Indo Ocean Project

Program Reviews

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Delphine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 3 months of my life!

Where do I even start? This internship was such an awesome experience! Not only did I became a well-rounded diver, but I also had the opportunity to get involved with some fantastic conservation and research projects. The team at Indo Ocean Project have become like family. They’re an amazing bunch of down-to-earth people, passionate about diving and ocean conservation. The internship program expected my expectations! And about the location, Nusa Penida is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to…a true paradise island. The diving was incredible and I got to swim with Mola-Mola, sharks, turtles and some of the coolest Nudibranch I’ve ever seen. I wish I could do it all over again! If you’re wondering if this internship is the right one for you, stop hesitating and book your spot NOW!

What was your funniest moment?
There were so much of them! But my funniest memory was when Iris and I were diving at Crystal Bay and we thought we saw a Mola Mola but it was actually a school of fish taking the shape of a Mola. We laugh so hard underwater we almost ran out of air!!
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Kylie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Time of my life

Being an intern with the Indo Ocean Project was the best decision I ever made. Whether you plan to go into a marine conservation career like me, or want to do it just for the experience; I highly recommend this program to everyone. The amount of skills and knowledge you gain in this program is incredible, thanks to the amazing instructors and guides that you will be working with. Every single day is so much fun and packed with experiences and exercises to get you to be the best scientific research diver you can be.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was when I was leading my first dive and we were hit with a strong down-current at Toya Pakeh dive site. This was scary because we got pushed down about 2 or 3 meters in a matter of seconds. As soon as I looked to our guides Michaela and Arya, I knew everything was going to be okay. They remained calm and professional which helped me not panic underwater, which can lead to many bigger problems. We decided to abort the dive and all helped each other to get to the surface as quick and as safely as possible.

The people leading this program and going on dives with you will always put the groups safety first. You will never be pushed into a dangerous situation. If dangerous situations happen to arise underwater, they know exactly how to bring the group to safety and make an incredible learning experience out of it for everyone. I always felt extremely safe in the arms of IOP.
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Jess
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Research Diver

There is not a single bad thing to say about this program. After loads of uncertainty due to Covid regulations, I finally made it and it was an experience of a lifetime. All of the staff members and other interns are beyond amazing. it was so great to be around so many talented people who were so committed to conservation efforts. I did my DM elsewhere and came only to participate in marine conservation research. However, it was clear to me how seriously they take professionalism with their DM candidates, all of whom became excellent divers. I came with no marine biology background and learned so so so much in my time there (special thank you to Serena!) in addition to becoming a better diver.

I wish I could have stayed longer and would do it again in a heartbeat. If you're looking for a program that will make you a better diver while expanding your knowledge of the marine environment, then look no further. You'll come out of this program as a strong, well-rounded diver.

Thanks again for everything! Y'all are the best!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Honestly, everyday was a surprise. Every dive was amazing and we always saw something new. I’ve been diving in many other places where you feel like it’s the same every day, and that is not the case here. From mantas, to molas, to dolphins, to the tiniest nudis…every day was full of exciting things to see.
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Lauren
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My DM experience w/ IOP

Joining Indo Ocean Project in July meant my experience of both the island & the programme was different to most interns. IOPs efforts to follow regional lockdown guidelines did not go unnoticed, as I was still able to enjoy diving, workshops & tasks as normal.
The team of staff were so incredibly helpful with any matter, whether it was a question on dive gear or the name of a crazy looking nudibranch.
Gaining my rescue & divemaster certificates with IOP whilst learning about conservation & research has to be one of the best decisions I’ve made - not only am I secured a potential future diveguide job but I have also solidified my love for the ocean, as I learnt so much about myself & the marine world around me over the 10 week programme.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Diving in Nusa Penida meant I faced some wild unpredictable currents. This scared me initially but by undertaking over 70 dives around the island & with the help of the amazing team I now have the confidence to dive in any condition. (& will probably find it boring if a dive site doesn’t have a little down current)
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Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!

After a lot of moments of uncertainty, because of the lockdown in Bali, I made it to Nusa Penida where I was welcomed by a group of lovely people.

The program is extremely interesting and teaches you different research techniques and so much more about the beautiful animals that can be found around the island. Be aware that the water can be extremely cold but that is when you get to see the coolest things during your dives!

