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This is a Diving internship that includes learning to dive and assisting with the running of a dive center on the paradise island of Pulau Tiga, the location of TV's "Survivor" Game Show. 

You'll gain experience of running a water sports center and, if you are able to stay for a period of three months, have the opportunity to do a total of 60 dives as a prerequisite to the Dive Master Course. You'll assist the Dive Master in taking care of the dive center, guiding and assisting new learners, handling customers enquiries, customer service and reporting to the Dive Instructor.

You can also develop your diving skills by taking several courses – i.e. PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Emergency First Aid Response, Rescue Diver etc.

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Start Dates All year round - you choose your start and finish dates
Duration From 8 weeks, up to 6 months, subject to visa requirements.
Requirements No experience or qualifications necessary, just lots of enthusiasm.  Minimum age 17.
Price Full Price List
What's included Arranging your Program,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance
Meeting you at the nearest airport/station
All accommodation
Transfer to the placement site
In-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion.
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visa, Return transfer to the airport
Who can do this Project? All our projects are open to all nationalities.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in gaining overseas work experience or an internship for university credit or requirement.
Also suitable for anyone just wanting to study Resort Management and  Dive School Management overseas.


  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Asia and the Thai culture!

  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.

  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.

  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!



Just off the coast of northern Borneo lies the tiny island of Pulau Tiga, one of three islands that make up the Pulau Tiga National Park in the South China Sea. Originally formed after a volcanic eruption, Pulau Tiga is a haven for wildlife and ringed by a 7km shallow, healthy coral reef with crystal clear water.

Travellers and the Resort have partnered together to provide our volunteers the opportunity to do a placement at the Resort’s Water Sports Center - to give diving enthusiasts the chance to gain experience in a beautiful setting! Your daily tasks could vary but the main objectives of this placement are for you to: 

  • Gain experience of running a water sports center and, if you are able to stay for a period of three months, have the opportunity to do a total of 60 dives as a prerequisite to the Dive Master Course (you'll need to start the program with a PADI open water qualification to be considered for this course).

  •  Assist the Dive Master in the daily running of the center. Responsibilities include: taking care of the dive center, guiding and assisting new learners, handling customers enquiries, customer service and reporting to the Dive Instructor

  • Develop your diving skills by taking several courses – i.e. PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Emergency First Aid Response, Rescue Diver etc.

Dry Activities: Job responsibilities include looking after the water sports center, for example; general cleaning (of the center and the beach), handling customers inquiries, manning the center, filling up oxygen tanks, cleaning diving equipment, assisting the movements of the boats or assignments set by the Resort Manager (guiding trail walks, assisting water department, assisting other departments), conducting English Classes.

Wet activities: The main activity you will take part in is assisting the Diving Instructor, for example; helping the instructor while conducting diving lessons, supporting and guiding learners, preparing diving gear for lessons, interacting with new learners. You will also be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the diving equipment, and getting the boats and Jet Ski's ready for guests.

You'll have the opportunity to take the following courses during your project (depending on previous experiences and length of project): 

  • Open Water Course and Advanced Open Water Course,

  • Emergency First Aid Response Course,

  • Rescue Diver Course,

  • Dive Master Course (optional and subject to certain criteria)

This is not a conservation project but you may have the opportunity to participate in the following other activities:

  •  Monitoring and Surveying Artificial Reef (snorkelling) -  replacing and/or repairing damaged coral, continuing the development of the reef, conducting an inventory of the marine life encountered (specifically fish), cleaning underwater rubbish, collecting and replanting coral fragments. Due to the location of Pulau Tiga, heavy winds are common resulting in beach debris.
  • Monitoring and Surveying House Reef (snorkelling) - this will involve conducting an inventory of the marine life (fish, coral, giant clams, etc) encountered at the designated area, clearing underwater rubbish, feeding fish, reporting the quality of water (i.e. visibility, under water current, seaweeds, jellyfish, red-tide, etc), reporting any damaged corals
  • Developing an Artificial Reef – to form the foundation for planting corals, setting up coral nursery units etc (some of this work will be undertaken as a dry activity)

