Au Pair Spain - Summer
Travel to the beautiful Seychelles islands, gain a professional PADI diving qualification and work experience in marine conservation.
This internship offers you the perfect opportunity to enhance your current dive experience and enter the world of professional diving. You will contribute to the vital marine research and conservation projects to understand the impacts on this speculator underwater environment. You will also be working and living in a pristine environment that will complete what will be a life changing experience.
- Become a PADI Advanced Diver or beyond
- Identify fish and coral in the Indian Ocean
- Dive among deserted tropical islands!
PADI Dive Master & Marine Conservation Internship
This 24 week conservation internship is divided into two, 12 week phases. The first phase of your internship will start with a marine conservation expedition, which will develop your scuba diving skills and your understanding of marine conservation. You will also attain skills essential in preparing you for your following 12 week work placement by diving and monitoring the coral reef, collecting vital data on fish species and coral, amongst other related conservation and community projects. You can expect to take part in approximately five to ten dives per week (weather, season and training permitting).
The Research, conservation and community projects that you will be involved with during your first 12 weeks are:
- Coral reef monitoring and recovery research
- Invertebrate population monitoring
- Whale shark migration and behavioural research in conjunction with a plankton monitoring program. (Most sightings of whale sharks fall between August and October).
- Marine turtle research
- Cetacean sightings data collection
- Community education and awareness programs
Please note that projects conducted at any time are subject to change based on the season and the needs of local partners and areas of priority outlined by local government agencies.
During the second phase of your internship you will be placed at a local dive centre, where you will undertake your PADI Dive Master course. Here you will shadow dive centre staff, help the dive centre with all commercial operations including; taking clients diving, equipment maintenance and marine conservation lectures. You will also expand your knowledge of marine conservation, spending the majority of your time diving in the crystal clear waters. At the end of your work placement, qualifying participants may either be offered paid or unpaid work with our partner or with one of their local partners. These positions may vary in length from one week to one year, depending upon availability.
Location, Accommodation & Food
This expedition will take you to the beautiful Indian Ocean paradise of the Seychelles Islands. The turquoise-blue waters are the ideal location to conduct marine research, relaxing and exploring a well-preserved and tranquil archipelago. All interns will fly into the Seychelles International Airport on Maché Island. It's advisable that you arrive a day or two before your expedition start date, to give yourself time to recover from jet lag and to acclimatise.
Our partner operate two marine bases in the inner granitic islands, both within National Marine Parks next to stunning palm-fringed beaches and forested areas. Both bases have basic living conditions with mixed sex dormitory style accommodation, with up to 12 to a room or spacious tents with up to 6 people with shared bathroom and living facilities. The research bases have basic facilities with running water for showers and tap water that is safe to drink. During your 12 week work placement and PADI Dive Master Course, you will be located in Beau Vallon and can still expect to be living in shared bedrooms, with other interns on this program.
Interns share food preparation duties; food is basic but nutritious and is primarily vegetarian with fish or meat available just once or twice a week. Breakfasts could be porridge with fresh fruit, or occasionally pancakes or cereal. Lunch and evening meals may include pasta, beans, rice, vegetables and fruit. During your work placement and any time spent away from base, you will be responsible for purchasing your own food. Knowledge Development
Age & Required Experience
- You need to be at least 18 years old
- Be qualified to at least PADI Open Water (or equivalent)
- Be able to pass a medical examination to prove you are physically fit to dive
- Be able to complete a swimming test upon arrival, which may consist of an unaided 200m surface swim followed by a 10 min float, and a 300m swim with snorkel, mask and fins followed by a 10 min float both in open sea environment
- Be able to walk up to 150m in shallow water whilst carrying SCUBA equipment
- Participants must also be enthusiastic, adventurous, have a good sense of humour and be respectful of the host country's environment and cultures.
What does the training involve?
