Conservation through research and education

Indo Ocean Project


Dive Master and Research Diver internship with multiple locations in Indonesia, the heart of the coral triangle. Complete your PADI dive master course along with 5 ecology specialties written and designed by our team of marine biologists and dive professionals and approved by PADI and SSI. Marine megafauna, coral and mangrove restoration, marine park management and much more. You don't need to be a scientist to get involved!


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Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience ever!!!

Being part of the first project located in Raja Ampat with Indo Ocean Project as intern was amazing. The expectation is really high when you go in one of the best places where to dive in the world especially for the corals biodiversity. I was already dive master once I started my program so I did 6 weeks only as researcher. We studied all the marine life that lives in West Papua New Guinea such as elasmobranchs, mantas, rays turtles, corals, nudibranchs, key species and species of interest. The organisation and the knowledge exceeded my expectations. In particular I want to congratulate with Mette Carlsen and Pascal Sebastian for everything they taught to me whilst I was there. Everybody must try this experience to learn more about marine biology, how to help the environment and to raise awareness about this topic. Nothing better than do great dives, explore, travel surrounded by the nature, make friendships and collaborate with professionals. I highly recommend this experience. Hope to be back next year and help you again!

  • Marine biology knowledge
  • Ecology and help the environment
  • Team work
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Yes, I recommend this program

Penida - Diving in Paradise

For anyone wanting a blend of beautiful diving, scientific research, and hands-on conservation, Indo Ocean Project is for you! Not to mention the chance to dive with the elegant Manta Rays.

The team are friendly and very supportive, and always down for a chat. Fellow interns were all of like-mind and very easy to get on with, all of a variety of ages and nationalities.

Day to day life is varied and full on (in a good way!), with dives almost everyday. But there’s always time to relax so you never feel overwhelmed.

You cannot beat diving in paradise everyday!

  • Island Living
  • Lots of Diving
  • Mantas!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Scientific program - Nusa Penida

I started my scientific program as a Divemaster SSI in order to complete my internship for the university.
I never thought this experience could be so constructive from every point of view. Each dive was something unique, both for the different conditions I was used to and for the incredible biodiversity that the ocean offers.
The staff was incredible! Super kind and helpful.
I learned a lot thanks to them.
I 100% recommend this experience to anyone who wants to have unique weeks learning and having fun like never before.

P.S. Take a camera with you 🤩🦈🌊

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Yes, I recommend this program

An unforgettable experience! - Divemaster Penida

I started my time at IOP as an open water diver with just 4 dives, and left as a divemaster with over 100 dives in just 12 short weeks! The staff are friendly, encouraging, and like to push you to do your best and become a great diver. The marine life you encounter on every dive never fails to amaze you, from the mantas to the nudibranchs, and the scientific workshops help you understand and appreciate it even more! I would recommend this course to anyone interested in diving and/or marine biology, and wants to explore a beautiful part of the world!

  • Amazing staff and interns
  • Incredible marine life
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Yes, I recommend this program

IOP Divemaster Program- Raja Ampat

My experience with Indo Ocean Project in Raja Ampat was life-changing. While Raja Ampat is remote, it is the best of jungle life and the most incredible diving in the world. The IOP staff are very knowledgeable and so excited to help you grow as a diver and conservationist. They are now some of my best friends! I also found the other interns to be exceptional people as well seen as how we were all on the same page when it came to conservation and the ocean. The science aspects of the program taught me how to be a proficient underwater researcher and helped me discover my true passion in life; furthering the development and protection of MPAs. I started IOP as an Open Water Diver and was sculpted into a professional diver by very experienced peers. It was fantastic and so much fun. This program was everything I hoped for and more. I am forever grateful for this experience and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I highly highly recommend doing any of the IOP programs, it will change your life!

  • Excellent research
  • Incredible staff
  • Top-tier diving


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Helen Wu

A city girl from Hong Kong who loves nature and adventures, just do it slowly, cautiously and preferably in small group, because introvert.
Helen Wu diving with a diving buddy

Why did you choose this program?

