Which scuba diving qualifications can you get while volunteering abroad?
Posted: June 12, 2019
Volunteering abroad can equip you with a wide range of practical skills, including professional dive qualifications. Take your love for the ocean to the next level with combined dive training and marine volunteering.
Certified dive instructors, beautiful beach destinations, and a clear purpose: You’ll find all three on GVI’s marine conservation programs. You could be diving into the blue waters of Mexico, Fiji, or Seychelles every day, while helping to protect and research corals, and marine creatures.
This is the first level of PADI’s certification system. As an Open Water diver, you’ll be able to dive recreationally to a limited depth. You’ll need to have at least an Open Water Diver qualification before joining many of GVI’s marine conservation programs.
But inexperienced divers can join our projects in Fiji or Mexico for longer durations, so we can give you all the training you need to achieve this entry-level certification.
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
The next step to advancing your diving skills is to complete an Advanced Open Water Diver course. You’ll build confidence underwater and expand your scuba skills.
You can take the Advanced Open Water Diver course straight after becoming Open Water certified, so GVI can easily help you tick off this scuba diving qualification.
You’ll need to complete at least five specialised dives to qualify for your Advanced Open Water Diver, which you can carry out as part of your volunteer project.
All GVI’s marine conservation programs offer Advanced Open Water Diver training.
Coral Reef Research Speciality
As part of your PADI Divemaster course with GVI, you will have the opportunity to do the Coral Reef Researcher Speciality qualification. This PADI course, which includes specific coral reef research techniques, is exclusive to GVI.
PADI Rescue Diver
The Rescue Diver certification teaches you how to prevent and manage problems in the water. At the end of the course, you’ll have the skills necessary to help others in the water.
This is the first level of professional dive training. As a Divemaster, you’ll be able to make scuba diving or marine conservation a viable career option. Divemasters can assist diving instructors and carry out a wide range of diving activities. You can enrol in the Divemaster course once you have completed your Rescue Diver certification.
Instructor Development Course
This course will certify you to become a PADI Instructor, allowing you to teach others to become scuba divers themselves. As a higher-level professional qualification, you’ll have access to more career options involving diving once you’ve completed the course.
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer
This scuba qualification is yet another rung up the professional diving ladder. Master Scuba Diver Trainers have the skills and experience needed to teach other divers right up to the ultimate recreational diver rating, Master Scuba Diver. Taking this course clearly shows your commitment to diving and ability to instruct a range of courses.
Dive training locations
Our professional level dive training is available in Fiji, Mexico, and Seychelles.
Seychelles is famous for untouched beaches and coral reefs teeming with colourful marine life. This small island nation has a number of endemic animal species, both on land and in the water. It’s a hotspot for research and endangered sea turtle conservation.
Mexico’s history, cuisine, and seemingly endless coastlines make it an enticing place to volunteer. Between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, there are many outstanding dive sites. Once you’ve gained a scuba diving qualification, you could even explore the underground limestone caves called cenotes.
Fiji is a Pacific Island nation. The archipelago’s many islands are fringed with dazzling blue water, barrier reefs, and calm lagoons. More than 1,500 species of aquatic creatures means both excellent marine wildlife viewing and ample opportunities for enthusiastic conservation volunteers.
Volunteer scuba diving and marine conservation opportunities
Marine conservation volunteering opportunities with GVI will help you get the most out of your diving certifications. The more you learn about life under the surface of the ocean, the more you will be driven to protect it.
Or, tackle a coral bleaching and climate change project in Seychelles. Along with dive training, you’ll learn how to identify and monitor coral species and put your Coral Reef Researcher Speciality qualification to good use. You’ll be working alongside an international team of researchers to help aid coral reef recovery.
Zaytoen Domingo is a content writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently enrolled in the Masters program in English at the University of the Western Cape. After graduating with an Honours Degree in English and Creative Writing, Zaytoen completed a skills-development program for writers and became an alum of the GVI Writing Academy.