I was initially NAUI certified, did my Advanced, then did a crossover to NAUI/PADI for my Divemaster certification.
Luckily by the best instructor ever for my basic training, Armando Jenicks, when I was probably 19 -20 years old.
The pool work is great for beginners because will it familiarise you with the equipment you'll be using and hopefully your instructor will rip ( well, maybe not rip but make you remove mask while submerged) your mask off and then your mouthpiece so that you won't freak out in any event.
Classwork is also important.
Get your basic done and get certified prior to being here if you want to dive while you're here. There are some instructors that do shallow water introductory lessons. If you have any fears best to start in a pool.
I grew up in, around and on the water here in the islands.
Friends and I started diving at 16/17 years old without flotation vests, depth gauges, any safety equipment or knowledge. We were lucky but
we did get ourselves in sticky situations.
Whatever floats your boat!
Good luck and enjoy.