2 Week PADI Diving Internship in Borneo, Malaysia

WHY we need you in Malaysia


WHAT is involved?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

about to dive






  MIN AGE: 18+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Medically fit to dive , can swim 200m & stay afloat for 10 min



This program provides a complete range of PADI diving training courses, as well as other packages like snorkelling and island-hopping trips and sunset cruises. All water activities take place in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, located about 33 kilometres offshore from Kota Kinabalu. The park spans an area of 50 square kilometres and consists of five islands (Gaya, Manukan, Memutik, Sapi and Sulug) surrounded by reefs and sea.

Collaborating with an excellent Diving Centre, we offer a two-week diving program where you can complete PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water Courses (one of the most widely recognised diving certifications in the world) and dive in Kota Kinabalu at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. If you plan to dive at one of the best dive spots in the world, such as Mabul and Sipadan waters, let us know in advance so that we can arrange it for you.

This project is open to all nationalities and individuals aged over 18 years old. It is ideal for students, gap years, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in gaining overseas work experience or an internship for university credit or requirement, and anyone wanting to study Resort Management and Dive School Management overseas.

Please keep in mind the following considerations and requirements. This is especially designed and implemented for your safety while taking these diving programs.

  • You need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be able to sign up for this diving program.
  • You are not allowed to dive 18 hours before your flight. Please schedule your flights accordingly.
  • Boat journey to the island may not be suitable for individuals who have any of the following conditions (but not limited to): heart or lung conditions, recent surgery, back or spinal surgery, back problems/injury/fracture, arthritis, osteoporosis or other similar spinal/pelvic diseases. Pregnant women are also not recommended, as the boat ride may be bumpy depending on the sea condition. If you are having similar issues as above, kindly consult your physician before you enroll in this program. Kindly inform us in advance if you have any health concerns.
  • You will need to sign the PADI release & liability form before proceeding for your dives. Kindly follow the instructions of your Dive Instructor or Dive Master at all times.
  • Alcohol consumption during your dive course or trip is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
  • It is your responsibility to protect/conserve the Underwater World; harming of coral or marine life is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. We encourage you to be a responsible diver by using ONLY environmentally friendly SUNBLOCK / SUNSCREEN during your dive.
  • You are advised to purchase personal injury & travel insurance prior to your arrival.
  • While the jellyfish season varies, it usually occurs during mid of the year or/and end of the year. Do be extra careful and inform our guides should you be stung. Rest assured that our guides are first aid trained. Jelly bugs are common in the waters but they are usually harmless and their stings will just cause some slight itch.
  • There are no lockers on the island. Please take good care of your personal belongings and do not bring valuables.

We provide comprehensive support and assistance before your departure, as well as comfortable accommodations and delicious meals. We will also greet you at the nearest airport and transport you to your accommodation and project site. Additionally, you will have access to a local in-country team, 24-hour emergency support, and a certificate of completion, as well as a return transfer to the airport.

During your stay in Kota Kinabalu, you will be housed in a youth hostel located near the city centre, surrounded by various restaurants, shops, and other amenities. The hostel is close to the night market, which operates on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as a popular Sunday morning market. Kota Kinabalu is often referred to as “KK” by the locals and is known as the gateway to Mount Kinabalu, one of Southeast Asia’s tallest mountains, and the rest of Sabah. Exploring the city and its surroundings is simple, with public transportation options such as taxis, buses, trains, and e-hailing services readily available. You may want to visit nearby attractions such as islands and beaches, museums and art galleries, cultural villages, local markets, and notable landmarks.

Regarding meals, the hostel will provide a simple breakfast, while packed lunches and dinners will be prepared and delivered to you. Kota Kinabalu is home to numerous local delicacies, reflecting the city’s melting pot of various cultures, races, and ethnicities. The population includes indigenous groups such as the Dusun and Bruneian Malay, as well as various communities that migrated to the area after the British Crown Colony established a settlement in 1946, such as Indians (Tamil and Sikh) from India, Cantonese and Hakka Chinese from Hong Kong, and Indonesians (Bugis, Javanese, and Banjarese) and Filipinos (Bajau and Suluk) from neighbouring countries.

Finally, the city is compact and easy to explore on foot, particularly when it comes to discovering local food. Starting with a visit to a local coffee shop is an excellent way to get started. A trip to Waterfront Kota Kinabalu is a must-see at night. You will receive training from experts in a beautiful tropical environment. The Open Water Course takes four days to complete, while the Advanced Open Water Course takes two days.


Our programs are located on the island of Borneo, and most within the Sabah region, a state in East Malaysia which borders with Sarawak to the southwest and Kalimantan, which is the Indonesian part of Borneo, to the south. Sabah is a beautiful place, known for its lush rainforests, beaches and mountainous regions.

Project Tasks

  • Learn the fundamentals of scuba diving.
  • Complete confined water dives and open water dive to a maximum of 18 metres (Open Water).
  • Build your underwater skills so you are confident to dive to a maximum of 30m (Advanced Open Water)
  • Focus on obtaining your PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water qualifications (this is a prerequisite to dive at some of the sites at the marine park).

