Zoox Experience Programme Questions
• Is the Zoox Experience Programme for me?
• Who can apply for the Zoox Experience Programme?
• What if I don’t have 50 logged dives?
• How do I get to Zoox HQ in the Philippines?
• Where will I be staying?
• How much will it all cost?
• What will I be doing?
• What are the locations like?
• What are the Programme dates?
• What conservation impacts will I achieve?
• What personal projects have people been involved in previously?
• How do I Apply?
SCUBA Diving and Conservation course questions
• What Insurance will I need?
• How can I get a visa and how much will it cost?
• Can you help me with flights?
• What vaccinations / injections will I need?
• Where does my money go?
• Who are the Zoox staff?
• How did Zoox start?
Is the Zoox Experience Programme for me?
Ask yourself these simple questions:
• Interested in developing your skills in marine conservation, general marine ecology / biology?
• Are you able to work on your own as well as in a team?
• Are you available to volunteer for a minimum of 8 weeks?
• Looking for an adventure while gaining real work experience?
• Are you a qualified diver with more than 50 dives?
• Want to support a United Nations initiative that makes a real, measurable difference in a developing country?
• Are you resourceful and able to manage your time in creative ways?
• Do you get excited about the tropics and the unique and rare species that live there? (Well we do!)
If you've answered yes, then we’d love to hear from you! Start the application process for the Zoox Experience Programme here.
Who can apply for the Zoox Experience Programme?
• You need to be at least 18 years old, and physically fit and able.
• You don’t have to have a background in marine biology/ ecology. The programme is a great next step for those with an environmental science degree but is also perfect for those with experience in the working environment who want to build their marine science knowledge.
• You will need at least 50 logged SCUBA dives. You will be doing work that involves being comfortable and confident whilst diving with stakeholders. We accept any level of recognised qualification.
What if I don’t have 50 logged dives?
Not to worry, you have several options:
- Close to 50 dives? Depends on what sort of diving but let's have a chat about it. Apply anyway and let us know.
- Alternatively, come out a little earlier and boost your dive numbers. We can help you make arrangements and the diving in the Philippines is both awesome and very cheap!
- Want to learn to dive? Take our SCUBA Diving and Conservation course (SDCC) which includes the specialist Zoox training modules AND PADI Open Water diver course or further training.
- Already qualified but want more dive experience? We can help with that too with Option 2 for the SDCC.
How do I get to Zoox HQ in the Philippines?
All our courses start at Zoox HQ in Zamboguita (near Dumaguete City), Negros, Philippines and we will provide you with full details on how to get there. It’s a simple domestic flight from the international airports in Manila or Cebu, and we’ll pick you up at Dumaguete Airport. Simples really.
Zoox Experience Programme – The first two weeks of your stay is included in the price along with three (3) meals a day. This will be shared accommodation in a modern built Filipino/Indonesian style bungalow that is safe and comfortable. After these two weeks, we will find basic, comfortable, safe and clean accommodation for you at your placement locations. You will be in a single or shared room (depending on availability), with a shared bathroom with self-catering options for you.
You are not obliged to stay in the onward accommodation if you aren't comfortable.
SCUBA Diving and Conservation Course – This is the same accommodation at Zoox HQ as above, and will be shared with likeminded individuals. Food is also included in the price and is served from the nearby kitchen.
How much will it all cost??
Zoox Experience Programme - Below are approximate costs that have been averaged over the 8 weeks. This takes into account any potential hotel stays (a night or two depending on your flight times and travel to Manila airport) as well as your accommodation on location and a realistic average of all your food, water and alcoholic drinks and other luxuries that you may spend money on. This is the top end amount and can be seriously reduced if you don't eat out and cook at home which we help by sourcing self-catering accommodation prior to your arrival.
£1,840 GBP Project Fee for 8 weeks.
Book 3 months before and get the early bird price of £1600!
Other estimated costs are:
• Accommodation: £250 for 6 weeks (2 weeks is included in the price)
• Food, Water and Drinks for 6 weeks: £350
• Visa: At time of writing this was 3,030 pesos (approx £50 GBP)
Total high-end estimated cost: £2,490 (£2,250 with early bird discount)
What will I be doing?
Zoox Experience Programme - In general we will be working six days a week coordinating the UNEP Green Fins initiative. This involves working with the diving industry, local communities and local government staff. There will be days when you are training people, diving whilst monitoring environmental compliance, report writing and much more. There is also going to be work associated with executing your own bespoke personal project. A detailed breakdown of the ZEP can be found here.
