Carola – 25 years old – Italy
Sam – 37 years old – USA
I had been searching for a unique place to do shark research and also accomplish my Dive Master certification while having a life changing experience in a foreign country. This was definitely the right choice! The Shark conservation project is very well run and you learn an incredible amount in a short time. The whole team makes great efforts to teach you all about Sharks, Turtles, Fish ID species, and coral health (as well as helping you with all the little things about daily life on the Gilis)!
The conservation project is known for the shark conservation but they do so much more. My favorite project was building artificial coral substrates, constructing them on the ocean floor, and then populating the substrates with coral polyps to regrow the reef! You really feel like you are making a difference while having the time of your life. I stayed for seven weeks and I wished I stayed for even more! Time flies when you love the work you are doing. The “Sharkies” (what the research team is called) become family after no time. Its amazing living and working with people from all different ages, backgrounds, and countries.
The dive instructors are top notch and focus on your development as a professional diver as well as acting as mentors. The locals are so nice and the foods amazing too! Super safe Island and plenty of fun things to do here or grab a quick boat taxi to the other islands for more adventures! I met many life long friends that I will stay in touch with forever. Looking forward to a return trip in the future! Amazing experience all around!
Mónica – 22 years old – Puerto Rico
I spent three weeks at GSC, and they were the best three weeks of my life! The staff was amazing and they created a lovely and comfortable learning environment. I learned so much about the marine ecosystem and why it is important to conserve it. I’ve got to meet so many people form around the world and created so many unforgettable memories. The local people are also amazing and they truly made me feel at home. I’m so grateful that I got to be part of the program. Thank you for the unforgettable memories GSC!!
Rhys – 36 years old – United States
Barbi and I were overwhelmed with how communicative, patient and easy to work with everyone was and how organized the program, educators, dives and participants were at Gili shark, we were only disappointed we didn’t get to meet Rose personally!
The kindness with which we were treated and the efficiency and professional level of work, data collection and doing things by the book was actually astounding. We have dove and worked with organizations from Tonga to Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Fiji and were amazed at how much Gili shark not only has going on but achieving as well!
Zaan – 23 years old – South Africa
Such a wonderful, spur of the moment place to be. I met people from so many different cultures, laughed so much, and had amazing food every day. The schedule was helpful, but also adjustable if I felt under the weather. I was educated about marine life and taught myself how to ride a bicycle (as I’m studying in Amsterdam this is very important ; -). The ocean was beautiful, and I felt taken care of by the staff at the local dive club and this organization. Really a different type of holiday that I would recommend to any traveler with a heart for the ocean.
Ricky – 20 years old – Australia
When you arrive in Gili Air, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by this new environment. You are quickly greeted by kind locals and tourists and eventually by the team at HQ. This place is quite literally your home away from home. I felt as though everyone I met in this place became my own little family after leaving mine behind in Australia. And then there is the program itself!! It’s just perfect. You quite literally become a real scientist by fetching your own data underwater and discussing it above the surface back at the base office.
I am a university student and this meant that this program was perfect for me. The people behind Gili Shark Conservation are some of the nicest, most patient people you’ll meet and will help you with everything you may ever need. If you are contesting with yourself for whether or not you should pursue this program, my advice is to just go ahead and book it in. I had no idea what I was in for but this has been the best experience of my life and I have made connections with people that I will be forever grateful for.
Emily – 21 years old – USA
I am already trying to find the quickest way to return! I loved my time with Gili Shark more than words can describe and I would not have traded it for anything different. The staff and the other Shark Warriors quickly became my family away from home. Everyone is so passionate about the work that they are doing, it is truly awe-inspiring. There is no doubt in my mind that they can achieve anything they put their minds and hearts into. They are making the world a better place and inviting others to be part of it.
Jolena – 22 years old – United States
While joining Gili Shark Conservation I gained valuable field experience in marine science and conservation while also being educated by Marine Biologists on important and current topics. All while having access furthering my diving certifications and becoming a skilled diver. The island itself and the locals are amazing, but what truly sets this program apart is the amazing staff who go above and beyond. If I could change one thing about my experience it would have been to have gone earlier and stayed longer.