In the morning, the local staff lead an interactive session (at the volunteer accommodation) that includes some ice-breaker activities and a presentation that covers a lot of useful information including: an introduction to Portugal and it's culture, the volunteer experience (setting expectations), an overview of our programs, practical information for getting around the city and beyond, and safety guidelines. In the afternoon, the volunteers are escorted into the city center for a special tour. They are also able to buy bus tickets, local sim cards and exchange money if necessary, all with a local staff member for support.
After the initial orientation in Lisbon, you will spend the rest of your program in Cascais with other volunteers.
A typical weekday will look like this:
08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast at the volunteer house
09:00 - 12:30 First dive of the day. You will start by learning the fundamentals and after a couple days you will start diving in the Ocean.
13:30 - 14:00 Take the train back to the volunteer house
14:00 - 14:30 Lunch time
14:30 - 19:00 Relaxing & Travel time. Usually, the afternoons are free to travel around the city, learn Portuguese or relax. Sometimes, you can also dive during the afternoons depending on the specialties or certification you are doing. Your instructor will inform you about this on the first day.
19:30 - 21:00 Dinner at the volunteer accommodation along with the other volunteers.
Please note this schedule can vary depending on your level, the weather conditions and your progress.
No, you don't need to have any previous skills in the local language! All of our programs are run entirely in English and our guides and staff are all comfortable speaking English as well! But we always encourage our participants to get acquainted with some of the most basic terms and expressions, as even just a simple "Bom dia!" (good morning in Portuguese) can be a great icebreaker to start interacting with the locals.
There are also language lessons available for volunteers. The language lessons can be booked before or on the arrival. Lessons are taught by a professional teacher and tailored to each volunteer’s current language level.
No, you do not need to have any prior experience in diving, the professional diving instructor will teach you all the necessary basics and safety essentials right on the spot! In your program is included a certificated diving course adjusted to your diving skills.
But it's great if you already do have some previous diving experience, as you'll more easily be able to contribute to cleaning up the ocean by collecting trash from the seabed.
If you are a diving beginner, you will start with the fundamentals and safety procedures. Once you get more autonomous - usually during the second week - you can start helping to collect trash. If you already have some experience, you will get to dive right away and contribute to our mission even quicker. You can start the program at any experience level and obtain the next level of certification accordingly!
Of course! We want you to really get to know your natural and cultural surroundings and will provide you with useful tips and tricks that will help you discover the location of your stay like a local.
You need to complete the Dive Medical Questionnaire before departure.
- Three meals a day, everyday: breakast, lunch and dinner (Vegetarian, gluten-free and meals for lactose-intolerant are also available upon request.)
- Pick-up at the airport and transfer to the accommodation (On the Sunday prior to an Introduction Day)
- Allocation to a non-profit and placement coordination on the first day of volunteering
- Responsible guided city tour (2 hours) SIM card, maps and the best tips to discover the city
- All the professional diving equipment you need for the project
- Diving classes and instructors
- Support 24/7
- All volunteers complete internationally recognized SSI (Scuba Schools International) diving certifications. The diving certification you complete will depend on your current diving experience and certifications and the length of your stay. The courses range from Open Water Diver to Scuba Diver.
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.