I have spent 2 months with this Downbelow completing my divemaster and instructor internship, so naturally my review of this place will be quite thorough. For those of you who just want a quick summary, please just skip to the last paragraph of this review. Now for the rest of you, where do I begin? A little bit about myself: I completed my Rescue Diver course last October and decided to to peruse a professional career in diving. I looked for a few diving center, mainly in South East Asia and Australia. After sending a few emails between a handful of diving center I decided to go with Downbelow. Why I chose this diving center: 1) They are conveniently located near a city, so every night I could enjoy all the modern commodities like wifi and flushing toilet every night. 2) They offer a hotel package and free pickup, so I don’t have to worry about accommodation and logistics. 3) The price they quoted me was very reasonable, and the staff team was very quick to respond with my emails. What to expect while doing the internship with Downbelow: -The Go Pro Courses are not meant to be your diving vacation: You are there to become a professional diver, so please only commit yourself to the internship in Downbelow (or any other diving center) when you are ready to take on the challenge. -Professional and friendly staff: Having warned you that you are not on a vacation, most days it still DOES feel like a vacation because of how friendly and helpful the staffs are. As long as you put some effort into the course work then everything else will be a breeze. -Flexible Schedule: I told them the amount of time I have and what I would like to accomplish and Downbelow tailor made a working schedule for me. Obviously it is only flexible to a certain degree; you still have to put a lot of time and effort to make it work. But they do dive 3 times a day everyday. So it was absolutely no problem for me to go from a 30 logged dives to 60 logged dives within a month. -Lots of classes for you to assist in: Downbelow is a VERY busy diving center, and they always have a fair amount of students there, with Discover Scuba and Open Water students the most frequent. So if you are doing the Go Pro Internship you have a LOT of chances to assist the courses and gain some real world experiences. Quite regularly Downbelow would have big adventure groups living on the island as well, so you would have 20+ open water students on the island, and it is very impressive to see the staff organizing the course with such a large group and definitely a unique experience to assist them. -Emphasis on conservation and sustainable diving: What really sets Downbelow apart from the other dive operation in the area is their effort on conservations. When they teach their students, from Discover Scuba Divers to Instructor candidates, they always emphasis on sustainable diving, and their passion towards conservation really resonate with the students. This creates a very positive environment for teaching and learning especially you know you are supporting an establishment that is putting efforts in respectable cause. My initial plan was to complete only my divemaster with Downbelow but because I had such a great time and felt really confident with what they helped me accomplished, I decided to stay an extra month to complete the Instructor Development Course. The bottom line is Downbelow is the best place to do your internship in South East Pacific in my humble opinion because you get very professional training that works around your schedule, a lot of chances to practice your skills with the amount of students that go through the center, and not have to worry about your accommodation and logistics at all. On top of that you are supporting a business that is very passionate about marine conservation so you know you can sleep very well every night knowing you are making a positive difference in the world while becoming an awesome professional diver.
Class of May 2012 IDC
« Previous Post: “Home away from home.”
Newer Post: “can you teach an old dog new tricks?” »