Projects Abroad | Marine Conservation

Fiji & Thailand: PADI Divemaster Internship

Caqalai Island, Fiji & Pha Ngai, Thailand


Location: Caqalai Island, Fiji & Pha Nga, Thailand

Duration: 24 weeks commitment

Start Dates: Project starts on a Saturday with set start dates throughout the year. Check with us when applying.

Cost: £6,985 for 24 weeks. Check the Costs tab for further information.

Includes: All food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities

Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations


  • Earn your PADI Divemaster, opening up a career of travel and diving.
  • Contribute to UN SDG, #14, Life Below Water in Fiji.
  • Earn your PADI Coral Reef Researcher Speciality, exclusive to our marine programs.
  • Gain experience working in a dive shop on a Thai island.
  • Earn ILM Endorsed Leadership Certificate.
Costs Explained


Begin your Diving career and travel the world by earning your PADI Divemaster qualification with us. First, you will journey to the tiny Fijian island of Caqalai to start your theoretical and practical training. Here you will also earn your PADI Coral Reef Researcher Speciality, exclusive to our marine conservation programs. This will allow you to assist the permanent team stationed on the island with long-term locally led ocean conservation efforts aligned to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #14, Life Below Water.

Afterwards you will join a dive centre in Thailand as a junior staff member (student intern) for 3 months, where you will perfect your skills as a recreational dive leader. The internship is designed to give you an intensive and comprehensive introduction to professional diving with the opportunity to experience two of the world’s most popular diving locations.

Daily Life

First 3 months – on the Diving base:

Marine conservation interns will be trained in the identification of invertebrate, fish or benthic (coral) target species and life forms. Once fully trained in species ID, volunteers will be taught several survey techniques allowing them to become a member of the data collection survey team building an inventory of marine species in Moturiki waters.

Once Interns are making progress on their science training they 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 interns will spend 3 months on the marine conservation expedition gaining their PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, Emergency First Responder and Coral Reef Research Diver certifications , complete the Leadership Training Course and internship assignments followed . Weekly assignments must be completed and there will be weekly 1-on-1 meetings with a staff mentor


Once you have successfully completed the first three months of training in Fiji, you will travel to a dive centre in Southern Thailand.

Here you will learn what the business of running diving tours is really like, under the guidance of a professional diving team.

Gain experience working with clients by leading a dive in preparation for your final PADI Divemaster assessment.

*Please note that travel between Fiji and Thailand is not included.

Survey Training: The best way for you 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 “spot dives & snorkels.” Once basic dive training is completed at the beginning of the expedition, each diving day you will participate in one to two spot dives or snorkels.

  • 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). We use three separate methods for our marine expedition, Line Intercept Transect (LIT), 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 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 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.
  • 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.
Book with Confidence

Travel & Accom.

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. Interns need to be aware that not all placements provide food and they may have to pay for and cook their own

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

Fundraising Help


  • Minimum age 18
  • Be keen and enthusiastic to get involved in the project
  • Ability to work within a team environment
  • Minimum 24 weeks commitment
  • CRB Police check (or equivalent) showing that you have no previous criminal convictions
  • Signed medical form
  • PADI medical form
  • PADI OW certified (or equivalent)
  • Documents for long term work permit Fiji Visa
  • Good English skills
  • Necessary vaccinations
  • Necessary flight & visas
  • Full travel & medical insurance. Full assistance will be provided in getting everything you will need ready if you choose our Placement Support Package.
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Duration Price
24 weeks £6,985

* Check the latest currency conversions with
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 20% deposit.

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes;

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pickup
  • Orientation
  • In-country support
  • All project activities.
What’s not included:
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Vaccinations

Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

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Past Participants Say

Kaitlyn Quinn
Kaitlyn Quinn
Nomad Rating
Project Impact
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After spending 3 months on Caqalai, I honestly don't know where to begin aside from saying the whole experience was unbelievable. Being able to wake up every morning to a beautiful sunrise on the beach and knowing that each day would mean another chance for me to make an impact on this world brought a sense of fulfillment I had never experienced be...
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