My decision to start my PADI IDC at Go Pro
Completing the PADI IDC at Oceans Unlimited was in one word “surprising”. I had been a Divemaster and working as a dive professional for a few years. I made the decision to get my instructor to become more employable when looking for work in new places. Coming to Costa Rica was a surprise in itself. It was a last minute decision when plans to head to the Caribbean were canceled due to the hurricane.
I was planning to do my PADI IDC anyways, and Costa Rica was always somewhere I wanted to spend time. It then was a quick decision to change plans and come to Oceans Unlimited. Right away one of the course directors, Georgia, was quick to respond to every email and question I had while planning my last minute switch to Oceans Unlimited. Georgia made everything simple when it came to planning. She found me a place to stay, made sure someone was at the shop to greet me and show me where to go. She also planned the schedule so I never felt lost or confused on where I needed to be and what was expected.
The PADI IDC program
The IDC at Oceans Unlimited is anywhere from 10-14 days depending on when the IE can be scheduled. The class size was great, there were 5 of us which made it easy to get individual attention. it was also a good group to get new ideas from. The work began right away which was my second surprise after my last minute switch to Costa Rica.
Because I had been working as a Divemaster, I thought that the Theory exams wouldn’t be as challenging as they were! The practice exams were taken at the beginning of the IDC which was VERY helpful in the long run. From that we were able to see where we needed to focus our studying. We then had the rest of the course to do make up exams to get the passing scores we needed. This also gave us the opportunity to take the IDC Theory exams a few times before having to take them for the IE.
Georgia and JT our two course directors along with all of the instructors at the shop were ALWAYS available to answer questions about theory. They calmed our nerves when we were freaking out about the physics (which was almost everyday).
Presentations during the PADI IDC
The third surprise came in the form of nerves during my first presentations. For the IDC you will complete many confined water, open water and classroom presentations. You will be nervous and feel like you don’t know what you are doing for the first presentations that you do. By the end of the 12 days we had done so many presentations they feel like second nature when you get to the IE. Oceans Unlimited plans the entire IDC to make you OVER prepared for the IE.
Being Overprepared for the PADI IE
My fourth surprise was that the IDC was WAY harder than the IE. One thing I appreciated about the training at Ocean Unlimited is that you are given constructive criticism. The instructors and our course directors will grade you harder during your IDC, so when you get to your exam it is easy! You will be nervous for your exam it is inevitable. What Oceans Unlimited did was over prepare us. When the nerves set in, and it was easy to make a mistake, your training kicked in instead, and all the repetition gave you more confidence.
Falling in love with Costa Rica
My last surprise came as a whole at the end of my PADI IDC. I had found that I had fallen in love with Costa Rica, Oceans Unlimited and the people that trained me for the short amount of time. I have decided to stay with them to work on my MSDT rating because of all the support they give to new instructors.
After only weeks of passing my instructor course, I have certified multiple Open water students, Advanced students and taught specialty courses. All because of the attention and training Oceans Unlimited gives to their students. I feel like a confident, effective and good instructor after only weeks of being certified to teach. It feels like a huge accomplishment that I owe to the people here at Oceans Unlimited.
I have decided to extend my stay here in Costa Rica through the season and couldn’t be happier. It was been a truly amazing experience and fully of sooooooo many surprises. HUGE thanks so everyone at Ocean Unlimited for taking me in and teaching me. I love these guys!