Enter the global scuba diving realm by acquiring a professional diving qualification on this program, while gaining work experience in the marine conservation field.
Your PADI divemaster qualification is one of many skills you will acquire while participating on this program. Participants undergo an extensive training programme and gain in-depth knowledge about the marine ecosystem, which is also put to work in the form of data collection and assisting with research on tropical coral reefs and fish species.
The project runs Monday to Friday and days are busy with presentations, dive training, point out snorkels and dives, and data collection snorkels and dives, running alongside the daily chores required to keep the base operational. Once volunteers have completed their training in their allocated area, they are welcome to become survey ready in another. Interns are expected to complete extra assignments and leadership projects as part of their programme and will be expected to manage their time accordingly.
Set start dates throughout the year
You will need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent before you start the internship. While participating on the program, you will complete the first professional level in the PADI system while seeing some of the top dive sites in the region. On your work placement you will be placed in a dive centre where you will undertake your Dive Master course, practise leadership scenarios and help the centre with their day-to-day operations.
During your expedition phase expect working days to long and starting early in the morning. Diving days will begin with preparing the dive boat, followed by a short journey to one of the dive sites. Depending on weather conditions, we aim for everyone to have 1 or 2 dives/snorkels each day, 5 days a week, during which you will conduct underwater surveys after completion of your training. Upon successful completion of your first phase of this internship, you will proceed to complete your PADI Divemaster course during your 12 week work placement with a local dive centre. This exciting opportunity will provide practical experience in the dive industry as you assist with daily operations.
As a marine conservation intern you will be trained in the identification of invertebrate, fish or benthic (coral) target species and life forms. Once fully trained in species ID, you will be taught several survey techniques allowing you to become a member of a data collection survey team building an inventory of marine species in Moturiki waters.
Once you start making progress on your science training you will get the chance to work on important community projects in local villages working to improve water, sanitation and hygiene as well as the opportunity to teach children about environmental conservation during rotating weekly school visits on Moturiki Island.
Marine Conservation interns will be spending time getting to know the local community and their traditional villages.
The final 3 month work placement, will be either at a local dive shop or remaining on base.
The Divemaster course will run according to the needs and demands of the shop, as an intern you are not a guest, you are a member of staff.
You must be willing to study independently. The internship may cover many aspects of dive tourism – retail, managing accounts, selling dives, booking clients, cleaning, sorting out equipment, leading dives, etc.
It will take a full 12 weeks to complete Divemaster the internship.
You will be based on Caqalai island, approximately 1 hour by boat from the Viti Levu Mainland and a further 45 minutes to the capital, Suva. You will be working on nearby islands and coastal reefs around the base. In order to travel independently around the area on your days off you must prebook water taxis with the staff; there is usually a water taxi each morning and afternoon to and from the mainland. Costs will vary based on destination, but would normally be between $60-150FJD return
You will have time off and be free to travel in the local area on the weekends, usually from around 14:00 Friday, coming back to base by 17:00 on Sunday. In this time you could do daytrips such as visiting the old colonial capital Levuka, on nearby Ovalau, or trekking up the mountains there. You can also go snorkelling or scuba diving, relax for a night or two in a nearby resort or go further afield on Viti Levu.
Mixed dorm rooms
Accommodation on base is in shared (mixed sex) facilities with shared bathroom facilities. Flush toilet facilities are available, and participants share base duties, including cleaning and other chores. There is rain water available for cooking, drinking, and washing. Ground water is pumped for other ablutions. Careful water conservation is necessary and water may be rationed during droughts. Basic flush toilet facilities and cold water showers are available.
Participants share daily duties to ensure the smooth running of base, including cleaning, cooking, kitting up boats, tidying the grounds and other chores
For internship volunteers, during the second part of the program (approx. weeks 12-24) you will be based at your dive centre placement in shared accommodation. The exact location will be discussed with you during your program. Accommodation will vary depending on your placement location.
Volunteers take it in turns to prepare meals for the group. Food is a very basic, mostly vegetarian diet: meat is usually provided on base twice per week. Breakfast could be porridge, fruit or toast. Lunch and dinner are a mixture of lentils, beans and vegetables with pasta, rice, noodles, roti, cassava or dalo. Please note, Caqalai is a dry base, no alcohol is permitted on base.
There is no general internet access for volunteers on base. The SIM and Credit must be purchased prior to island deployment. It is possible to purchase a pay-as-you-go mobile internet USB stick or wifi modem, however internet signal can be poor at times.
You will have limited access to long-distance communications whilst on the program, so make sure friends and family know how often they can expect to hear from you. Mobile/cell phones: Reception is available on base, although it can be poor at times. It is possible to purchase pay-as-you-go Fijian Sim cards for unlocked phones in Nadi pre-departure.
A change of environment, climate, food and lifestyle often results in minor, and occasionally more serious, illness. Please inform staff if you feel unwell at any time. If you need to see a doctor during your stay, we usually recommend travelling to Suva (1 hour by boat and 45 minute drive) and visiting the clinics at either Fiji Care or MIOT Pacific Hospital, both on Amy Street.For major emergencies volunteers would be taken to MIOT Pacific Hospital or Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva; volunteers must ensure their insurance covers international and local evacuation in case of a medical emergency. We have emergency procedures for all foreseeable events, the staff are first aid trained and you will receive a safety briefing on arrival.
Provided, more details to be provided upon confirmation
Passport, Criminal Background check, Medical form, PADI Medical Form
Doctors note must be signed if you have any illnesses to declare
Kit list will be sent across at time of confirmation
Once you have confirmed your spot on this program, you will be allocated to a dedicated program expert who will assist you as you prepare for your program.
Project staff on base who facilitate the project, run training’s & assist with any additional health & safety needs if required. 24 Hour emergency phone. Please ask your program expert for more information.
You will be given the option to pay in instalments for an Instalment Fee of £125 per booking. If you select this Instalment Fee option, a non-refundable deposit payment of £350 is due within 48 hours of notice of acceptance onto the program, 50% of the balance will fall due 16 weeks before departure and the remaining 50% of the balance will fall due 12 weeks before departure. If you the Participant cancel this agreement, the Participant shall not be entitled to a refund of any monies paid.
If you do not select the Instalment Fee option, the full cost of your booking is due within 48 hours of notice of acceptance onto the program. If you the Participant cancel this agreement more than 16 weeks prior to departure, the Participant shall be entitled to a refund of the full amount paid minus £350.
If you the Participant cancel this agreement between 16 and 12 weeks prior to departure, the Participant shall be entitled to a refund of 60% of the full amount paid. If you the Participant cancel this agreement less than 12 weeks prior to departure, the Participant shall be entitled to a refund of £100.
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