These activities are not guided by a marine biologist, so your input will not have any academic value. Instead, these activities provide you with the opportunity to be involved in useful work for the center whilst practising your diving skills. Some of the activities are quite routine and in some respects similar to underwater gardening (for example, clearing underwater rubbish, collecting and replanting coral fragments, etc.) During each of the above activities you will dive with other volunteers who are on the placement at the same time as you and will not be supervised by a member of staff from the dive center.

During your stay you might encounter days when the weather is not suitable for water activities and therefore dry activities will take place. Once you have gained your PADI Open Water certification you can also proceed with the following courses during your placement:

FIRST MONTH: *Open Water Course, Advanced Open Water Course

Please note, if you already have a PADI open water qualification then you do not need to take this course but you must take with you your log book and PADI certificate. If you have another type of qualification that is not a recognised PADI then you may have to take a refresher course after your arrival.

SECOND MONTH: Emergency First Aid Response Course, Rescue Diver

THIRD MONTH: Dive Master Course. This is optional but you need to let us know before commencing your placement whether you intend to do the Dive Master Course. In order to do the dive master course you must have completed at least 60 dives and reached a high level of fitness and a slow level of air consumption. During this course you will also learn, amongst other things, about customer service, fish and coral identification, reef structure and underwater current movement. If you intend to take the Dive Master Course within a 3 month period then we recommend that you do not start as a complete beginner – it is advisable for you to have at least the Open Water PADI qualification when starting the project.


“Our two month placement in Pulau Tiga Resort has been a wonderful experience. The Divemaster section of the placement ran very smoothly with expert instruction and guidance from Julius. The Water Sports Team have been great along with all of the other staff at the resort in welcoming us, integrating us, and guiding us through our duties and responsibilities along with providing us great friendship which has made living and working here a wonderful experience which comes highly recommend to others.

We would also like to thank the water sports team for working with great patience and understanding while we were asked to be in charge of the day to day running of the Center and to all the other staff for letting us help out in various ways and making our stay a very enjoyable one.”
 Paula Walters & Chris Howarth

During the first week of your placement you will have most of the afternoons off. This is to enable you to acclimatise to the tropical weather and to be familiar with the surrounding environment – i.e. the resort and its facilities. During the rest of the placement you will be required to work 6 days per week. Your day off will not usually be over the weekend as this is when the dive center is at its busiest. If there are several volunteers doing this placement at the same time then you may be able to arrange some of your days off together.

Of your 6 working days you will be expected to spend 3 days doing dry activities and 3 days doing wet activities. You must take your own fins, mask and wet suit (which can be bought locally, if needed) but diving equipment is provided (this includes BCD, regulator and Scuba tanks).

This is not a conservation project but there are some elements of conservation based activities that you can become involved with during your stay (see above). There will be a minimum of 2 volunteers on this placement at any one time and each volunteer must spend a minimum of 2 months on this placement.

Diving is possible all year round although the weather tends to be stormy between June, July and August. All diving is weather dependant.

he resort can accommodate a maximum of 120 people at any one time – it’s peak occupancy period tends to be from April/May to Sept/October when usually it will be at least 70% full. At other times of the year, occupancy can drop to around 20%. During the Low season, you’ll find that the staff have more free time to give 1 to 1 instruction, where as during the high season, you’ll have more exposure to customers but more diving will take place in a group.

In order to dive you should take out specialised diving insurance (e.g. Divers Alert Network www.daneurope.org

Malaysia's tropical waters are incredibly clear

Scuba Diving Project on Pulau Tiga Island

Part of the Dive Centre

Trail to the mud volcano


Pulau Tiga Resort is privately run and has chalets for guests set in a beautiful and quite exotic environment, befitting this beautiful country! There are lovely walkways that run between the accommodation and the various facilities at the resort, surrounded by colourful local flora.

