1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Internship-time!

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Gaz, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Gaz

    Gaz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    6
    Hi everyone.

    The decision is made. Google has been fired-up. Its time to start looking.

    I've been promising myself that one day, I would change my life and take myself off on an adventure and the starting point for that is an internship at a dive centre.

    Any advice on whether to go down the self-funded or worked-for routes would be great and any particular dive centres that could be recommended would be great too. I'll be aiming to go in Quarter 2/3 of 2018.

    I didn't take a "gap-yah" when I graduated, but 10 years later I've build a career (now safely logged on my CV), paid off uni and renovated a very-rentable little house. With no dependants or family (and a deep hatred of working in an office) - if ever there was a time to go, its now.

    Google brings up thousands of internship programmes all around the world - some (almost) fully funded through work in the dive centre, others partially funded by the trainee (usually a few grand up front to cover certs/accommodation/etc). I have to start somewhere, so thought I'd ask here to see if anyone could recommend a particular place.

    The duration of the trip would be determined by how long I can support myself financially - obviously any opportunity for (modestly-paid) work would extend this: there is no end-date, if I could keep it going for years then I would be open to that too - I suppose in that vein I might be better looking for a job at a dive centre where part of the pay would be my training and the rest would cover food and basic accommodation (subject to work permits etc).

    Most of those advertised seem to be short-term (1-4 months) structured arrangements where the aim is to get to DM and then out. I'm looking at a longer term - 12 months plus and I would be very interested in full-instructor training too which may make things more complicated. The places I've dived are the Maldives, Malta, Red Sea, Tanzania (and Hawaii in 10 weeks) and I'm really looking for a tropical place on the backpacker/adventure-tourist routes (SE Asia, Oceania/Polynesian Triangle - maybe the Caribbean).

    Phew! Apologies for the long post. Any advice is welcome and thank you for reading.
     
    Tribal Chestnut likes this.
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
    UKD Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Messages:
    5,316
    Likes Received:
    1,173
    Congratulations and good luck.

    The issue is finding the right place and standing out from "the competition" if it comes to interviews and selection. Experience and 'qualifications' will count, especially if being selected remotely when you're not looking into the whites of the interviewer's eyes, as it were.

    Can you get a DiveMASTER qualification in the UK before going? Literally pay for the course and skip the being the shop's dive bitch. Then you can hit the ground running and work as a dive leader/assistant. You've a few months before the European season starts.

    Have fun:) Wish I could do that.
     
  3. Gaz

    Gaz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    6
    Thank you very much - I'm really excited about it. Today was the day that my house renovation paid off, so I'm suddenly free and the career's in a position where I can leave it but still come back in years to come.

    I've seen one that I like the look of Sairee Cottage in Koh Tao and another in Bali. Keen to hear from others who have done something similar.

    In all honesty - as well as the dive training, I need a complete break - and doing the donkey work around a dive centre somewhere would be just the ticket. I've been in contact with a couple already: they usually run an OW to MSDT course over 7 months (due to the 6 month gap required between OW and DM). As I have AOW they told me that I could skip the bit in the middle and compress the course down to 3/4 months. I told them no, as I'm perfectly happy to lug kit around for a while in the tropics somewhere. If they offered a drawn-out one for a year, I'd take it - I'd much rather take extra time away from the UK in really building the skillset, rather than just chasing tickets.

    Good point re doing the DM here, but getting away somewhere would be very appealing.

    I suspect it will be Thailand, Indonesia or the Philippines - due to low cost of training and low living costs. I also suspect I'll be paying my way through the training, but doing a bit of extra DM work pro-bono to really hone the skills and to spend some extra time out there.

    On Koh Tao for example, I could get all the training for £3093, the PADI certs and exam fees for £1000, 6-months rental of a nice little bungalow for £1000 and a fairly generous beer and food budget of £2500 (its very cheap) plus a one way flight for £350 = £7850.

    A huge amount of money, don't get me wrong, but worth saving for as for that I'd have 6 months on an island in the tropics and would leave with a MSDT card. Given the number of dive schools in the area, the relative shortage of local MSDTs (as apposed to plentiful DMs) and the (relative) ease of getting a work-permit - I might just find paid work afterward to extend my time there to 1-2 years. Long shot, and I'm not banking on it, but a lovely idea nonetheless.

    My god - its getting very real now :nailbiting:
     
  4. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,895
    Likes Received:
    869
    I can’t help really but I absolutely love Thailand so that’s where I’d go. I’ve been there more times than I can count but not for a long time, hope it hasn’t changed too much.
     
