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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Marine Conservation and PADI Divemaster Internship in Fiji

Enter the global scuba diving industry with a professional diving qualification combined with work experience and marine conservation training

UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • 4
  • 13
  • 14

Our Impact


Location

Volunteer in the Fiji Islands

Our programs here are based in two stunning locations. One is based on the idyllic Caqalai Island pronounced ‘than-ga-laiin the Lomaiviti Island group. Caqalai is a tiny island (you can walk around it in 15 minutes) defined by white sand beaches and a lush interior. The island is on the edge of an expansive reef system and nearby to 10 small villages located on the neighbouring Moturiki Island. The second is in the Dawasamu District on Viti Levu, remote and known for its proximity to Moon Reef and its resident pod of Spinner Dolphins. Based in the villages of Silana and Natalei, this is a perfect location to experience true Fijian life, in an amazing region defined by dense jungle, volcanic mountainsides and the tribal culture of Tailevu Province.


Program Information

Get your PADI Divemaster qualification and boost your career when you join a scuba diving and marine conservation internship in the endless turquoise waters Fiji. Undergo an extensive training programme and gain in-depth knowledge into the marine ecosystem, then put this knowledge to work when you join a team to compile crucial research on tropical coral reefs and fish species.
Overview Life on the Internship Project Details Free Time The Team Dates & Costs

Overview

This diving and marine conservation internship offers unique opportunities to dive in, explore and protect a stunning underwater environment. Diving in the crystal clear waters of the Lomaiviti Island Group consisting of 20 ancient islands, volcanic hillsides and pristine white-sand beaches, you’ll be collecting data that will help establish community managed Marine Protected Areas and assist the community with developing sustainable management plans.

The internship begins with our Marine conservation expedition. You will live for 12 weeks with a GVI research team and undergo an extensive training programme, taking your diving skills through to advanced level and gaining an intimate knowledge of the marine ecosystem. This knowledge will be put to practise while you work as part of a team to compile crucial research on coral reef and fish species.



On successful completion of the expedition you will proceed to complete your PADI Dive Master 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.

After a successful internship, qualifying candidates may be given the opportunity to work for GVI or selected partner organisations in Fiji, or in other countries around the world where GVI operate. Field work positions can be paid or unpaid, range in duration from one month to one year, and availability varies. Qualification for positions is at the sole discretion of Global Vision International.

All internships are geared at developing your leadership and role model skills, allowing you to develop a variety of key soft and hard skills that will put you a step ahead the rest of the pack. GVI have been running community development, education, and conservation projects since 1997 and our highly experienced field staff will help you gain and improve vital skill sets to improve your future job prospects.

Scuba Diving Requirements

You will spend the majority of your time on this internship scuba diving and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent before you start the internship.

Testimonial

"I have been very impressed by GVI and their work ethic in Fiji. It has been refreshing to see a volunteer organisation that prioritises the needs of the community and the targeted nature of the volunteer contribution."
- Howard Foster (Managing director of South Pacific Projects)

Program Details

Program Type Internship
Program Code FJYW0307N
Program Focus  Marine Conservation

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
  • Diving compressor training workshop
  • Final evaluation
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • First Aid & 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 Dive Master 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 evaulation 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
  • Food during the placement portion of your internship
  • 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 kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs

GVI Live

“It can’t be done in 30 days!” you cry out in despair. “Oh yes, it can’t, but 30 days is all it takes to make a start,” we respond, holding out this handy link to your 30 day action plan: http://bit.ly/2pNSXOE

