Passport to Romance by Betty Cavanna (1955)
That "scared rabbit" feeling was one that returned to Jody again and again during the first months at school. Because of the language barrier, it was hard to make new friends, and Mary Lou, the sophisticated Southern girl who had been her cabin mate aboard ship, went out of her way to make Jody feel young and childish. Even an unexpected meeting with Timothy, a lanky, serious-minded boy she liked, only embarrassed her, because of his ungainly appearance. The school year stretched ahead endlessly--and then, one day, it snowed.
Snow means skiing in Switzerland and, for Jody, skiing became a passionate new interest. Absorbed in perfecting her skill, Jody began to forget her self-doubt. Soon she was happily caught up in a tentative romance with the handsome instructor whom Mary Lou coveted, a gay Christmas vacation in Geneva, and her growing friendship with Timothy. Then all her new assurance was suddenly shattered and it was only after near tragedy that Jody realized, once and for all, that she had become a person in her own right.
Betty Cavanna's understanding of girls and her ability to talk their language have made her one of the most popular writers in the country. In this engrossing novel, based on the real letters of an American girl at a Swiss school, Miss Cavanna has perceptively re-created all the conflicting emotions of that most trying period in a young girl's life--the year in which she begins to accept growing up. (from the inside flap)