The Resort's range of facilities is good (see below), but focuses mainly on diving and water-sports, including a jetty set into the tropical beach.

Traditional Longhouse: While on your project, you'll stay in a Malaysian longhouse, where you'll get to experience a taste of living in a traditional style. The Longhouse is traditional in style only - it is a modern facility with a lovely wooden verandah giving beautiful views and is nestled under trees.

The facilities are comfortable, clean and very tropical. You will share your accommodation with other Travellers volunteers with a maximum of three volunteers per room. 

Food: Your meals will consist of local cuisine and are provided in the Resort's Restaurant, the same food provided to the fee-paying resort guests. Meals are taken in the form of a buffet, served daily and usually including two main courses (these are usually a choice or combination of chicken, meat or fish), with local vegetables and salads, followed by fruit. In the very quiet part of Low Season, there may occasionally be no guests at the Resort. At such times you'll take your meals in the staff canteen. Tea, Coffee and Juice is available all day.

Facilities: Pulau Tiga Resort is fairly well equipped in terms of other facilities and these currently include:

  • A bar and restaurant area,
  • A small shop at reception,
  • A volleyball court,
  • A football field
  • A games room (with pool table) and
  • A TV room
During your placement you will have free access to non-motorised water sports equipment, such as Kayaks - a great way to explore some of the island! Jet Ski's are also available for hire. Local staff are friendly and live on the island - they will often get together for a game of volleyball or football in the evenings. Many of the staff speak good English.

There are also many trails through the undergrowth that you can explore easily and are well worth the effort.  One of the features of the island are the several active mud volcanoes can be found around the island, especially at the summit. Here you can cover yourself in volcanic mud for a natural skin cleansing treatment! These are well worth visiting for the view as well as the volcanoes.

There is a 30 minute boat service from Kuala Penyu to Pulau Tiga which runs twice daily, so you can get on and off the island if needed. In Kuala Penyu there is a hospital, police station, coffee shop, post office, internet connection and some other small shops. There is no nightlife but this can be found in Kota Kinabalu, around 3 hours away by car.

This is a remote island - you can stay in touch with home via Satellite phone or local Sim card, however, there is no internet connection on the island and access to internet off the island can be intermittent. We suggest that you prepare yourself for a remote experience.


Bedroom - inside the Longhouse


Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org


Pulau Tiga is located about 35 nautical miles southwest of Kota Kinabalu. Around the island of Pulau Tiga, visibility ranges from 6 to 20 metres and schools of tropical fish can be seen from the surface, even without snorkel equipment. The island's landscape is dramatic, set in the midst of lush rainforest, including mangroves, swamps and lowland forests for eight square miles.

Within this enticing habitat are more than fifty different species of trees, countless plant species and an array of fauna such as macaque monkeys, monitor lizards, sea turtles and many other colourful species and birds. A rich variety of marine life can be seen including barracuda, bamboo sharks, cuttlefish and marbled stingray. There are around 132 species of fish representing 62 genera in 32 families.

The Dive Center you'll work in developed a resort on the island in 1998 to accommodate tourists in a variety of wooden cottages. Scuba diving in the marine park is heavenly, but this peaceful destination is also a great place for outdoor activities and other water sports.

If you are not already qualified you will take a PADI Open Water Diver Certification course on your arrival with the resorts water sports center. Novices can explore the many dive sites once completing the basic PADI qualification. Seasoned divers will find the reefs wonderful and a number of unexplored diving locations are available for day trips.

Although the island doesn’t generally attract many international tourists, it has recently become famous for the American TV production of Survivor, a reality TV show where contestants battled it out to be the ultimate survivor, living on a tropical island and competing against each other for a prize of $1 Million US dollars. On average, the dive school receives 4 to 5 students weekly and there are currently 5 staff working at the dive center.