1 day ago

We’ve gotten out into the wilds of India to help conserve the habitats of tigers and other wildlife with our new partner, Forsyth Lodge Satpura. The tiger population is on the rise, but they are still one of the most endangered animal species in the world. Over the past 20 years, large areas of land have been added to the protected area of a park in Central India in the province of Madya Pradesh, where our new India base is established. In order to ensure wide support for conservation and to mitigate conflict between humans and wildlife such as tigers, it is crucial to closely monitor wildlife populations. Rewilding efforts made to restore the land to its former glory of prime animal habitat have been very successful. Former village sites are now grasslands supporting high densities of deer and antelope, which ensures sufficient prey for larger cats such as the leopard and tiger. Recently, a tigress was found raising her cubs in the forests only a few years after the establishment of the reserve. Sloth bear, locally called bhālu, also hugely enjoy feasting on the mangoes and guavas growing on the trees surrounding relocated village sites. The porous park boundaries, however, allow wildlife to roam outside the park. Groups of deer or wild boar can destroy a complete harvest in one night and some families fear that tigers might prey on their family cow. The indigenous people are also found of using the Mahua tree, which is considered holy by many tribal communities, for many purposes. Fruit and seeds are used for skin care, soap, vegetable butter, fuel oil and fertilizer, while and the flowers are used to produce an alcoholic drink. Sloth bear are also equally fond of the Mahua fruits, which is cause of serious human animal conflict throughout the area. By conducting field surveys and collecting data using observations and camera-traps you can help map movement patterns and keep track of population densities. Your data on water-bird breeding along the banks of the reserve’s rivers might allow authorities to negotiate appropriate fishing locations and times with traditional fishermen. Your camera-trap data might confirm the presence of the smallest cat in the world, the rusty spotted cat, or the jungle cat, pangolin, or honey badger, and other wildlife in unexplored areas, which could warrant further action as well as attract further beneficial international attention for the area. Your work restoring the local habitat will also help in making the environment more conducive to the animals living in the park. As you live and work among the families you can use the time you are not looking for wildlife to increase support for wildlife protection initiatives through formal and informal environmental education and livelihood programmes.

2 days ago

Life on the Internship

Your First 12 Weeks

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. You will also learn identification techniques and how to monitor the marine environment.

On other days, you should expect to be involved in additional projects and activities, including training sessions, beach cleans, marine debris surveys, environmental education sessions or alternative income training with the local community depending on local and project needs at the time. The days are rounded off with an evening debrief, followed by dinner and time to relax, take in the beautiful sunset and share stories.

Work Placements

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.

Accommodation

During your expedition phase, you will be living in simple dormitory style accommodation with restricted water supplies and cold water running showers.

Accommodation during the work placement is of a higher standard and is shared with other participants.

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
  • Diving compressor training workshop
  • Final evaluation
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • First Aid & 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 Dive Master 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 evaulation 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
  • Food during the placement portion of your internship
  • 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 kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs

Project Details

We are very proud of the work that we are doing in conjunction with the Yasawa Trust Foundation, the Fijian Locally Managed Marine Area network and the Department of Fisheries, among others, with the aim to establish Marine Protected Areas in order to:

  • Collect data on targeted fish species and invertebrates

  • Map coral reef and mangrove habitats

  • Monitor marine turtle sightings

  • Develop an environmental education and awareness programme for local schools


All projects undertaken are dependent on the weather and priorities of our local partners, and as such you should expect to be flexible with the projects you will contribute to.

Caqalai’s short, mid, and long-term objectives:

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfill our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Caqalai:

1. PROTECTION and MONITORING- Establish locally managed marine areas with villages of Moturiki in keeping with community led management plans
2. EDUCATION- capacity building within key stakeholders to ensure strong environmental leadership in the future
3. LIVELIHOODS- Introduce methods of alternative livelhoodto generate incomefor local communities to reduce dependance on damage fisheries for income
4. RESILIENCE- Reduce the vulnerability of communities to the negative impacts of climate changethrough awareness and training in adaptation techniques and disaster preparedness
5. COLLABORATION - Encourage good governance, inter-organisational collaboration and inter-village cooperation

How this project makes a difference:

The communities with which we work do not have access to the necessary resources to carry out regular data collection in their fishing grounds.

We are collecting specific data in order that the community can make more informed decisions with regards to the management of their vital resources.

After completion of your Dive Master training, you will help staff with the general running of the dive centre. Your work placement is a fantastic opportunity to put your new found skills into practise such as leadership techniques, equipment maintenance, advanced marine survey skills and your PADI Dive Master qualification (when certified).

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
  • Diving compressor training workshop
  • Final evaluation
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • First Aid & 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 Dive Master 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 evaulation 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
  • Food during the placement portion of your internship
  • 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 kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs

Free Time

Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate in programmes assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your programme. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on the programme.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Fiji!

Optional Side Trips

Fiji is a beautiful and exotic destination where you will find picturesque white sand beaches, world class dive sites, and Fiji’s famous culture of hospitality and warmth. As an island nation, many of your potential activities are water based! Starting locally, just a short boat ride away you can visit the famous pod of dolphins that reside all year round on Moon Reef or hike into the forests and swim in hidden waterfalls or visit one of Fiji’s famous island resorts.

In the water, for those that are not dive qualified you could enrol in a scuba diving course and dive the various dive sites in the region, home to abundant marine life, colourful corals and steep drop-offs. Get lucky with your dive, and visibility can exceed a massive 40m.

