This was the best choice I have ever made in my life and choosing the PADI IDC course with Marcel van den Berg at Sairee Cottage Diving on Koh Tao was an experience to never forget. This is my story from being undecided to PADI Diving Instructor…
Why should you choose Koh Tao, Thailand for your Dive Instructor IDC Course?
Koh Tao is a living, breathing, thriving community. It is a bustling mix of cultures. It is a happy balance between health consciousness, healthy nightlife, environmental awareness, diving and adventure.
I love Koh Tao! After months of touring, that first step back on the pier in Mae Haad always brings a feeling of having returned home. And I am not the only person to feel this way. In fact, I’m still one of the newer kids on the block. That is exactly why Koh Tao is so wonderful; it is not only a tropical paradise but it’s also a beautiful community to be a part of.
I was super excited to arrive back on Koh Tao this time because I was planning to take the next step with my diver career and become a PADI diving instructor. I chose Koh Tao because it is known as a dive island. I have heard it labelled as a ‘factory’, however, I saw that as a good thing in relation to my PADI Diving Instructor IDC course. Koh Tao is only 21km sq and there are over 60 dive schools. This means that dive shops must consistently provide great customer service and courses. Also, the high volume of Open Water Diver students meant that I wouldn’t miss out on gaining invaluable experience.
Prior to arriving on Koh Tao I had done a bit of research and formulated a short list of PADI dive schools to check out. Once I arrived on the island I narrowed it down even further through chatting with local divers. After visiting each of my shortlisted schools I chose to continue my education and exploration of the underwater world with Sairee Cottage Diving.
I felt nervous as I signed up, I wasn’t sure that I was ready, but I wanted to become a Dive Instructor so this was the next step that needed to happen. I am so pleased that I did choose Sairee Cottage Diving. Marcel van den Berg, the PADI Platinum Course Director at Sairee Cottage Diving, runs an excellent Dive Instructor Development IDC Course. He is truly passionate about creating better divers and goes above and beyond for his students. Over the past couple of months I have watched as new IDC classes pass through Marcel’s classroom and each time he is focused on helping each student through to being successful in the PADI Instructor Examination (IE).
I was lucky enough to find myself in a wonderful group of seven IDC candidates. From the first day we were mates, the camaraderie and friendships that formed in those few weeks will, as clichéd as it sounds, be with me forever.
But it doesn’t stop with only my IDC classmates as Koh Tao is also a scuba diving island. Throughout the IDC I was offered generous levels of help, support, knowledge and employment from the island community. My PADI IDC course at Sairee Cottage Diving was an excellent experience, it wasn’t without it’s trials and tribulations, testing my resolve. But, the feeling of pride, joy and excitement that rushed through me when I heard the words “congratulations, you are now a PADI instructor” made the world sparkle!
I continued my education with Sairee Cottage Diving and joined the Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) course, becoming a PADI Specialty Instructor in 10 Specialties and I joining their uniquely designed Dive Instructor Internship. Close to completion of this internship, as I was getting ready to look around for work, I could not believe my ears when the manager of Sairee Cottage Diving asked if I could work for them! Now I am working as a diving instructor for one of the best PADI Dive Schools in Thailand Sairee Cottage Diving. I am so happy!
If you are considering changing your life and becoming a dive instructor then I can definitely recommend heading to Koh Tao and doing your IDC with Sairee Cottage Diving. If you have any questions you can find me on Instagram @looptheworld or find me on Facebook and I’ll be happy to help if I can.
PADI MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer)
Koh Tao, Thailand