8 Week PADI Diving Internship in Borneo, Malaysia

WHY we need you in Malaysia


WHAT is involved?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

under water






  MIN AGE: 18+

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



Our range of PADI diving training courses cater to divers of all levels. In addition, we offer Snorkelling & Island-Hopping trips and Sunset Cruises. All our water activities take place at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, which comprises 5 islands (Gaya, Manukan, Memutik, Sapi and Sulug) surrounded by stunning reefs and sea.

For those with limited or no experience in scuba diving but aspire to become professional divers, our excellent programme is the perfect opportunity. Over a period of 8 weeks, our professional team will guide you in building your confidence, underwater skills, problem-solving and management abilities, enabling you to achieve a professional level (Divemaster).

This programme is open to individuals of all nationalities and ages above 18. It is ideal for students, gap year takers, career breakers, and anyone seeking overseas work experience or an internship for university credit or requirement. It is also suitable for those interested in studying Resort Management and Dive School Management overseas.

So, what exactly is a Divemaster?

A Divemaster is the first professional degree in a diving career, allowing you to work as a licensed Divemaster at any dive centre around the world. Without a Divemaster license, you cannot work as a Divemaster, regardless of your diving experience. However, to excel in the job market, not only do you need a Divemaster’s license, but also practical experience. Our programme is designed to not only teach you how to dive, but also how to operate a dive centre, communicate with guests, solve problems, care for equipment, and build a better understanding of the diving industry. This internship will position you as one of the most desirable professional divers in the industry.

The “Zero to Hero” programme

Designed to help individuals with limited or no scuba diving experience become professional Divemasters, the programme includes several courses, starting with the Open Water Course, followed by the Advanced Open Water Course, Emergency First Responder (EFR) Course, Rescue Diver Course, and finally, the Divemaster Course. Participants will need to complete a minimum of 40 dives before starting the Divemaster Course, and they will have completed 60-logged dives by the time the course is finished. All courses will be taught by licensed instructors and conducted under PADI authorization.

The “Zero to Hero” programme is eight weeks long and consists of five stages. The first stage is the PADI Open Water Diver Course, which introduces participants to the basics of scuba diving. Classroom sessions and underwater training are conducted on separate days to ensure a balance between theory and practical skills.

The second stage is the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course, which allows participants to dive up to a depth of 30 meters. This stage includes classroom learning and three days of diving, including one night dive. The “Zero to Hero” programme is structured to develop participants’ diving knowledge and skills so that they can achieve PADI Divemaster professionalism. By starting with the basics and progressing through the stages, participants will have a solid foundation to pursue more advanced courses in the future, such as the Open Water Scuba Instructor.

The third stage of the “Zero to Hero” program aims to prepare you to respond to emergencies during dives or daily activities. This course focuses on rescue and first aid techniques and does not involve any diving. During this stage, you will earn an Emergency First Responder License and learn about CPR, defibrillators, oxygen providers, and more. This stage is estimated to take two days and will occur during week three of the program.

The fourth stage of the program is designed to improve your practical skills in EFR and boost your confidence in handling various underwater scenarios. This stage will begin only after you have completed a total of 20 logged dives. Upon completion, you should be able to demonstrate and apply the correct procedures required for underwater rescue. During this stage, you will earn a PADI Rescue Diver License and learn about panicked divers, distressed divers, missing divers, unresponsive divers, and more. This stage is estimated to take four days and will occur during week four of the program.

The final stage of the program is to become a qualified PADI Divemaster. This stage involves a series of underwater skill exercises, deeper rescue skill training, dive skill workshops, practical skills assessments, and a Divemaster-conducted program workshop. You will also be able to put what you’ve learned into practice with real clients.

To become a Divemaster, you must have a total of 60 logged dives, which our team will ensure you achieve. During this stage, you will earn a PADI Divemaster License and learn about DSD leadership and Divemaster professionalism. This stage is estimated to take 16 days and will occur during weeks six to eight of the program.

The followings are the courses and dives included in the ‘Zero to Hero” programme:

  • PADI Open Water Course
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Course
  • Emergency First Aid Response Course
  • 5 days Fun-Dive for 20 Dives as prerequisite to enrol Rescue Diver Course
  • PADI Rescue Diver Course 7 days Fun-Dive for 40 Dives as prerequisite to enrol Divemaster Course
  • Divemaster Course (16 Days)

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 enrol 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.