  5. speed098

    speed098 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2017
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    7
    Email as many places as you can. After all they may want to be interviewing you but this is potentially a life changing move for you and you need to interview the centres.
    Their initial response can be quite telling or in some cases the lack of a response. 6 months or longer with a centre who promised all your dreams come true but in reality you are a glorified brew boy is not what you are after. So as you narrow it down start looking at reviews also see if you can talk to people who have been there and if they recommend the centre. A centre who really helps trainees gain the qualifications should be happy for you to talk to previous trainees, maybe some are now working as instructors for the dive centre all year round or during peak times.
     
  6. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    85
    Have you looked at Southern Africa? Mozambique, Tanzania or somewhere like that?
     
  7. El Spread

    El Spread New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    4
    It all depends what you want from your internship. If you are young, single and just want to have a great time for a year or so then head off into the sunshine and get yourself a slot anywhere on the backpacker trail in the far East/Australasia. If on the other hand you want to start a career in the dive industry then you really have to look at places that are going to give you the most in return for your time.
    If the later is the case when you then I would suggest looking at somewhere less glamorous that could perhaps offer you tickets over and above DM. It doesn't get much more unglamorous than Oban but somewhere like puffin divers is a place where you get a few tech courses and an HSE course as part of your training. Scapa flow is also a great place to get some serious dive time under your belt and perhaps get some boat handling tickets etc. Good luck what ever you decide!
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
    UKD Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Messages:
    5,316
    Likes Received:
    1,173
    Hmm, Puffin in Oban. No question that after an internship there you'd be at the top of your game; an operation run to military precision! But not a place for sun, sandals and living on a beach.

    Can't wait to go up there again, hopefully later this year.
     
  9. El Spread

    El Spread New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    4
    The diving around there is cracking and very varied.
    One point for the OP to consider is that for every positive dive master experience there are dozens of negative ones. Dive centres abroad vary greatly in their standards and tired though you may be of working in an office I can assure you that being an indentured serf to an unscrupulous dive centre owner isn't much fun either. If you are wanting to get away from it for a bit before returning to your career then in my opinion you'd be a lot happier saving up and then heading off to somewhere like Thailand to live it up for three months - diving and enjoying yourself on your own terms.
    If a complete change of career is what you're after then don't be fooled by PADI marketing talk. The only people making money out of recreational diving are dive centre owners and established Tec instructors.
    In my own quest to reach diving Nirvana I've done everything from recreational instructing through to running my own small commercial diving company. Eventually after fooling myself for a number of years I decided to focus all of my efforts on getting a well paid professional job in an entirely different industry. I may not be diving every day but it affords me the freedom to take two or three good quality diving holidays a year along with various weekend trips and I can honestly say I don't miss making my living from diving.
    Don't let me put you off though! If you are determined to do it make sure you do plenty of research before handing over your hard earned to anyone.
     
    Wibble likes this.
  10. Gaz

    Gaz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    6
    Hi guys - thanks again for the very helpful replies.

    I've been in touch with quite a few places and have already started to filter some of them out.

    Tanzania is indeed on the list too - Ive been diving in Zanzibar before and have been in touch with the dive centre there.

    Points re: better teaching in the UK and careers in diving have also been noted - as this is more about a career break in the short term, I'll definitely be going abroad though!

    Will keep you updated.
     
    Wibble likes this.
  11. Tewdric

    Tewdric Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    17
    Another thing to think about Gaz is languages. The main differentiator for a dive centre when taking on instructors is how many languages you can teach in. German and (particularly) Russian will get you a long way. Something to think about to occupy the retire before you set off?
     
  12. JasonP

    JasonP Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    20
    Being able to drive a boat and having the qualifications for it would also make you a lot more employable in some parts of the world

    Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk
     
  13. Gaz

    Gaz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    6
    On the language front, I have reasonable french and have been working to improve that to the point where I could instruct - still a long way to go though (did it A-level, but not since).

    Ahh the boat thing, I actually have an RYA Level 2 Offsore powerboat certificate (I forgot about that - nice reminder). I may pop over to Pwllheli to have a refresher before I go.

    Thanks guys.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Our UKDivers community has been around for many years and prides itself on offering unbiased, helpful discussion among people of all disciplines and abilities. We are working every day to make sure our community is one of the best and friendliest around.
  • Support us!

    The management works very hard to make sure the community continues to run reliably. Care to support us? All donations go to the running costs of the forum: hosting charges, software maintenance, etc. We'd really appreciate it!

    Choose option:  

    UKD Username: