Maike - Netherlands
I did my IDC with Will in November 2015. I had been comparing the different courses and their prices on the island. Will was the only one that was absolutely straightforward about the price, no hidden taxes or PADI fees. This was refreshing after struggling to find out the total price of the course at other schools. Will was also very helpful with everything to do with being new on this island. After meeting him I canceled my appointments with other course directors, I didn't think I'd get a better deal anywhere else, and I thought Will was a funny, friendly, likable guy.
The course was fast and busy, but I was prepared for that. Will has a nice teaching style, makes things interesting and includes a lot of his own experiences. He includes more in-water time then required for the course and spends less classroom time on theory because the theory can be studied beforehand and he prefers to work with people that are having difficulties with the theory individually. That way everyone that comes fully prepared doesn't have to listen to things they already know, which I very much appreciated. He was helpful and went out if his way to make sure everybody was more than ready for the IE.
We all passed easily.
I freelanced for a while after the IE and then was lucky enough to be offered a fulltime instructor job at Coconut Tree divers. So things worked out pretty well for me and I'm happy I did the course with Will!
Patrick - Switzerland
My Instructor Development Course was fabulous. Will understands to be totally professional and still making the course a lot of fun. He prepared us perfectly for both, the IE and our future task as instructors. Even though there is a lot to learn he manages to put it in normal days, never would we have to stay until late in the evening or start very early. During the IE we met candidates from other IDC courses and it was obvious that our group was clearly the best prepared. Will is for me a role model instructor because he also helps after the course, for example, he gave me tips to successfully teach my first course and certify a new diver.
Lauren - Texas
Will's teaching style was just what I needed! It gave me the real world knowledge and dive theory needed to become an instructor who can hold her own in a competitive diving market. The course included a great blend of knowledge, teaching demos, and instant detailed feedback.
MARK - OKLAHOMA
Obviously, my PADI IDC experience is a bit limited; I've attended only one. I do have many instructor friends, however, with whom I've spoken about their IDC experiences, both prior to and since mine in May of 2015. After hearing their stories, I know I couldn't have done better than GoPro Caribbean and their Course Director, Will Welbourn.
For starters, Will's Instructor Development Course is spread out over two weeks (many IDCs cram theirs into one). This is great for a couple of reasons: one - it allows your brain time to absorb all the material (there's a lot) at a more relaxed pace making it sink in a lot better, and two - the schedule allows a little time off here and there to actually go diving! It doesn't hurt that GoPro Caribbean is affiliated with the best dive shop in West End, Coconut Tree Divers. Further enhancing this IDC is the amount of fun that you'll have, both in and out of the classroom, and Will's absolutely incredible breadth of knowledge! There is no question--be it about physics, teaching, the Instructor Examination, the PADI system, etc.--that Will can't answer immediately and with certainty. The bottom line is this: many IDCs prepare you to pass the IE; GoPro Caribbean prepares you to be an instructor. You'll be over-prepared for the IE, afterward thinking, "Really? That was it?"
After passing the IE and taking the MSDT prep course, I returned home to start practicing what I had learned. The confidence I had gained from Will's IDC enabled me to immediately jump into teaching without ever wondering, "Do I really know what I'm doing?" The thought never even occurred to me because I DID know what I was doing. I've now taught Open Water, Advanced OW, Rescue, EFR, and numerous specialties (in the classroom, pool, and open water), and I've always been confident that what I was doing or saying was the correct thing to do or say. This is so important, as students can pick up on an uncertain or underprepared instructor. I know I sure did during my ‘undergraduate' dive classes. In fact, I was so prepared to teach right out of the gate that my local dive shop's owner gave me enough students (even in land-locked Oklahoma) to make Master Scuba Diver Trainer in a little over three months and only teaching on weekends. Furthermore, I was able to earn PADI's Elite Instructor Award for 50 or more certifications in 2015 only teaching on weekends and not starting until June! The ability to accomplish this I owe to the incredible instruction and support I received from Will Welbourn and GoPro Caribbean. I couldn't recommend this Instructor Development Course any higher!
Robert - Alaska
You have now found the best IDC!
I attended the IDC at GoPro Caribbean in May 2014 one year after my Divemaster training. Needless to say, I was a bit rusty on my water skills. Will recommended I pass on the IE, and we made a training plan. In March of 2015, I returned and spent a couple weeks assisting on PADI courses prior to the April IDC at Coconut Tree Divers. The 100% pass guarantee is real. I and my classmates rocked the IE. We were so prepared that the IE was a walk in the park. During the IDC it was very apparent that Will was dedicated to our success in the IE. I believe that Will's greatest strength as an instructor lies in his ability to assess each student's learning style and adapt his teaching style to each student. A private air-conditioned classroom was provided, and it was fully equipped for all classroom activities. December 2nd I sent out my first CV to secure an instructor position. The week of January 11th I received three separate offers of employment. I am starting my first instructor position January 25th in Belize. If you are looking for the BEST instruction in the IDC you have found it with Go Pro Caribbean.
Heidi - Ireland
I did my IDC with Will in March 2016, and highly recommend him to anyone considering doing their IDC. Will is an experienced course director that teaches with energy and enthusiasm. After my first day in the classroom with Will, I felt confident that by the end of the course I would be ready for the instructor exam and I was.
I really enjoyed Will´s teaching style. It was well structured, a good pace and it was fun. In particular, what I really valued about the course with Will is that he shares lots of real life stories and gave advice based on his experience. Now that I´m working as a dive instructor, I often find myself underwater using those tips and thinking ¨damn that was some great advice¨. I also did my divemaster training with Coconut Tree Divers and did it back to back with the IDC. The Coconut Tree Diver divemaster program is an extensive internship. It really sets you up to go on to do the IDC and to work in the dive industry. I was lucky to get work almost straight after my IDC. I got my first freelance jobs and my current position through a recommendation from the Coconut Tree Divers owners and staff.
Brad - Canada
I decided to take the IDC with Will after I completed my divemaster internship with Coconut Tree Divers. The deciding factor was because of all the high-quality instructors that I had met on Roatan and other places in the Caribbean that had also taken his IDC. I can honestly tell anyone that it was the best choice I could have made to become an instructor. His experience in the diving industry and as a course director, will turn you into a knowledgeable instructor ready to teach any student. His great reputation and high-quality teaching lead to me getting work after the first month of completing my IDC. I can highly recommend that you take his IDC and become part of the elite group of scuba dive instructors in the world!
SCOTT - USA
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to complete my IDC with Will and Coconut Tree Divers in beautiful Roatan. During my first trip to Roatan the summer of 2014 to complete my Divemaster training, I learned a lot about what to look for in an IDC program. I also became very familiar with the island, dive shops, and locals. While I know first-hand that making the choice can be difficult, especially when you aren’t familiar with much of anything, the decision to choose Will and CTD for your IDC is one you will not regret.
Will is very accommodating to each individuals’ needs, extremely talented at making the course relevant to real-life work as an instructor, professional, and fun. There is no doubt the course is rigorous, but one should expect nothing less while preparing to be a professional PADI instructor. However, rigor was folded into real-world training in a way that left me feeling confident and excited for the next day. Coconut Tree Divers is an awesome shop that has amazing owners, instructors, and staff, and I was welcomed into the “family” on day one. This is also important to your success during the IDC because you will be diving and interacting with them daily basis. In addition, the classroom, pool, and dive shop are very safe and secure (not all places in Roatan are), and in a perfect location…the West End. There is no need for a daily commute to the dive shop, and you are right in the middle of the best location for diving, night life, restaurants, etc.
Since completing my IDC with Will in 2015, I began working as an instructor for a dive shop in the US. They were immediately impressed with my knowledge, water skills, and teaching capabilities as a new instructor. This is a testament to Will and his course. While there are certainly other IDCs available, and I am sure many of good quality, I truly do not believe one can beat the value, experience, professional preparation, and fun in the package put together by Will and CTD. I’ll close with the idea that bounced around in my head over and over while making my decision, “I can think of a hundred excuses why I shouldn’t commit to the IDC, but not one good reason.” I am so glad I made the decision that I did, and am excited to return to Roatan this summer to dive and work on specialties with Will.
KEN - CANADA
I participated in the IDC Jan 2010 at Coconut Tree Divers in Roatan with Will Welbourn! I thank Will for my personal success throughout the IDC. It was his determination that prepared all of us in becoming Open Water Scuba Instructors and pushed us all to succeed! Will suggested I come to the course several days in advance to practice skills presentations (my weakness) to be ready when the course began. The days were long, lot's of material to cover, but very well organized, classroom each morning followed by practicing in water scenario throughout the afternoons, Will made it fun! As we approached the Instructor's exam date, I began to feel well prepared and more confident!
The day of the exam, we were all nervous but very confident in our abilities and instruction. We all "Aced" the written exam, we did extremely well with all the in water scenario's, as well as the classroom presentations. Each of us passed the Instructor's examination and became Open Water Scuba Instructor's that day! It was a great day and we all celebrated.
I would highly recommend Will Welbourn for the IDC in Roatan, it will be one of the best experiences of your life!!