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Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea Marine Conservation and PADI Divemaster Internship

Start your professional diving career by earning your PADI Divemaster while exploring the underwater worlds of both Fiji and Mexico.

Program Code: FJYW0868N

Program Information

Experience two of the world’s top diving destinations while earning your PADI Divemaster. Learn how to dive while living on the tiny tropical island of Caqalai, part of Fiji’s Lomaiviti island group, and contribute to long-term locally led ocean conservation projects. Afterwards, hone your dive leadership skills at a dive centre situated on Mexico’s famously idyllic Riviera Maya coastline.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

This six month internship is designed to give interns a headstart in the exciting career of professional diving. It is specifically catered to those who are interested in the field of marine conservation.

For the first 12 weeks, interns will train in the warm, tropical waters of the South Pacific. They will live, learn, and work on the 14 acre island of Caqalai with an international team of experienced GVI staff and enthusiastic participants from all around the world. Here they will complete the prerequisite qualifications of their PADI Divemaster program. Before assisting the team with conducting marine life surveys, they will first complete their Coral Reef Researcher Speciality, which is exclusively offered on GVI marine conservation programs. Interns will also earn their ILM Endorsed Leadership and EFR certifications while completing this first part of their PADI Divemaster internship in Fiji.

After successfully completing their training, interns will make their way to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to work at a world-class dive centre. Here interns will learn to lead recreational dives, honing their skills so that they can excel in their final Divemaster exam.

Please note that flights between Fiji and Mexico are not included and that you will require a PADI Open Water qualification, or equivalent, before joining other interns in Fiji.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earn your PADI Divemaster certification.

  • Earn your PADI Coral Reef Researcher Speciality.

  • Assist in conserving the pristine marine life of the South Pacific.

  • Experience the diverse marine life of the Mesoamerican coral reef, the second-largest in the world.

  • Contribute to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #14, Life Below Water.

Program Details

Select a Start Date

  • 2020

Select a Duration

Select a start date first.

Select Add-Ons

+ $30
 

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Training

A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.


For All GVI Participants

Welcome Presentation

Introduction to GVI as a whole and the work in your specific location. Learn about the short, mid, and long-term objectives of the sustainable development projects at your base, which United Nations Development Goals they impact most directly, and which local partners we work with.


Health and Safety Training

Learn about the Emergency Action Plans in place at your base, the full Risk Assessment, and best practices for personal safety.


Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Training

Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.


Your Program Specific Training

GVI's ILM Endorsed Leadership Training

This includes several presentations on leadership-related topics as well as practical applications of the topics, weekly one-on-one meetings with an assigned mentor, and a final leadership project.


Survey Training

The best way for the GVI staff to improve and assess participants’ fish, invertebrate and benthic life-form knowledge, is to use a variety of teaching methods. In Caqalai, this incorporates slideshow presentations, fun workshops (fish bingo anyone?) and most importantly, what we call “point out dives & snorkels.” Once basic dive training is completed at the beginning of the expedition, each diving day you will participate in one to two point out dives or snorkels.


GVI Fiji Species List

Participants will likely be assigned the responsibility to study either fish, invertebrates and benthic life forms, based on the length of their stay.


Survey Methods

Our baseline method employed during the underwater surveys was designed to complement existing survey methods used in Fiji by the Department of Fisheries and the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network (FLMMA). GVI uses three separate methods for our marine expedition, Point Intercept Transect (PIT), Invertebrate Belt Transect (IBT) and Underwater Visual Census (UVC), all conducted as a team along one transect.


Data Collection and Analysis

During your time in Caqalai, a GVI staff member will analyse data collected and prepare an annual science report. A presentation presenting the analysis of the data you helped to collect will be made available and participants will help with the analysis and compilation of this data.


PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Specialty

The Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course teaches participants about the importance of coral reef systems and how to conserve them. You will learn how you can help conserve coral reef systems. Through classroom discussions, you’ll learn how coral reefs function and the complex nature of life on a reef, why coral reefs are so important, why many coral reefs are in serious trouble, and what you can do to prevent further decline.


PADI Advanced Open Water

This training takes scuba diving further through five adventure dives. This includes two types of required dives, deep diving and underwater navigation, and any other three types of adventure dives. In Caqalai, we offer peak performance buoyancy, underwater naturalist, drift, deep dive and navigation – depending on the needs of the current projects.


PADI Rescue Diver

This training prepares you for diving emergencies, both minor and major, using a variety of techniques. Through knowledge development and rescue exercises, you learn what to look for and how to respond. During rescue scenarios, you will put into practice your knowledge and skills. Topics include, self rescue, recognizing and managing stress in other divers, emergency management and equipment, rescuing panicked divers, and rescuing unresponsive divers.


PADI Divemaster

This training program will teach you how to lead diving activities through theoretical learning, in-water exercises, and hands-on practical assessments. Topics include, mapping an open water site, awareness of the dive environment, dive setup and management, conducting dive briefings, and supervising dive activities and assisting student divers.


Emergency First Response Training

Learn how to apply first aid protocols and carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR.


Arrivals

When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.


As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.


 
 
 
 

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


 


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.


 

Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


Support

Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Safety

Upon arrival at the airport, participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.


Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov

HOW GVI UPHOLDS HEALTH AND SAFETY

It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.


1 Nov

GVI’S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY AND SECURITY

As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.


6 Nov

HOW GVI REMAINS PREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS

The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.


5 Nov

HOW GVI MANAGES PARTICIPANTS EXPECTATIONS

Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.


What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Certification and summary of training and experience received
  • Community work workshop
  • Confidential professional reference
  • Coral reef ecology
  • Final evaluation
  • First Aid and CPR training and certification
  • Leading biological surveys course
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • PADI Advanced Open Water
  • PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality
  • PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Divemaster certifications (not including PADI professional fees)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Teamwork and leadership experience
  • Transfer to base location
  • Use of O2 equipment workshop
  • Weekly evaluation with your mentor
  • Welcome meeting
  • Work placement, if successful during the first 12 weeks of the internship

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • Internal transport to placements
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • PADI Open Water
  • Personal dive kit, e.g. mask, fins, wetsuit, timer etc.
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)