Fiji’s capital city, Suva, is only a few hours from all our project sites, known for its relaxed atmosphere, energetic nightlife, large farmers market and atmospheric port. Here you can visit the Fiji Museum, where you can find ancient tribal artefacts, one of the best exhibitions on tribal art in the Pacific, or read up on Fiji’s cannibal past. The old historical capital of Fiji, Levuka, which makes for an interesting day trip, is accessible by ferry and small boat and located on the nearby Ovalau Island.

 

Further Travelling Opportunities

A little further afield, the possibilities just keep on coming. Explore the town of Nadi with its bustling market, nearby hot springs at Sabeto or get a feel for the local atmosphere at a rugby match. From Pacific Harbour, join a river safari into the heart of Fiji or dive with bull sharks in Bega Lagoon, one of the world’s most famous shark dives.

Either before or after your programme you could try island hopping around the 20 volcanic islands of the Yasawa group. These remote islands are characterised by white beaches, crystal blue lagoon and dramatic rugged hills, some with summits 600 metres above sea level.

Staying on dry land, you might consider a trip to the Sigatoka National Park, where you’ll find a miniature desert of rolling sand dunes or a more relaxing option would be the Coral Coast and the Kula Eco Park, Fiji’s only wildlife park.

The Team

Claire Ogg

Program Manager Caqalai
Meet Claire, our Program Manager on our Caqalai Base in Fiji. Claire received her degree in agricultural and environmental sciences and is also an avid diver and marine conservationist.

She has lived and worked on various continents around the globe and has extensive experience in the diving industry.

While travelling Claire has come across earthquakes, cyclones, volcanoes and pirates!!! Talk about living on the edge! Working for GVI is an adventure in itself, luckily not the dangerous kind. She was first attracted by GVI because of our good reputation within the industry and she likes the fact that we employ, train and give back to the communities that we work in.

Zara Roche

Operations Manager
Meet Zara, our awesome Operations Manager here in Fiji. Zara started out as an eager education volunteer right here in Fiji back in 2014 and she was impressed by the stunning location in Fiji and GVI's volunteering ethos. She has been with us ever since and has worked her way up to Operations Manager, overseeing all the logistics on our base.

Zara is a water baby and she loves to get into the water for a dive/swim at any opportunity I can. As a GVI staff member in Fiji, she gets the opportunity to dive into the South Pacific paradise often. "When your job doesn’t feel like a job because you are getting the opportunity to do what you love is a blessing! GVI is a one big family based organisation and I appreciate working for a company who believes in working together with communities there is a grassroots non-hierarchy approach. This approach I believe is a fantastic way of successfully delivering volunteering projects."

Michele Comber

Program Manager
Meet Michele, our brilliant program manager in Fiji. She has a lot of travel experience in the US around Europe. She volunteered for one year in Mombasa Kenya on the childcare programme, became Project Manager for three years and worked in South Africa on an under 18's programme.

She loves GVI because ''this job gives me the opportunity to work with people who volunteer from all around the world and being able to work alongside individuals who had the same drive and passion as me, willingness to give up their time, share their skills and knowledge to assist the schools and the community groups we work with.

I have had the honour to work with some amazing partners in different countries who have welcomed me into their communities and let me be a part of their lives , giving me the opportunity to grow and learn. Their strength and their faith and their beliefs that all things can be achieved if you have hope will always stay with me.''

Dane Lee Marx

Country Director
Meet Dane, GVI's cheerful country director for Fiji. He has spent several years as the Conservation and Ecology Manager on Frégate Island, a small private island in the Seychelles. There he had been fortunate to have overseen and implemented projects ranging from monitoring and protection of rare birds, invertebrates and sea turtles to wide-scale habitat restoration as well as management of significant operations responsibilities.

After leaving that position he took a year off to do some travelling – six months of flyfishing, camping and exploring new Zealand, visiting some friends and family in Australia, and some exceptional diving and island hopping in Indonesia. He holds a BSc in Biology, Earth & Environmental Sciences, an Hons. in Zoology, and a MSc in Conservation Biology.

For him, GVI  is an exciting organisation as it carries out an impressive range of high impact, grass-roots level projects in some of the most interesting locations across the globe. This and the combined focus on both community based development and a deep seated conservation aligned perfectly with his own interests and passions.

Shayle Havemann

Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.

When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!

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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
  • Diving compressor training workshop
  • Final evaluation
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • First Aid & 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 Dive Master 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 evaulation 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
  • Food during the placement portion of your internship
  • 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 kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs