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Indo Ocean Project

Dive & Rescue Master and Research Internship

Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia show on map

Field expedition in Indonesia. Complete your PADI Dive Master program in paradise with manta rays, sunfish, sharks, and more. Join the team and make every dive count!

About Indo Ocean Project

Indo Ocean Project was founded by marine biologist, dive instructors, and ocean enthusiasts from around the globe to create a nation wide standardized data collection and research diver training program in Indonesia, the heart of the coral triangle. IOP has been working together with Bali Diving Academy, Dr. Mark Bond from Florida International University, and the local communities to carry out scientific research to address shark, ray, and marine conservation issues in this area of the Indo-Pacific. 

Our field expeditions in Indonesia hosts international and local research projects focused on marine mega fauna and coral reef conservation in marine reserves across the country.

 The aim of the Indo Ocean Project is to generate high quality scientific data to inform local mangers and stakeholders about the status of shark and ray populations in the Marine Protect Area (MPA) , and to increase marine conservation awareness among the local communities and general public.

 You don’t need to be a diver or 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 Bali Diving Academy

 Bali Diving Academy is a multi award wining 5 star PADI IDC centre with 4 dive shops in Bali’s top diving destinations including Nusa Lembongan, Sanur, Tulamben, and Pamuteran. They are a professional center operating since 1991 with a 100% safety record. It is a multi lingual team with the ability to teach in English, French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Bahasa Indonesian.

 As a Dive Master Trainee (DMT) with Bali Diving Academy, you will work closely with multiple instructors and experinced 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. 

Why Us?

Indonesia has been ranked as the number one shark fishing nation for the last 3 decades. Geographically, Indonesia should have some of the highest biodiversity of shark, ray, and predatory species in the world, but the high demand for shark fins and manta ray gill rakers has caused severe overfishing across the country and nearly exhausted the population. This is the front lines of marine mega fauna conservation efforts.

Due to the difficulties of studying elasmobranch abundance in the wild, different techniques had to be invented in order to address different ecological questions. One of these techniques is the Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV). This shark study method has been used in numerous studies around the world and has been shown very successful.

Interns with Indo Ocean Project are crucial to successful BRUV deployments, retrievals, and analysis. It takes a team to get everything done in the limited time available to us. As a member of the research team you will be working together in a fast paced environment in all types of weather conditions.   

About The Internship

Why become a Dive Master?

The PADI 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 PADI Divemaster, you’ll lead others as you supervise scuba diving activities and assist with diver training. PADI 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 PADI 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.

Topics and practical workshops include:

  • The role and characteristics of the PADI Divemaster
  • Supervising dive activities and assisting with student divers
  • Intensive Fish Identification and survey methods
  • Baited Remote Underwater Video research and methodology
  • Diver safety and risk management
  • Divemaster conducted programs and specialized 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 Lembongan and Nusa Penida

The Penida Project is located on the island of Nusa Lembongan in the Penida Marine Park. Lembongan 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 Lembongan is around 8 square kilometres with around 5,000 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. Your best chance to see the Mola Mola are from the months of July – October, 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.

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.

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)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
CV, interview questionnaire, passport style photo, and a complete PADI Dive Professional Medical and Photocopies of all previous diving certifications
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
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.

Previous experience 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

Suitable for


Included Services

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We refund your fees if Indo Ocean Project cancels your trip
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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

Included in Program Fees:

  • Rescue Diver course 
  • Emergency First Responder (EFR) and 02 Provider course
  • Dive Master course 
  • Accommodation (private bungalow in homestay)
  • Lunch
  • In country transportation
  • All diving related costs (unlimited diving during program, even on days off!)
  • All rental equipment
  • 2 program t-shirts
  • pre arrival and VISA assistance
  • Marine park and boat fees

Not Included:

  • Dive Master Crew Pak ($215 USD)
  • PADI Profesional Processing Fees ($155 USD)
  • Optional PADI Dive Master eLearning
  • Breakfast and dinner (starting at $1 USD per meal)
  • Travel or Dive Insurance
  • Indonesian VISA related costs
  • In country spending money

Airport Pickup at Ngurah Rai International Airport
Arrival Procedure:

The closest airport is in Denpasar, Bali, (Ngurah Rai International Airport) around 1 hour from Bali Diving Academy by taxi and speed boat. Your transportation will be arrange prior to your arrival and a Travel Memo will be sent detailing your travel plans.

Once you have gone through customs and immigration you will collect your bags and a driver from Bali Diving Academy 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 Lembongan and a member of the team will be waiting to welcome you in the harbour. 

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.

Private room and bathroom in a homestay complex . Includes fan, fresh water and double bed. Basic but comfortable accommodation and your neighbours are your fellow dive masters!

It is perfectly located in the middle of the village and only 5 minute walk to Bali Diving Academy and 3 minute walk to the main beach. It is surrounded by shops, restaurants, spa's, and some night life. It has a shared garden and located off the main road in a quite community with a wonderful family living on site.

Your room is cleaned on request (up to 1 time per week). New sheets and towels are available upon request. There are laundry facilities next to the homestay that charges 25,000 IDR ($1.50 USD) per kilo of washing and is ready to be picked up 24 hours later. 

WiFi is available throughout the homestay

Food & Beverages

Coffee, tea, and water is always available in the dive shop and on the boats. 

Lunch is provided on your working days. Local style food including fried rice, fried noodles, or mixed rice. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. 

Breakfast and dinner are available for purchase around your accommodation and dive centre starting at $1 a meal. There are many local and western food options throughout the island and discovering new restaurants is part of the fun! Snacks and drinks are available for purchase at small shops.

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.
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)
10 weeks (min. stay)
10 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Nusa Lembongan/Indonesia between 10 weeks and 10 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

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