Yes, you are excited to get started with your scuba diving license already, but here are a few things to consider before choosing where to get your license.
Your arrangement preference
There are "3-ways*" to get your scuba diving license:
1. Confined pool sessions + theory sessions done locally
We highly recommend this for new divers who are afraid of the water. Breathing underwater for the first time can be overwhelming, so doing it in a controlled environment (swimming pool) will build your confidence. Plus, you do not have to worry about choppy waters.
Also, doing it locally means that you will learn all the skills beforehand, this allows you to learn at your own pace, not worrying about time constraints, and some instructors let you add more practice sessions to learn the skills. You will also be able to finish up your knowledge review in the comfort of your own home.
2. Confined pool sessions + theory sessions done at the island
To save time, you can also pack your bags and go to the island for 4 days to get your license. A standard scuba diving course takes approximately 4 days to complete. Your knowledge review (study + exam), and also pool sessions (learning all the scuba diving skills) will all be done in these 4 days.
3. Confined sessions done at island + theory sessions done online
You can also complete the PADI Open Water Diver Theory class online before you depart to the island. You will need to pay a fee to PADI which is roughly AUD200 and can then complete the 2-day practical part of the course on the island, under the supervision of an instructor.
Types of dive certification bodies
There are many scuba diving certification bodies, most popular being PADI, and other popular bodies include SSI and NAUI. These are the top 3 certifiation agencies. There are no significant differences between the associations, its not something you need to think long and hard about, but its just good to know :) Here's a detailed article about the different diving associations.
Choosing a dive instructor
Learning scuba diving from an instructor who you are comfortable with is the most important. Good divers do not mean that they are good teachers. The best way to choose an instructor is from your circle of friends who are divers- ask them about how their instructors are, did they learn a lot, or did they feel safe with their instructors. Some instructors will do the minimum and some will go the extra mile - only word of mouth & reviews can tell you this.
After considering all the points above, its time for you to start your underwater journey!
Disclaimer: *There may be more than 2