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure!

Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind.    Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity! 

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:

When you arrive, you'll be welcomed by Ronn. She is the Volunteer Co-ordinator, assisting Albert, our Malaysia Manager. Ronn will take you to your accommodation in Kota Kinabalu, where you will spend the first couple days of your trip. She will show you the nearby facilities such as banks, pharmacy, food and beverage outlets etc.

Albert will give you an evening induction (so you will be free to do some activities during the daytime).
You will then be taken to your project and accommodation and introduced to everyone concerned. You will be made to feel very welcome by all! 

Our projects in Malaysia are very popular and you are sure to have a wonderful time during your stay in Sabah. Your adventure has begun :-)


Feedback on Teaching Children Projects in Malaysia

Travellers' Malaysia Manager Albert and friends!
Travellers' Malaysia Manager Albert and friends 

Facts on Malaysian Food

A lazy afternoon on Pulau Tiga Island
A lazy afternoon!


While on your placements, you can also book some Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience.

PADI Open Water Diving Courses
Climb Mount Kinabalu Excursion
Day Tours around Borneo
Turtles and Primates Excursion

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in Malaysia, Thailand or South-East Asia - thus doubling your adventure and enjoyment! Our recommended comindations are Thailand or Sri Lanka, Malaysia or the Pandas in China!



Kota Kinabalu, or "KK" (as it is locally known), is the capital of Sabah. KK is home to the International airport and this will be your first point of arrival in Sabah - it is a great place to start your trip and get used to the Malaysian way of life.

Although Kota Kinabalu is far less developed than Kuala Lumpur (its counterpart on the Peninsular), the people are very friendly and the atmosphere here is more relaxed. KK also boasts impressive markets, restaurants and nightlife and is a fun introduction to the wide variety of attractions that Sabah has to offer.  

Just off the coast it is possible to see an array of beautiful islands which make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Exploring the coral reefs and marine life in this underwater world is fascinating and day trips here can be easily arranged - most islands are less than 45 minutes away by boat. Once you arrive you will be amazed at how clear the water is and just how many different fish you can see. There are also many wonderful beaches to be explored on the islands!   

Facing inland, it’s possible to see the peaks of Mount Kinabalu in the distance. This is another of Sabah’s main attractions and the views from the top at Sun rise more than make up for the two day climb. Afterwards you can soak your aching muscles at Poring where the sulphur hot springs provide a therapeutic bath.

Throughout the whole of Sabah you will find many local "Tamu", meaning market - the variety of fruit, vegetables, plants and handcrafted items on sale at cheap prices has to be seen to be believed!


There is excellent diving and snorkelling on a number of islands surrounding Sabah. The Semporna Islands Marine park, located towards the south of the island, is one of the best. Here you will find Sipadan Island, the most famous within the park and classified as one of the worlds top dive sites.

Sipadan is an oceanic island shaped like a mushroom - it was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct undersea volcano. Due to its geographic position it is at the center of one of the richest marine environments in the world - both the diving and snorkelling here are outstanding!

Rebecca Decant told us about her experiences of some of the excursions that took part during her placement.

"Sipadan (diving/snorkeling) - We all stayed on an island near Sipadan island called Mabul. We had a practice scuba dive the day we arrived to get us used to the equipment. In the evening we walked around the small island and met lots of local children who obviously hadn't seen many foreigners. Early the next morning we took a boat to Sipadan where some people snorkeled off the beach, which was quite small but the reef was huge! I scuba-dived for the first time and it was the best thing I have ever done I think (except work with Orang-Utans obviously!). The teachers were really good and helped us when we struggled to get the breathing right.

We got about 45mins underwater and saw the beautiful reef, turtles, millions of fish and some white-tip sharks. The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the beach and snorkeling. You could see the same snorkeling as you could diving, but the experience of diving was well worth the few extra pounds!"

To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here.


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