Should you have queries about the Boat Details, please refer to the following:

  • Sutera Marina provides the safest departure/arrival jetty in Kota Kinabalu.
  • Equipped with G.P.S & A.I.S for safety during every outing.
  • Catamarans with 250hp x 250hp Suzuki engine.
  • Upper deck for sunset viewing.
  • Front deck for relaxation.
  • 24 passengers for each departure (SOP: 15 clients with crews).
  • Mini toilet for “small business only”.
  • Safety reels for guests to lean.
  • Sound system at the lower deck.
  • 200L freshwater for washing and showers.
  • Light refreshment (coffee & cakes) is served for every trip.
  • Captain & crews are certified first aid and rescue divers.
  • Container with mineral water is available

If you’re interested in learning more, our diving internship program is tailored to fit your needs. We provide pre-departure support and assistance, comfortable accommodation, and delicious meals. We’ll even pick you up from the nearest airport and take you to your placement site. Plus, you’ll have access to our local in-country team and 24-hour emergency support, and you’ll receive a Certificate of Completion and a return transfer to the airport.

During your stay, you’ll be staying at a Youth Hostel located near the city centre, surrounded by restaurants, shops, and other attractions. The hostel is also close to the night market, which is open on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as a popular Sunday market in the morning. Locals refer to Kota Kinabalu as “KK,” which serves as the gateway to Southeast Asia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, and the rest of Sabah. Transportation options such as taxis, buses, trains, and e-hailing services are readily available for exploring nearby attractions, including islands and beaches, museums and art galleries, cultural villages, local markets, and landmarks.

You’ll also have the opportunity to try a variety of local delicacies, as Kota Kinabalu is a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. The city’s population includes indigenous groups such as Dusun and Bruneian Malay, as well as immigrants from India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other neighbouring countries. For breakfast, the hostel will prepare a simple meal, while your packed lunch and dinner will be delivered to you.

Finally, the city is compact enough to explore on foot, and we recommend starting with the local coffee shops. At night, a visit to Waterfront Kota Kinabalu is a must.

The following are also included and provided in your program:

  • Sutera Marina Jetty ticket.
  • Return boat transfer for Island session.
  • Licensed Dive Instructor.
  • Video online, Quiz & Exam material.
  • PADI Open Water Material.
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Material.
  • Emergency First Responder Material.
  • PADI Rescue Diver Material.
  • PADI Divemaster Kit with PADI decal.
  • 16 days Divemaster Training.
  • Confined water & Open water training.
  • Advanced Open water underwater training.
  • Rescue Diver underwater training.
  • 2 days Emergency responder training.
  • Refreshment & Mineral water onboard.
  • Ala-carte Lunch at the island (Island day).
  • Packed Lunch at the office (Classroom day).
  • 20 to 40 prerequisite dives.
  • Physical seatango logbook.
  • Conservation & Enter Island fee.
  • Diving equipment (Mask /Fins /BCD /REG .
  • Weight/belt/ Wetsuit).

However, tips to Instructor/Divemaster/Crew, pick up from hotel, travel insurance, any meals not stated, any equipment not stated, loss of any equipment, water sport activities and Item not mentioned are excluded from your program. Therefore, you need to arrange it yourself and be extra careful while you’re in the program.

The Open Water Course requires 4 days to complete and the Advanced Open Water Course is 2 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). 

The full schedule will be provided in the welcome pack (you can request the schedule if required).

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.
  • Mentally & physically healthy to enrol as an Open Water Diver
  • Certified Open water Diver to enrol to Advance Open Water Diver
  • Certified Emergency First Responder (valid for 24 months) to enrol to Rescue Diver with 20 logged dives. Passed Rescue Diver exam.
  • Certified as Rescue Diver to enrol in Divemaster Course with 40 Logged dives.
  • Medically fit to dive (you need to fill up a medical form).
  • Able to swim for 200m and stay afloat for 10 minutes.
  • Basic Toiletries, Towel and extra cloths for any island day
  • Swimming attire
  • Extra cash for any extra food or drinks
  • Personal stationery for any classroom session
  • In taking the Divemaster course, you are required to have Dive Computer, Surface Signalling Device (SMB) and a Compass.

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.

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