on a ski – there is something there for everyone, and YSE is no exception to the rule.
I studied Geography at Exeter university. I applied to be a chalet host for YSE so I could meet a variety of high profile individuals and also to improve how I communicate with different people. The communication skills I learnt from interacting with guests will be very beneficial in your future career.To be a chalet host all that is required prior to the role is to be energetic and charismatic. At first I struggled with the early mornings, however I soon got used to it and found that I could do so much more in my day. Val d’Isere being one of the highest resorts in the Alps ensures the quality of skiing is very good all year round, the chalet host role ensures that you can fit in on average 5 hours of skiing, 6 days a week. The staff accommodations are all located in Val d’Isère and close to bus stops for the free buses which run throughout the day. We are all very well looked after by Annabel; if we are ever unhappy or request anything like specific days off she will often go out of her way to accommodate to our needs. Giving the drivers a bacon sandwich when you can will ensure you get priority on deliveries, which I would recommend. Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my season working for YSE and as a result of a number of reasons; from interacting with guests to making life long friends. I wouldn’t want to work for any other chalet company.
During a YSE ski season you’ll get to ski or snowboard almost every day. You’ll also be living with other people who are doing the same thing, so you’ll make lots of new friends and have lots of fun. It’s a great way to really immerse yourself in the ski culture and lifestyle. Val d’Isère is a world-renowned ski resort, so doing a ski season there would be an incredible experience. The skiing is amazing, with lots of different runs and plenty of off-piste opportunities. Plus, the town itself is really charming and has lots of great restaurants and bars. You’d also be living and working with people all so similar and like-minded which is a great experience. One week will involve pot wash which is nice to work with the chefs which always means good banter. The driving involves deliveries to all the chalets, which is always social seeing all the chalet staff. Finally the food provided is excellent as it’s the food that the guests receive as is at a very high standard. Overall it’s 6 months I’ll never forget.
Working for YSE is the perfect balance of everything. You have lots of opportunity to ski on reliable snow in a huge area. The guests are really friendly and enjoyable to work for which makes the job a lot easier. YSE is supportive in the training process and throughout the season which makes you feel super prepared. I hadn’t done a cooking course before but the system works amazing at supporting you and gives you a lot of time to ski. Val d’isere has great social atmosphere which makes socialising with everyone in the company and the resort fun. It is a full time job and often very long days for 5 months straight so prepare for the early mornings but the two days off a week is great for aprés. Made friends for life which isn’t hard when you live in the same room as five people for five months.
I came to Val d’Isère to do a ski season with YSE with very little expectation of how the next five months would be. Little did I know I would have the best five months of my life. I can confidently say that anyone who works with YSE will leave Val d’Isère with friends they will have for life and memories and experiences that are unforgettable. I worked as a chalet girl in a chalet of 12 with someone else alongside me. The job consisted of getting to know new guests each week, cooking for them every morning and evening and keeping the chalet clean and in a good condition throughout the whole season. I personally really loved the the job of a chalet host as I was able to meet interesting guests each week, and many of the guests you will remember and have stories to tell for a very long time. This job has taught me so much and given me great life experiences that I know will help me through my future career paths. You learn to become personable, confident, and very adaptable, these are attributes that I have most certainly gained throughout this season and that is something you can’t be taught but achieved through a job as unique as this one. Finally, not only did I enjoy my job, made some amazing friends, I was able to ski 6 times a week for 5 months with a ski pass and ski hire that YSE gave me. This was an absolute luxury and we all felt incredibly lucky to be able to ski in such a beautiful resort this much.