During your internship you will receive lectures and tuition which will be conducted by the expedition scientific staff, occasional local experts, visiting scientists and specialists. All aspects learnt are built upon throughout the duration of your internship. The training includes the following subjects:
- Survey specific buoyancy training
- Emergency oxygen therapy orientation
- Diving equipment maintenance and care considerations
- Marine survey techniques
- Introduction to the natural environment of the Seychelles
- Introduction to coral reef ecosystems and biology
- Classification and taxonomy
- Introduction to fish (behaviour and lifestyles adaptations)
- Fish identification
- Hard coral identification
- Soft coral biology and identification
- Algal ecology and identification
- Invertebrate biology and identification
- Threats to coral reefs
- Coral and fish monitoring protocols
- Marine turtle biology and monitoring methodology
- Whale shark and sightings protocol
- Commercial invertebrate species
- Plankton sampling
- Additional lectures conducted by visiting experts
As part of your internship you will receive the following certifications:
- PADI Advance Open Water
- PADI Coral Reef Research Diver speciality
- PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Dive Master (excluding PADI professional fees)
- First Aid & CPR
When & How To Apply
The program is open year round, however we recommend applying at least 3 months before your intended departure date to allow enough time to complete the required documents and pay the program fees.
Simply click here to start your application, fill out the entire application and pay the deposit. A Smaller Earth representative will then confirm your application, and will provide you with your next steps so that we can confirm your booking.
- Arrival and location orientation
- Airport pick up
- All food (for the first twelve weeks) and accommodation
- All necessary project training, necessary project equipment and materials
- National Park fees and permits
- PADI Advanced Open Water
- PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Specialty
- PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Dive Master certifications (excluding PADI professional fees)
- First Aid & CPR training (Emergency First Response Certification)
- Use of O2 equipment workshop; diving compressor training workshop and all training materials
- Technical dive equipment (whilst on the program base) and science equipment
- 24-hour in-country support and a 24-hour emergency phone line
- Dedicated staff mentor
- Site training and tuition
- Formal qualifications as relevant to the specific program
- Hands on professional experience
- Weekly one on one formal reviews
- Training and experience evaluation
- Additional work placements
- Final evaluation
- Certification and summary of training and experience received
- Confidential professional reference
Your first 12 weeks are spent as a Smaller Earth volunteer on the Seychelles Conservation Expedition. Your following 12 weeks will be a work placement as an Intern in dive centres located in Beau Vallon.
What's Not Included?
- International flights and International and domestic airport taxes
- Medical and travel insurance
- Personal kit (including wetsuit, mask, fins and snorkel),
- Medical cost for obtaining your GOP visa (approx. $100)
- PADI Professional Membership Fees (approx. $85)
- Transport to work placement
- Food during your 12 week work placement
- Introduction to TEFL
Q. What is the local currency?
A. The local currency is the Seychellois Ruppe (SR or SRe), although Euros and US Dollars are widely accepted.
Q. When will I know if I have been assigned to fish or coral?
A. Typically 8 weeks before your departure you will be emailed by our partners to advise if you have been assigned to fish or coral. This is so they have an even split on each base and to give you plenty of time prior to departure to study your assignment. There are many books at the base and staff will be more than happy to help if you are interested in learning a little about the other topic.
Q. What months are best to take part?
A. Most participants who sign up to this program are interested in the Whale Sharks, whilst they might be around the Seychelles all year round, they are usually near our partner bases from August to October. Turtle nesting season and turtle search dives then begin. From September to December the water temperature starts at around 26C and warms up as the months go by with flat and calm waters.
Q. What is the maximum depth of dives I will be taking?
A. The maximum dive depth will be 40m.
What Travel opportunities are there?
During your down time you will be free to travel around the local area and can expect one free day per week, usually Sundays. Here are just some of the things you could experience:
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles, the smallest capital city in the world. Volunteers often visit to catch up at internet cafes, do a little shopping, or visit the market to soak up the local atmosphere. Public transport is cheap and frequent and all parts of Mahé can be explored easily by catching a bus.
With 115 islands in the Seychelles group stretching over 800 miles, the possibilities of exploring this tropical paradise are endless. The inner-islands, situated closer to Mahé are easily accessible by fast ferry. Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette, Felicity and Sister, to name a few, all have their own unique charms with hotels and guest houses within most people’s price range.
Program Start Dates & Price
- 6 month £5700 - View dates