Food & Accommodation

Our accommodation is Kota Kinabalu. This hostel-style accommodation also offers It is located about 8 km from Kota Kinabalu International Airport; it offers a shared lounge, non-smoking room and free WiFi. This property is almost centrally located; nearby points of interest (within 15-20 minutes walk) include KK Esplanade (a perfect spot to see beautiful sunset), Atkinson Clock Tower (a historical landmark), Jesselton Point (entry point to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park) and Signal Hill Observatory (bird’s eye view of Kota Kinabalu City). Rooms are shared between 4-8 people, and hot showers, bed linen and fans are provided.

You will have 3 meals on weekdays and 2 meals on weekends. Typical dishes include white rice served with meat or chicken or fish dishes (cooked in sauces like sweet & sour, dark soya, mild curry, etc.) and a vegetable dish. Some restaurants also cater for vegans but you MUST inform us so we can advise you accordingly.  Breakfasts are varied, including toast, egg-dish, fresh fruit, and coffee & tea. Tea, coffee and purified water is available at the house. We do not recommend that you drink water straight from the tap.

The accommodation is centrally located in the city, so public facilities such as supermarket, gymnasium, swimming pool, saloon, laundromat, cinema, money exchange, ATM, sim card shop, and photocopy shops are all located within a 2 kilometers radius.

All prices in USD
  • 2 Week PADI Diving

  • 8 Week PADI Diving

Vol House
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion


It is your responsbility to ensure you are medically fit to dive and take into account the precautions prior to applying. If you are fit enough and have a passion for the water, then this can be an incredible opportunity, diving in some of the most amazing places in the world!

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day & 2 p/day at weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Most of our programs will include a 1 day orientation on the first day, which will include things like a walk around the local area, explanations of where everything is, ATMs, how to get local sim cards, etc, and lessons on cultural norms and what to expect. 

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KLIA and KLIA2). You must arrive between the hours 08:00 to 18:00 on Sunday. You will meet your transfer coordinator at KKIA.

If arriving outside the pickup times on Sunday, you can book a private transfer for US$50.

If arriving during the week, or on Saturday, we charge US$50 for any extra night’s accommodation before your program, and another US$50 fee for a private transfer.

Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).  

Week 1


Arrive at Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Packed Lunch followed by KK City Walk – visit nearby banks, clinics, shopping centres etc.

Packed Dinner

Introduction by the Country Manger

Overnight at Hostel


PADI Open Water Course – Day 1 / Training Centre: Seatango Class

Activity: Introduction to Facilitators, Assistant Instructor, Schedule of Course,

Program’s Rules and Regulations and related subject, then followed by the Ice Breaking Session.

Open Water classroom by instructor covering chapter 1-5, knowledge review and then review of wrong answers. Quizzes and Final Exams.

Return Transfer to Training Centre

Packed Lunch/Packed Dinner/Overnight at Hostel


PADI Open Water Course – Day 2 / Training Centre: Marina Sutera

Activity: Confined water training of 1 & 2 and followed Open Water Dive 1 & 2.

Return Transfer to Training Centre

Packed Lunch/Packed Dinner/Overnight at Hostel


PADI Open Water Course – Day 3 / Training Centre: Marina Sutera

Activity: Confined water training of 3,4 & 5 and followed Open Water Dive 3 & 4.

Return Transfer to Training Centre

Packed Lunch/Packed Dinner/Overnight at Hostel


PADI Advanced Open Water Course – Day 1 / Training Centre: Marina Sutera

Activity: Introduction of Advanced Water Course. Knowledge review sessions and finish all quizzes available in the Manual before finally deciding which elective they want to do.

Return Transfer to Training Centre

Packed Lunch/Packed Dinner/Overnight at Hostel


PADI Advanced Open Water Course – Day 2 / Training Centre: Marina Sutera

Activity: Do one of the electives and the must do dive: today will be Navigation or Deep dive (depending on sea condition). Review Advanced course and highlights what to improve. The instructor will brief them to solve the problems or difficulties they face.

Return Transfer to Training Centre

Packed Lunch/Packed Dinner/Overnight at Hostel


Rest Day

Breakfast at Hostel

Packed Dinner

Overnight at Hostel

Week 2

Daily Itinerary

Monday to Saturday

08:15 Arrival at Sutera Marina.Fill up form and get ready to depart.

08:30 Depart from Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.Upon Arrival at either Mamutik or Sapi Islands, the crew will register you while you can do dive equipment assemble & body check,

08:45 Gear Up and get ready for dives.

09:15 First Dive sessions (45-60 minutes)

10:00 Surface interval & rest while waiting for the next dive sessions. During your rest, you can also go to the top deck to enjoy the sun or just relax at the bottom deck and enjoy your light refreshment.

