I chose to study for my Cisco CCNP with Koenig Solutions at their Shimla Centre. Shimla is a beautiful place, and I highly recommend anyone considering training with Koenig to look beyond the long travel time from Delhi. The Train from Delhi to Kalka (1st train) is the nicest train I have ever been on, and the service & comfort levels are beyond those of British 1st class train travel. The train from Kalka to Shimla (2nd train) is easily the most scenic train I have ever been on. I spent the whole time sitting in the open doorway taking photos of the amazing scenery. The roughly 9 or 10 hours travel time (total from Delhi to Shimla) will fly by. I opted for the "group training" option with Koenig, but as Shimla is such a small place (compared to Delhi) I was the only student on my course - This meant I got 1-on-1™ training by default! Whilst I was the only Cisco student, there were other students attending different courses at Koenig Shimla, which made for a great atmosphere. I have made some good friends during my 3 week stay here.
My Instructor was easy to understand, and had a very impressive level of knowledge. I have previously attended courses with Global Knowledge in the UK, and I can say that the instructors level of technical knowledge was way above any of the trainers I have met through Global Knowledge. My Instructor had a well mapped-out training plan, which he adapts to suit the needs of each student. I took the regular track CCNP program, and I finished with 1 day to spare. I achieved scores of 965/1000, 956/1000, and 1000/1000 on my 3 exams. None of those scores would have been possible without my Instructor excellent knowledge & guidance. The facilities at the training centre are perfect, and I was pleased to see a large stack of real switches & routers for my course. The on-site examination procedure is also very good, and is exactly the same as any exam centre in the UK.
India itself is very different to the UK, and it did take me a few days to get used to life here (not drinking the tap water etc), but the staff at Koenig make you feel very valued indeed. From the moment I walked out of the arrivals gate in Delhi, I didn't have to think about a single aspect of my travel - Koenig has created a very streamlined service. They are also very happy to arrange sight-seeing trips before/after/during your stay. Whilst the driving in India (and especially Delhi) is a bit crazy, I found that all of the Koenig cab drivers made an effort to drive in a more calm fashion. I should also mention that Raju - the cook at the Shimla centre - makes the best Indian food I have ever tasted! He is also very happy to make different Asian or European foods for students who do not like Indian cuisine. He also took time out to teach me how to cook some Indian food! If you do choose to eat out, then you can expect your bill to be 1/10th of the cost of food in the UK.
I would happily recommend Shimla, Koenig, and especially my instructor, to anyone considering Cisco training. Once all costs are factored in, it is still cheaper than the equivalent GK, or QA course in the UK - with the added advantage of seeing another part of the world!
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