SCUBA Diving and Conservation Course – The contents of the course are outlined here.
Every location a ZEP is based in is a little different, even within the same country. You can read about the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand ZEP locations here.
What are the Programme dates?
Zoox Experience Programme - We have placements running in June and October annually. Have a look here for dates and placement locations.
SCUBA Diving and Conservation Course – These courses run alongside the Zoox Experience Programme. For more information on upcoming courses, see here.
What conservation impacts will I achieve?
We aim to ensure that all projects carried out are either requested from local government/stakeholders or will have a direct conservation impact. Zoox does not believe in wasting such valuable resources such as yourself and we never carry out a project for the sake of it.
- Personal Project: You will be assigned your own personal project and helping out with your team mates. These are tailored to suit the needs of each individual’s skill development but are often directly supporting the objectives of our sister charity or project partners.
- Effecting sustainable tourism: Our main partner conservation project, Green Fins, has a significant impact in monitoring and reducing the impacts of the diving industry and it’s related infrastructure on local reefs. It is the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry in the world. As project coordinators, you will have the chance to be directly involved within Green Fins and help on a huge scale by reaching out to related stakeholders. Lower impacts from tourism lead to reefs that are more resilient to large-scale threats like climate change.
- Public Private Partnerships: Green Fins is a fantastic opportunity to enhance the collaboration of local and national governments with local businesses, and the local community to better management coastal ecosystems. 'PPP' as it is also known, is a big buzzword in the marine conservation industry and experience with this can set you apart from your peers.
You can see each Alumni’s personal project here, but some examples include:
- Carrying out multi-stakeholder beach and reef clean ups
- Designing and executing a local environmental ambassador training programme
- Investigating top-down vs bottom-up approaches to stakeholder management
- Developing programmes to build the capacity of local teachers ability to teach environmental content
- Coral Reef Monitoring to support local government marine protection measures
- Seagrass Monitoring to support local government marine protection measures
- Environmental awareness campaigns with local fishermen, fish mongers, school children
- Investigating the replicability of solid waste (trash) management systems
- Researching compliance to local environmental legislation, and providing recommendations to enhance governance
- 'Say No To Plastic’ Campaigns with local community and government
How do I apply?
Simply go to the Apply Now page for more details.
What Insurance will I need?
If you are travelling to one of our project locations in Asia and you are not a national of that country you will need to ensure you have full travel and diving insurance. We suggest using World Nomads to get a quote on your travel insurance. Here's why.
Philippines - As a volunteer you will only need to apply for a Tourist visa which you can get on arrival or in advance. A visa on arrival is valid for a period of 30 days. You can see more on the Visa page.
Vietnam - We will help you in applying for a work visa which will be approved of on behalf of our contacts in the government in Vietnam. You will need to apply and collect at your nearest Vietnam Embassy. You can see more on the Visa page.
Thailand - Zoox will get you a multiple entry visas from the government prior to your arrival in the country. You can see more on the Visa page.
Can you help me with flights?
We’ve teamed up with the good people at StudentUniverse (operated by Flight Centre) who provide a friendly service to help you find the best flight routes and tickets! Feedback from our volunteers that have booked through them has been fantastic.
Simply get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on (+44) 0808 260 9936
What vaccinations / injections will I need?
As we are not doctors so we cannot specifically recommend what you will need to be vaccinated against so we highly recommend visiting your doctor or travel nurse to fully understand what precautions you will need.
Where does my money go?
Zoox has been set up to be lean and effective at what it does. Where possible we ensure that as much of your money goes directly back into the marine conservation projects that you work on. We all have very low salaries and maintain low overheads so that we can maximise our impact.
We also donate 1% of our annual turnover to charity and support local initiatives and fund raising events whenever possible.
Who are the Zoox staff?
All our staff have a background in Marine Sciences and have extensive experience in both the UK and in Asia. We have been exposed to many different marine conservation projects and work with an expansive multitude of stakeholders on an international level that has provided us with a wealth of experience. We each have specific areas of interest from coral research, funding and international lobbying, marine ecology and have successfully implemented positive change on a national and local scale in over six Asian countries. We also work closely with the IUCN, United Nations and have contacts in WWF and a huge range of national NGO's who we support. You can read more about us here.
How did Zoox start?
That is a very good question! Please have a look at our About Us page to find out more.
How do you pronounce Zoox?
Over the years attempts to pronounce our name has brought us some hilarious moments. It's not Zoo-Ox or Zo-ox. If we were going to spell it phonetically it might look like "Zooks".