Indo Ocean Project

Research & Dive Master Internship

Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia show on map
Complete you PADI Dive Master course and take an active role in a marine research team in Nusa Lembgonan, the heart of the coral triangle. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:

About Indo Ocean Project

Indo Ocean Project is a research training and conservation project in the heart of the coral triangle. Our field expeditions in Indonesia hosts international and local research projects focused on marine mega fauna and coral reef conservation in national marine parks across Indonesia. You don’t need to be a diver or a scientist to take part! Our project relies on the experience and expertise of our volunteers from around the world to take action and take part.

About Nomads Diving Penida

Nomads Diving in Nusa Penida is a new diving facility and the location of Indo Ocean Project headquarters. It is a fully equipped dive centre with new scubapro equipment, dive training pool, beach bar, classroom, and research lab. It has a commitment to conservation and eco sustainable tourism with recycled water and home of our mangrove nursery.

As a Dive Master Trainee (DMT) with Nomads Diving, you will work closely with multiple instructors and experienced dive guides to help prepare you to become a dive professional. After the completion of this course you will be ready to complete your Instructor Development Course (IDC) or continue on as a research diver.

About The Internship 

Why become a Dive Master? - The Divemaster course is your first level of professional training. Working closely with your mentoring Dive Instructor and Bali Diving Academy’s team, you’ll fine tune your dive skills, like perfecting the effortless hover, and refine your rescue skills so you anticipate and easily solve common problems. You’ll gain dive knowledge, management and supervision abilities so you become a role model to divers everywhere.

As a Divemaster, you’ll lead others as you supervise scuba diving activities and assist with diver training. Divemasters are respected dive professionals who are aligned with the largest and most respected dive organization in the world – PADI. 

Before you can be a good research diver, you first must be a good diver. The PADI Dive Master and Research Diver Internship will give you the skills needed to work either in marine conservation/research or the diving industry. You will meet like-minded individuals and be able to network with experienced and aspiring marine biologists and organizations from around the world.

What will you learn?

The Divemaster course teaches you to be a leader and take charge of dive activities. Through knowledge development sessions with your mentoring instructor, Watermanship skills exercises and workshops, and hands on practical assessment, you develop the skills to organize and direct a variety of scuba activities. In partnership with your research diver internship you will be able to conduct and lead various marine research.


Conservation Workshops:

  • Baited Remote Underwater Video research and methodology
  • Fish Identification and Surveying Methods
  • Shark Ecology
  • Manta Ray Conservation
  • Nudibranchs & Macro Life
  • Coral Restoration & Taxonomy
  • Cleaning Stations
  • Data Entry
  • Mangrove restoration and nursery care
  • Sea turtle conservation
  • Plastics & Ocean Pollution 
Dive Master Workshops:
  • Knots/Lift Bag/Search & Recovery 
  • Recreational Dive Planner
  • Briefing, Assiting & Leading Dives
  • Underwater Mapping
  • Rescue & O2 Provider
  • Skill Demonstration
  • How to Find a job & CV/Resume building
  • The role and characteristics of the Divemaster
  • Supervising dive activities and assisting with student divers
  • Diver safety and risk management
  • Divemaster conducted programs and specialised skills
  • Business of diving and your career
  • Awareness of the dive environment
  • Dive setup and management
  • Mapping an open water site
  • Conducting recreational and research dive briefings
  • Organizing a search and recovery project and a deep dive
  • Conducting a scuba review and skin diver course
  • Assisting with Discover Scuba Diving and leading Discover Local Diving programs

**You may be able to get college credit for the Divemaster course – ask your instructor and professor for more details**

What scuba gear will you use?

As a dive professional, you’ll want to have all your basic scuba equipment, including a dive computer, a dive knife, and a surface signalling device. During practical skills exercises, like underwater mapping and search and recovery, you’ll use a compass, floats, marker buoys, life bags, and slates. This is your time to start building your personal set of gear. All equipment purchased through Indo Ocean Project receives a 10% discount. Ask us for more information.

About Nusa Penida 

The Penida Project is located on the island of Nusa Penida in the Penida Marine Park. Penida is a diver, surfer, and yogi paradise only a 40-minute boat ride from southeast Bali and ideally located only 1 hour away from the Denpasar International Airport. It is part of the Klungkung Regency district which includes the three islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida.

The project headquarters is located on the island of Nusa Penida in the Penida Marine Park. Penida is a diver, surfer, and yogi paradise only a 30-minute boat ride from southeast Bali and ideally located only 1 hour away from the Denpasar International Airport. It is part of the Klungkung Regency district which includes the three islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida.

