Frequently Asked Questions & Testimonials
– Ryan, 10-week Internship
In Hawaii I swam with dolphins, dove with manta rays, and edited video footage of tourists doing the same. ... read more!
– Katrina , 4-week internship
AWESOME, ADVENTUREOUS, MAJESTIC, FUN. That’s what you get for volunteering to help film Manta Rays. ... read more!
– Jeff, 1-week Volunteer
My internship with DDI was amazing! I fell in love with the Manta Rays from the moment I first saw them. ... read more!
– Heather, 20-Week Internship
The summer I spent as an intern with Dolphin Dreams Images was the best summer of my life. ... read more!
– Christina, 4-Week Internship
The hands-on, real world experience that I have gained through my internship at Ocean Wings Hawaii has proved to be invaluable. ... read more!
– Nicole, 8-week Volunteer
Question # 1: What types of people participate in your volunteer or internship program?
The volunteer program is for artists, teachers, university faculty, scientists, journalists, housewives, adventurers, students (not seeking college credit); just about anyone.
The internship program is primarily for college students who major in Fine Arts, Photography, Marine Biology, Communications, Physical Education, Recreation and Business. It is also appropriate for those who have not declared a major or those pursuing liberal arts degrees.
Question # 2: What will I get out of the internship?
In addition to college credit (if applicable), valuable work experience and living in one of the most desirable places in the world, we can certify you also as an:
Scuba Diver, Open Water Scuba Diver, Enriched Air Diver/Nitrox Diver, Night Diver, Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Photographer, Underwater Videographer, Diver Propulsion Vehicle Diver or Rebreather Diver.
These certifications are recognized worldwide. Check out our Curriculum!
Question # 3: What will I get out of the volunteer program?
A chance to live a dream and see Hawaii in a completely different way. Depending on the length of your program, we can also offer you the same certifications as interns (see FAQ # 2). These certifications are recognized worldwide. Check out our Curriculum.
Question # 4: How many interns participate in your program?
At the present time, four.
Question # 5: How many volunteers’ slots do you have?
Four, but they cycle in and out on a weekly basis.
Question # 6: What is the average day like?
Day Shift (simplified):
Up early (5.30 - 6.00), breakfast, project briefings, gear preparation, boat assignments, pack a personal cooler for lunch.
On the Pacific Ocean from 8.00 a.m. - 12.00 p.m.
Gear desalinization, breakdown, storage 1.00 p.m. - 2.30 p.m.
Studio production work 3.00 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Night Shift (simplified):
At 2.00 p.m. meet for project briefings, gear preparation, boat assignments; pack a personal cooler for the boat.
On the ocean from 4.00 p.m. - 9.00 p.m.
Gear desalinization, breakdown, storage 9.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.
Studio production work 10.00 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Question # 7: What criteria do you use selecting the participants?
We try to put together a team of people that will meet our needs and show a high probability of group cohesiveness. This is a difficult determination to make by email, skype or telephone interviews, but we have had good success in the past. The online application is the first step in this process. If it appears as though you might be suited for one of our programs, it is likely we will contact you with follow-up questions.
Question # 8: Do you consider couples (husband+wife, father+son and/or mother+daughter etc)
Yes. Sometimes it works better this way, as people are less likely to get "homesick" and have more fun sharing the experience with their spouse.
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FAQs: Scuba Diving
Question # 9: Should I be a certified scuba diver to participate in your program?
It is not a requirement and will not make a significant difference one way or the other with regard to your selection as a volunteer or intern. We look at the entire "package" of aptitudes and desires you have. We also see the advantage of training our own divers.
Question # 10: What if I am not interested in Scuba Diving?
You can still participate in our programs. We snorkel every day if you prefer to stay on the surface. A big part of our day are pre- and post shoot logistics. We need a lot of "dry surface support" and have much work to be done that does not involve getting wet.
Question # 11: If I do decide to Scuba Dive, do I need to supply my own gear?
Historically, most volunteers and interns that are certified divers prefer to use and maintain their own scuba gear, but we can provide gear and instruction for you, if needed.
Question # 12: Can I buy scuba gear when I get there?
Yes. Although we are not a retail scuba equipment sales business per se, we have business relationships with a number of dive operations and can obtain new and used gear at wholesale/reduced prices.
Question # 13: Are there "lab" fees?
Yes. Click here for the list of "lab" fees.
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FAQs: Application Procedure
Question # 14: Can you give me more details about the application procedure and the selection process?
As soon as your application fee is processed, we will notify you by phone or e-mail that your application is being considered. Your internship/volunteer application will then be reviewed by our staff. We may contact you by email or telephone with follow-up questions. At the conclusion of that review, a recommendation will be forwarded to an owner. If the recommendation is that you be contacted for a telephone or skype interview, we will call you at the phone number and time of day you indicated on your online application. If we do not feel we have a slot for you at the time, you will be notified of this by e-mail.
Question # 15: What if the application is incomplete?
As a general rule, we do not process incomplete applications. Further, any application that does not include the application fee of $ 25 will not be processed.
Question # 16: Why do you charge $ 25 application fee?
The application fee seems to function very well as an initial volunteer/internship applicant filter. The fee seems to reduce the volume of applications we receive to manageable level.
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Question # 17: What do the accommodations look like?
Accommodations and the production studio are at the same location for the fees listed.
We have a big house at an elevation of 1200 feet with a nice yard in a safe and quiet neighborhood.
The upstairs is dedicated to interns and volunteers. We call it "intern country". It has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a patio kitchen. You also have the upstairs sun deck with a beautiful ocean view as a "living room". The bedrooms are shared by same gender; maximum two people per room.
There are many advantages to living close to the studio. We have found that we need our interns and volunteers to remain near to our various operations so that there are not logistical complications.
Question # 18: What about transportation?
Most of our interns or volunteers rent motor scooters, but a few have gone in together, bought a used car or moped, then sold it upon departure to other interns or volunteers or on the open market.
Question # 19: Where are you located?
We are located in Kona on the West Side of the Big Island of Hawaii. Check out "Location Hawaii".
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FAQs: Misc. about the Program
Question # 20: Is there a danger of being injured by marine life (like sharks)?
Almost none. In over 20 years in business, we have NEVER had a problem with sharks. Unlike many places in the world, Hawaiian Diving is quite safe.
Our first recommended specialty course for divers to take after open water certification is the Underwater Naturalist course. This gives our interns and volunteers a better understanding of ocean creatures before they try to photograph or interact with them.
Question # 21: What is the ”night life” like in Kona?
Limited. There are a few late night, live music places, but remember our emphasis is our work, your education and providing opportunities for you to see marine life and gain valuable work experience.
If "partying" is high on the list of your priorities, you should not apply. Historically, people that like to "party" don't do well here.
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