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(NEW) Should I take the PADI class in foreign country? How does it work?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Kevin Nguyen, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. Kevin Nguyen

    Kevin Nguyen Garibaldi

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Montreal
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    Hello guys,

    I'm totally new in this world and I had some questions. I'm planning to do some dives in Hawaii (Honolulu) in August and I am not certified.
    1-If I take my license there, do I get a temporary certification card allowing me to do dives in other diving locations in Honolulu? Or will I be limited to the one I'm taking the class from since I won't be receiving my official certification in hand.
    2-Should I take the PADI class in Hawaii? Or am I better off taking classes where I live in a pool (Montreal) and then be able to go wherever I want freely. Some people tell me that taking a class where you really dive is better for the whole experience, that it's faster and more fun.
    3-How long does a class take? I'm going for like a week in Honolulu, mixing hike days and diving days. I just wanna make sure I'm not too tight with time but in my head if I do 3 days diving (class included), it should be enough. I've read that you can study online before...?
    4-How is a day of dive? Can I do it early in the morning and then go for a hike in the afternoon elsewhere? How do they usually go for a dive afternoon, etc? I want to plan my trip.
    (BONUS) 5-Any diving locations suggested in Honolulu?

    Thank you guys! Can't wait for this trip :) I just wanna make sure I take the best decisions.
     
  2. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
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    265
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    You can do the academic portion at home and then the checkout dives in Hawaii. If you're not interested in diving locally that might make sense. An OW course consists of bookwork/e-learning, pool work, and 4 open water dives; those 4 dives are usually accomplished over 2 days. You'll get a temporary electronic certification card as soon as you finish that can be used anywhere until your permanent card comes in the mail.
     
    Lorenzoid likes this.
  3. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location:
    410
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    You could do it easily on your trip if you plan on doing the course and poolwork at home beforehand. That is how I did mine. There was a local place that had an intense weekend class where we went 9-5 in classroom sat and sun, then did pool work both nights from 5:30 - 9:30. You can skip the classroom portion of it if you want to do eLearning at your own pace, but I know I learn better in a classroom and I can ask questions so I opted for that. I'm glad I did that too because I had a lot of interaction with the instructors.

    The dives as mentioned will be done over 2 days. Padi only allows 3 'instructional' dives per day, so you can't do more than 3 in a day. But if you did the class + pool work at home, you could knock out the 4 dives in either 2 days and it would just depend on their schedule. If you did that, you would be Open Water certified and could then go dive anywhere in the world where PADI OW is accepted, which is virtually every where.

    If you go and do a discover SCUBA course while in Hawaii, it will require a morning training session in a pool and then a few dives with an instructor where max depth is 30ft. And that morning training portion will be good for a year, so if you went somewhere in 10 months, you could do another discover SCUBA course and skip the pool work part, and then go out on the dive with an instructor at again max depth 30ft. You would need your discover SCUBA manual with you to show proof of that though.
     
  4. xmass-Eve

    xmass-Eve Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Boulder, CO
    202
    82
    28
    If you only have a week, do the pool and theory before... Like a month before the trip so you don't forget to much of it... You'll get more out of your holiday and you can squeeze in some more diving too.
    Just know that doing a class this way does, costs a little bit more...
     
  5. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    11,878
    2,479
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    I won't repeat all the course descriptions/options that others will tell you anyway. I always advise to do the whole course locally and be certified so you can just dive in Hawaii. But, as pointed out, if you have no desire to dive the St. Lawrence River and other local places (lakes, etc.)--just want to dive in the tropics,-- doing the open water dives in addition to the pool work locally may not makes much sense. The 4 open water "checkout" dives will take two full days (you would be free at night). That would be two days of vacation time you paid for spent (mostly) doing skills in the ocean -- showing the instructor you can do them as well as you did in the pool. That becomes a money decision. I took quite a few PADI courses in Destin, Florida, but those were during 3 months as retired condo "snowbirds", essentially living there. I wouldn't do that on a "vacation" vacation. I'd just want to dive and do all that other stuff.
    I was a dual citizen US/Canada for decades--no difference as far as PADI is concerned.
     
  6. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    3,065
    1,098
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    if you dive in the morning, don't drive up to mauna kea in the afternoon
     
  7. kafkaland

    kafkaland Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Saline, Michigan
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    Yes, you have to be careful with driving or hiking at altitude after diving. Two dives to less than 60 ft. aren’t a whole lot of nitrogen loading, but you still want to be on the safe side. Also, you may want to ask if you can combine a nitrox certification with your course. It’s a good one to have anyway, and diving on nitrox reduces nitrogen loading even further for additional margin of safety.
     
  8. OrcasC205

    OrcasC205 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Seattle, WA
    29
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    Luckily, Mauna Kea is on a completely different island than Honolulu.
     
    NAUI Wowie, cachow6 and Aviyes like this.
  9. 84CJ7

    84CJ7 Solo Diver

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    You live in an area with wreck diving awesomeness at your doorstep (or at least a road trip away) so one would imagine you will be doing local dives at some point.

    Having dove locally (Wisconsin) with the appropriate cold water gear, and in the tropics with a 3mm shorty wetsuit I can tell you there is a major difference in difficulty level between here and there.
    Visibility is terrible here, the cold effects you negatively in a number of ways especially below thermoclines, the heavy gear makes moving and handling gear through gloves difficult, thick wetsuits and hoods require a ton of weight and cause large buoyancy swings and can trap air.

    You basically have 2 choices:
    1. Get fully certified here and get a few extra dives in for more experience (like current dives in the St. Lawrence).
    2. Do the class and pool here and the open water in the tropics.

    The first option means you are basically qualified to dive anywhere in the world assuming you pay attention to dive briefings about site specific dangers and difficulties.
    The second option allows you to get into diving and gain some experience under much physically and mentally easier circumstances, but you will almost need a DM with you when you come back and practically have to retrain yourself to dive with all the extra gear and difficult conditions.

    I would go with option #1 but then I like to do things right the first time, though that's honestly just because I am lazy and hate doing them twice.
     
    NAUI Wowie likes this.
  10. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    11,954
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    Where do you plan to dive?

    Any training in any part of the world will be in local conditions and you will be trained to handle those conditions. If you plan to dive at home, you'll be doing yourself a huge disservice if you certify far away. Because the conditions are different. So if you plan to dive close to home, take your cert close to home. If you plan to dive only on vacations far from home, take your cert where the conditions are fairly similar to what you expect to experience on your diving vacations.
     
    NAUI Wowie likes this.

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