11:00 Second Dive Sessions ( 45-60 minutes)

12:00 Lunch at the Island.

13:00 Third Dive Sessions (45 – 60 Minutes)

14:15 Depart from Marina Sutera

14:30 Arrive at Marina Sutera


All dive sites mentioned are TENTATIVE only. Diving activity is subject to WEATHER or SEA conditions. If you are TIRED, you are allowed to skip the 3rd boat-dive. Please be ON TIME, as the boat will leave at 08:30.


Rest Day

Breakfast at Hostel

Packed Dinner

Overnight at Hostel

Things to do in West Malaysia…

  • Visit the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur: These iconic towers are the tallest twin towers in the world, and offer stunning views of the city.
  • Explore the Batu Caves: These caves are a popular Hindu shrine, featuring a massive golden statue and many colourful temples.
  • Visit the historic city of Malacca: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to many historic buildings and museums, showcasing the city’s rich cultural heritage.
  • Go island-hopping: West Malaysia is home to many beautiful islands, such as Langkawi, Penang, and Tioman, which are perfect for snorkelling, swimming, and sunbathing.
  • Try the local food: Malaysia is famous for its delicious cuisine, and trying local dishes such as nasi lemak, char kway teow, and laksa is a must-do activity.

Things to do in East Malaysia (Borneo):

  • Climb Mount Kinabalu: This majestic mountain is the highest peak in Southeast Asia and attracts thousands of climbers every year.
  • Explore the Borneo Rainforest: East Malaysia is home to some of the oldest rainforests in the world, teeming with diverse wildlife and fascinating plant life.
  • See the Orangutan: East Malaysia is one of the few places in the world where you can see these fascinating primates up close in their natural habitat.
  • Relax on the beaches of Sabah: Sabah is home to many beautiful beaches, such as Sipadan and Layang-Layang, which are perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and sunbathing.
  • Experience the cultural diversity: East Malaysia is home to many indigenous tribes, such as the Iban, Kadazan-Dusun, and Murut, each with their own unique customs and traditions. Exploring their cultures can be a truly enriching experience.

You have to make sure that you are:

  • Medically fit to dive (you need to fill up a medical form).
  • Able to swim for 200m and stay afloat for 10 minutes.
  • Though it is available in the centre, you may bring with you some diving safety gears and equipment.


  • Extra clothing, towels, and personal basic toiletries.
  • Suitable swimming attire to wear inside the wetsuit.
  • Use Eco-friendly sunscreen that is harmless to the coral.
  • Bring extra cash for water sport activities, purchase of extra food or crew.

Malaysia, a country in Southeast Asia formerly known as British Malaya and later as the Federation of Malaya. It is comprised of two regions separated by the South China Sea.

Peninsular Malaysia, also known as West Malaysia, is located on the Malay Peninsula and shares borders with Thailand in the north and Singapore in the south. Malaysian Borneo, also known as East Malaysia, is situated on the northern part of the island of Borneo, which is the third largest island in the world and part of the Malay Archipelago (Greater Sunda Islands). East Malaysia shares borders with Indonesia and surrounds the Sultanate of Brunei. Malaysia also has maritime borders with the Philippines and Vietnam.

The country’s total area covers 329,847 km², making it slightly larger than Norway or somewhat larger than the U.S. state of New Mexico. The highest peak is Mount Kinabalu (4,095 m) located in Sabah state on the island of Borneo. This mountain and the surrounding Kinabalu Park are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As of 2021, Malaysia’s population is approximately 33 million people. Kuala Lumpur is the largest city and the national capital. The official languages spoken are Malay, English, Tamil, and Chinese (Cantonese). The official religion in Malaysia is Islam, with approximately 60% of the population practicing the Muslim faith and 20% practicing Buddhism.

Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia are situated in the same tropical latitudes, thus experiencing a similar climate. Expect high temperatures, high humidity, and frequent heavy rainfall throughout the year, with a climatic pattern that revolves around the northeast and southwest monsoons. There are typically four seasons, the northeast monsoon (which occurs from November or December until March), the first inter-monsoon (from March to April or May), the southwest monsoon (which takes place from May or June to September or early October), and the second inter-monsoon (from October to November). The start and end of these two monsoons are not clearly defined. The best time to visit Malaysia is commonly between December to April.

Across the whole of Sabah, the ethnic groups and indigenous tribes (such as Dusun, Murut Rungus, Bajau, Kadazan) account for over half of the population. There are also immigrant communities such as the Chinese, Indian, Filipinos and Indonesians – Sabah is a real multicultural society. The official language is Bahasa Malaysia, but due to the fusion of religious and ethnic groups, English is widely spoken.

In Malaysia, extended families commonly reside together, and elderly members are held in high esteem. Parents prefer to be involved in their children’s decision-making process. In Malaysian households, cooperation and loyalty are highly valued. Young married couples typically reside near their parents, while unmarried adults remain with their parents until marriage.

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits. Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact. All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points. Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

See More

Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Malaysia?