When I was researching ideas for my career break, I only had two wishes: something to do with diving and something I can give back to the environment.

After stumbling upon Indo Ocean Project (IOP) online and read so many good reviews about them, I knew this is where I want to be. Living on an island, diving everyday, learn about the environment and meet like-minded people are more than what I wish for.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

IOP have all the contacts to help you with the basics. From visa application, transportation from Bali to Nusa Penida to on site accommodation, they have it all sorted for you.

They also have Facebook group for up-coming interns and alumni, as well as WhatsApp group for stand-by interns, the answer to your concerns is just one question away!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be mentally prepared to live on an island. Put your city-life standard and western-norm expectation aside. Embrace the purity of simple living and enjoy the presence of animals and nature.

Be open-minded. The things you deemed as “challenge” would be your accomplishments when you look back to it. No dives are the same and you only train once as divemaster, so make the most of every moment with a smile.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The program is well organised with good structure. A typical day involves two dives, either from the boat or shore. Followed by afternoon activities like knowledge workshops or skill practices or independent study. Once the work is done comes the hardest part of the day that requires the most brain power - to decide what’s for dinner.

Every five to six days we get a day off, which we usually spend exploring the island, go on fun dives or get a well deserved massage.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Coming in I had plenty of concerns. Do I have the body strength to take on the intense physicality of daily diving? Am I be able to keep up in learning all the scientific knowledge and training? And my biggest concern of all - will I make friends as a mid-thirty Asian woman amongst the many young gap year-goers?

As it turns out, all of my fears and concerns are just overthinking, as IOP is an accommodating place where you can take your time and do it in your own comfortable pace.

And as cliche as it sounds, age really is just a number, be your true self and you will attract your kind of people wherever you are.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Qinthan Azzahra Aulia

Job Title
Bira Research Assistant
I'm a woman who is willing to give my love to everything surround me, especially to the planet where I'm living now, earth. I'm easy to socialize with to have good relations, love teaching about conservation and marine life, interested in marine biology, biodiversity and conservation.
Qinthan Azzahra Aulia

What is your favorite travel memory?

When I first time went to Sumbawa and had a long journey from Jakarta, using airplane, ship and bus. I had to go to Lombok first, and then Sumbawa, and it took around 10 hours long. Also when I had a sailing program and went to Maluku, Banda Neira and Kupang with the Indonesian Legend of Navy Army boat, KRI Dewaruci. It was soo amazing and memorable!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since I'm working for Indo Ocean Project (currently), I learned more about leadership and have more responsible to others either when I'm diving or not. I learned well how to manage my working time and me time, work-life balance is the priority. I also gain more knowledge in diving, until I became a professional diver that make me feels more aware not only to the environment wherever I'm diving, but also to my buddy and team.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

There's one intern from Bira that came back to Indonesia to work as a Instructor in Amed, Bali. When she's still in Bira as an intern, she told me that she really want to teach scuba and take an instructor course. So after she finished her divemaster course, she went to Thailand and took an instructor course!! And when she finished his instructor, she's accepted to work in Indonesia!! It's sooo greaatt! And I'm happy for her, she's good friend of mine. She's Alice Bourreli, from France.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Research internship program in Bira! Because they have an amazing place with amazing stuffs and staffs there!! And because they have a lot of sharks!! I will get a lot of experience more scientific and practice my diving skill get more confident. I also want to gain my relations with other interns from all over the world.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

The unique from IOP is because the people who works there! I believe that every place from IOP project has such an amazing staffs! And they have their own style and character in teaching and working. We all complete each other. That's what makes IOP team is the best one! I've been proud of my team in Indo Ocean Project since the first day I work here!!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I do believe this company can develop and grow to be better and better. We are all staffs have an open minded about anything we can improve to our program. We always keep an update especially about marine issues that relate with our focuses to protecting the oceans. We're very flexible about positive changing, improvement, and stay professional that makes us better!