Nusa Penida is known as “The Golden Egg of Bali” and is around 200 square kilometres with around 45,000 inhabitants. In 2010, Nusa Penida was name an MPA (Marine Protected Area) by the 41 local villages and a strong community effort, one year later it was recognized by the Indonesian government. As a part of the district of Bali, it is rich in Hindu culture with many temples to visit and ceremonies to attend throughout the year. The people are among the friendliest in the world and are very welcoming to all visitors and proud to show off their beautiful island. It is off the beaten Bali track, but it is an adventure seekers dream with world-class diving, cliff jumping, hiking, surfing, and yoga. Bali is only a 30-minute boat ride away and filled with shopping, beaches, night life, and a number adventure activities. 

Diving in the Penida Marine Park

Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan have quickly become a dive destination because of its year round sightings of manta rays and the seasonal appearance of the famous Mola Mola (Sunfish). Divers travel from around the world to dive the famous dive sites of Blue Corner, Crystal Bay, and Manta Point. You’re best chance to see the Mola Mola are from the months of July – September, while manta rays are spotted year round at their favorite cleaning and feeding stations along Nusa Penida’s cliffs. The water temperatures can range from 16 degrees to 30 degrees with cold upwelling’s arriving in June bringing nutrient rich waters from the depths of the Lombok straight. The majority of our dives are drift dives, where we jump off the boat and drift with the current until our dive is complete and the boat crew picks us up wherever we surface. The fast current draws in the large sharks and rays as it is easier for them to breathe. The ocean surrounding the three islands are a MPA (Marine Protected Area) with many research projects and conservation initiative helping to protect the land and sea park.

Packages and Prerequisites

Projects like this rely on the generosity of our partners and volunteers to develop and grow. In order for us to create an awesome adventure for you we do require a tuition to cover your expenses while on program. Because of the donations from our local partners we are able to keep the cost low while covering all your needs so you can focus on your training and your work during this adventure.

Below you will see the package options available depending on your current diving experience. All prices are in Indonesian Rupiah.



** Please note that additional specialities will be added to our program which has result in a program fee increase as of October 15th 2018. If you have already confirmed your program will remain the same with additional specialties offered as optional add ons on arrival**


Description: For advanced diver’s who have completed most of their diver training before program start date.

Prerequisites: For candidates who have completed their Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, CPR/First Air & O2 Provider courses prior to their program start date. Have a minimum of 40 logged dives and have been cleared for diving by a doctor.

Courses Included: PADI/SSI Dive Master, Scientific Diver Specialty, Shark Ecology, Manta Conservation, Coral Restoration & Identification, Marine Ecology

Minimum Time Commitment: 8 weeks



Description: For experienced divers who need to complete their rescue skills during their program.

Prerequisites: For candidates who have completed their Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver courses prior to their program start date. Have a minimum of 20 logged dives and have been cleared for diving by a doctor.

Courses Included: Rescue Diver, EFR CPR/First Air & Oxygen Provider, PADI/SSI Dive Master, Scientific Diver Specialty, Shark Ecology, Manta Conservation, Coral Restoration & Identification, Marine Ecology

Minimum Time Commitment: 10 weeks



Description: For divers with beginner knowledge and experience who have completed their first diving course with a few extra dives.

Prerequisites: For candidates who have completed their Open Water Diver training prior to their program start date and have been cleared for diving by a doctor.

Course Included: Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, EFR CPR/First Air & Oxygen Provider, PADI/SSI Dive Master, Scientific Diver Specialty, Shark Ecology, Manta Conservation, Coral Restoration & Identification, Marine Ecology

Minimum Time Commitment: 12 weeks



Description: For applicants who have no previous diving experience and need to complete all the required prerequisites to complete your Dive Master certification.

Prerequisites: Comfortable in the open water, can complete a timed 400m free swim and tread water for 15 minutes, have been cleared for diving by a doctor.

Course Included: Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, EFR CPR/First Air & Oxygen Provider, PADI/SSI Dive Master, Scientific Diver Specialty, Shark Ecology, Manta Conservation, Coral Restoration & Identification, Marine Ecology

Minimum Time Commitment: 14 weeks



  • Return flights to home country
  • In country spending money
  • Meals (can eat for 20,000 IDR+ per meal)
  • Travel and Dive Insurance
  • Profesional Processing Fees (2,500,000 IDR)
  • DM Crew Pack and Training Manuals (3,800,000 IDR)

Typical day

The project runs 7 days a week and all interns are entitled to 1 day off per week or 4 days off per month. These days can be accumulated if you require a few days off in a row. 

Your first few weeks are dedicated to dive, methodology, and fish ID training and workshops. Once you are trained and have successfully complete your BRUV research diver and Fish ID test you will take part in the daily research tasks.  

The average day begins at 07:30 when the team meets at Bali Diving Academy to prepare for their day and ends around 17:30, with rotating night shifts until 18:00 around once a week.