I could not recommend more this program, if you get the chance do it, you won’t regret it!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
During a Dive Against Debris in Crystal Bay while we were cleaning up the ocean from trash in the shallow, toward the end of the dive we got rewarded with 2 Mola swimming out of the bay!!
And even if Penida is known for the big staff like mantas and mola I’ve been presently surprised by the incredible diversity of macro life in all dive sites!
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Alessia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Intense experience

IOP program was the most intense 360 degree experience of my life, I think everyone live this in an unique way according to the kind of person you are and the moment of the life you're living. I've learned so much about the person I wanna be, about marine environment, how to study it and protect it, how to dive, how to drive either 😂 and how to enjoy the island life. The only thing that I can say to you, if you love yourself do it, if you think you still have to learn to love yourself definitely do it!!!!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
It was my last day of the program and I found myself surrounded by 50 dolphins and I saw them underwater.. MATING!!
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Sharmin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Divemaster Programme

Man, where to start? It took me almost a year and a half to get out here (thank you covid) but it was well worth the wait and frustration. The people, the diving, the culture, the entire thing from start to finish was just incredible. Everyday being immersed in the IOP family and wider Nusa Penida community, working towards conservation goals with like-minded people - it's the dream. This was my first ever big trip and I'm so glad I made it, because wow. At first it was a little hard to adjust (I'm a proper city girl) but in less than a week you just go with it.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
You'd think I'd have researched a little about penida's waters....but nope. So imagine my surprise when every other dive turns out to be a drift dive or with intense currents. After three months of this, I must admit I'm in love with my experience here and genuinely shocked at myself. I never thought I'd be able to handle half the things we did, but by God did I ever. Self growth man, it happened here.
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Letizia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful experience!

Joining the IOP family to complete my divemaster and scientific diver certificate, has been one of the best choices of my life!!

During these 10 weeks i've achieved so much thanks to this professional and scientific training. I've become a confident and skilled diver, I learned plenty about marine life, I learned how to do collect data underwater and how to deploy scientific equipment. These skills will for sure become useful for the pursuit of my studies in animal behaviour and conservation.

Furthermore, I shared so many beautiful memories with the IOP family and interns, that I will forever consider them like a family!

I will never be able to thank you all enough ❣️

What was your funniest moment?
Currents can be pretty interesting in Penida. We had so much fun surveying in Mangrove site with the current pushing us in all sorts of directions hehe. It was like being a scientist on an adventurous rollercoaster.
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Iris
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

DiveMaster in paradise

This 10 weeks was extremely intense and rich since day one.
Both professionally and humanly the program give me a huge amount of knowledges and emotions.
I learned a lot about the marine life ecosystem, with theoretical and practical aspect (corals, sharks, rays, turtles, mangroves...). All the member of IOP are very passionate by everything that they teach us, that give me the desire to learn more !
The dive in Penida is so wonderful, marine life is everywhere, full of life and fish (and manta :D). The most surprising for me was the reef because it is so heathy and colourful.
Finally, everyone here is welcoming, helpful for all kind of situation, funny and endearing. I met not only interns and staff but a big family with a lot of crazy, hilarious and intense moments that create this unique experience in Penida !

What was your funniest moment?
One of my funniest moment (because almost everyday there is one) was with another intern during a dive. We were in Crystal Bay during the mola season and she called me and made the sign for mola underwater. So I started to swim very fast to her and she showed me the “mola”. The shape was exactly the same so we were very excited but after approaching it we both realised at the same time that is only a school of fish. Then we started laughing a lot a lot, my mask was leaking so bad and I couldn’t stop. Every time we were looking each other we were both dying
So at the end I ran away from her to calm down myself because I start to consume all my air and swallow water. Now even when I remind me her face happy for this mola I start to laughter again.
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Bestari Ghea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Experience of A Lifetime

I joined IOP in April 2021, arriving with only 9 logged dives I did during my Advanced Open Water course, and after 2 months and a half I spent in Nusa Penida, I graduated as a Divemaster with 96 dives!

Not only I gained so much knowledge about marine science and conservation, but also diving theories and skills, as we dive almost every day on this island. This course helped me built confidence above and underwater, as a person and diver, with the help of the ever-so-friendly staff and fellow interns. Furthermore, I felt very useful and fulfilled because during the internship, I helped with the data gathering and felt that I contributed to the organization as well as to nature.

It literally is an experience of a lifetime because through this program, I was able to meet like-minded people from around the world, hear their stories, share our experiences, grow together, and build connections that very likely to last for a long time.

I came here after I quit my old job, thinking of a career change following my passions. Now I have zero regrets and have a job in marine conservation, all thanks to IOP!