Big Blue Island Diving School on Kohtau Island, Thailand

HOW OPPORTUNITY WAS FOUND: 

I've always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, and Thailand is known to have cheap, safe diving. I had one week left out of the planned 6 weeks in Southeast Asia, and I looked into Big Blue Island Diving School, because other travelers that I'd come across suggested this one school.

LENGTH: 10.5 weeks

MINIMUM LENGTH REQUIRED: 4 days for “Open Water Certification"; for the next advanced level, another 2 days; for dive master, 6 weeks is recommended, but you can do it for longer if you want. 

LOCATION: Kohtau Island, Thailand

FUN: ★★★★★

PERSONAL GROWTH: ★★★★★

DAY-TO-DAY LIFE (FIRST TWO WEEKS OF THE DIVE MASTER PROGRAM): 

  • 8:00/9:00am: Start classes, learn every bit of diving, including ways to navigate the dive site with a compass and the physics behind diving
  • 12:30pm: Lunch break 
  • -3:00pm: Class
  • 3:00pm~: Free time

DAY-TO-DAY LIFE (AFTER FIRST TWO WEEKS OF THE DIVE MASTER PROGRAM):

  • Pretty much on your own schedule, but tried to dive as much as possible. Can dive up to 4 times a day
  • 6:30am-11:00am: First boat takes you out to sea, and you can practice diving/leading with other diving trainees
  • 12:30pm-5:00pm: Second boat takes you out to sea, and you can practice diving/leading with other diving trainees* 

*Can take both boats out if you wish 

DESCRIPTION OF WORK/ACTIVITIES DONE: 

Snorkeling, scuba diving, go to the beach, sneak into an infinity pool at a resort

PROVIDES: 

  • Free accommodation in a dorm room during the "Open Water Certification" program and the next level program

TOP TIPS: 

 

1.     Book a one way flight! You will want to stay longer.

2.     Have a very open itinerary; plan loosely, but don’t have a concrete set amount to be at a      place.

3.     Try to meet as many people as possible.

MOST MEANINGFUL LESSON TAKEN AWAY: 

  • It's very important to be respectful towards different cultures’ choices in daily lives; different countries have different opinions on what a healthy lifestyle is. For example, many people in Thailand did not ever wear sunscreen--even if it was very hot--because of the chemicals in the lotion. I didn't really get it at first, and always wore sunscreen; but that's their choice, and you have to respect it. 
  • American colleges are ridiculously expensive. You can still get a great education for half the price in another country. 
  • As Americans, we kind of come off as being arrogant by seeming to know everything; that's how many foreigners view us. 

 

 

Jiyoung Jeong