The boat leaves Nusa Lembongan at 08:30 and 10:30 for 2 tanks dives daily and occasional afternoon 1 tank dives in the afternoon. You will assist a staff member throughout the day with their daily tasks changing daily on demand.

1) Dive Master's and Dive Guides - learning how to guide dives around the Penida Marine Park.

2) Instructors - assisting courses from Discover Scuba Diving to Rescue Diver in the pool, classroom, and open water.

3) Research Team - Take an active role in the research team as a research diver and field scientist collecting abundance data on dives and placing and retrieving the BRUV's.

4) Office Time - Help the dive team in the office with equipment maintance and repair, sales and bookings, data entry and analysis, independent study, and dive master workshops.

Details on Arrival

Applications are accepted year round for any start dates. However with limited spaces available you may have to be flexible. High season is from June - October and spots fill up quickly during these dates. 

Please contact us with your desired dates and we will get back to you with several options. 

Free-time activities

The neighboring islands of Nusa Penida, Bali, Lombok, and the Gilis re a short boat ride away and are easily accessible if you want to get off the island and explore. But there is lots to do right on Nusa Lembongan! 

Yoga, surfing, diving, snorkeling with the mantas, cliff jumping, hiking, and cultural experiences are at your doorstep. Nusa Lembongan is known for being an out doors lovers paradise.

Meanwhile, 30-minute boat ride away is the busy and developed island of Bali with world class resorts and a range of activates from zip lining to water parks, to come of the best night life in the world. 

There is no shortage of things to do on your free time! Ask our staff for more details and special tips when you arrive.

Water Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
CV, interview questionnaire, passport style photo and and a complete PADI Dive Professional Medical
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Previous experince in conservation or biology are welcome!
Must be comfortable in the open ocean and good swimming skills (aprox 800m swim and 20minute treading water)
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 07:30 - 17:30

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Indo Ocean Project cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Indo Ocean Project.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Indo Ocean Project (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Indo Ocean Project

Program fees breakdown below. This price does not include accommodation, food, transportation, personal travel and health insurance, or Indonesian VISA costs (approximate costs are listed below). However we are here to help guide you while you plan and organize your trip.

Included in Program Fees:

All described courses for your package, transfer from south bali to project headquarters, shared accommodation, pre arrival study information, pre arrival support, program t-shirt

Aprox. Additional costs

Private accommodation upgrade– $400 +/month

Food – $5 +/day

DAN insurance – $270/year or $60/month

Indonesian VISA related fees – $250

+ Extra spending money


Additional Course Fees:

** All Dive Master candidates enrolled in continuing education will receive 10% discount on all courses**

Open Water Diver – $425

Advanced Open Water Diver – $345

Rescue Diver + EFR – $590

Deep Diver (optional) – $375

Nitrox Diver (optional) – $150

Airport Pickup at Ngurah Rai International Airport
Arrival Procedure:

The closest airport is in Denpasar, Bali, (Ngurah Rai International Airport) around 30 minute taxi and 30 minute hour boat ride and taxi from the project headquarters at Nomads Diving in Nusa Penida.
The team at Nomads Diving are happy to arrange your transportation from the Airport or accommodation in Southern Bali to Nomads Diving office in Nusa Penida. 

Once you have gone through customs and immigration you will collect your bags and a driver will be waiting for you with a sign at the arrival gate. They will take you to the harbour in Sanur and give you a fast boat ticket to Nusa Penida and a member of the team will be waiting to welcome you in the harbour in Toya Pakeh! 

Depending on your arrival time you may have to spend one night in Bali. Fast boats depart at regular intervals from Sanur between 08:00 and 17:15 daily. If you arrive later than 15:00 plan to sleep one night in Bali and we will arrange your pick up from your hotel.

4 bed mixed dorm shared with your fellow interns in newly constructed building above the project office at Nomads Diving in Nusa Penida. located right on the beach overlooking Mount Agung with shared bathrooms, pool, and beach bar. Centrally located near Toya Pakeh harbour and motorbikes available for rent to explore the island. 

Dorm Room
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Denpasar. We assist you to find cheap flights to Indonesia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Indonesia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Indonesia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Indonesia.
Costs: Prices in USD
8 weeks (min. stay)
$ 2,090
9 weeks
$ 2,132
10 weeks
$ 2,175
11 weeks
$ 2,217
15 weeks
$ 2,386
23 weeks
$ 2,724
50 weeks (max. stay)
$ 3,865
Average fees
$ 169 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Nusa Lembongan/Indonesia between 8 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Indo Ocean Project will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Indonesia.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Indo Ocean Project during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Asia South-Eastern Asia Indonesia  Nusa Lembongan, Bali Diving Academy
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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