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Hi, My name is Benjamin and I live in Germany. I went to Shimla in the Himalaya Mountains for taking a Regular Track CCNA 1-on-1™ course with Koenig Solutions...

Benjamin Bastians (Germany), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) 04 Sep to 13 Sep 2006

Hi, My name is Benjamin and I live in Germany. I went to Shimla in the Himalaya Mountains for taking a Regular Track CCNA 1-on-1™ course with Koenig Solutions. But let me start from the beginning and tell you my story...

I am working in IT since several years, focusing on IT project management and administration of productivity solutions, rather than network configurations. However, in order to strengthen my background knowledge, I have decided to learn more about networking, specifically about Cisco and needless to say that you have to get CCNA certified then.

Since I was not from the network technician portion of the population, it was clear for me that I needed some instructor-led training to be able to realize that plan. From searching the internet, I came across Koenig’s offer for a boot camp in India. Honestly, it was not my initial intention to go to India for taking IT training. Also, my co-workers and friends I was asking for opinions, simply called it a bizarre idea and probably didn’t take it that serious. However, I didn’t get the idea out of my head again, because I found some good reasons for realizing that bizarre idea, although you might even see it as a risk. You want to know some good reasons to go for it? Here you go…

1. If you are a traveling through almost half of the planet for gaining a certification, then failing is definitely not an option (what a great motivator, isn’t it?),

2. I knew I needed to get out of my everyday’s life in order to be able to fully concentrate on my study with no disruptions ( Himalaya Mountains could do that, right?),

3. Having 1-on-1™ training with people that are willing to work hard, without needless breaks and too much of free time sounded like what I need to achieve my goal.

4. And finally the cost factor – I’ve never heard of an institution in the western world offering high quality training at such affordable costs.

Okay, after some emails back and forth with Koenig’s training management, I’ve gotten all my questions answered and all my doubts wiped out. So I PayPal’d the deposit fee, booked my flights, got inoculations, sorted out a visa, and I was all set for my trip to India.

I flew into Delhi and got there early in the morning. All I knew was that I was supposed to be picked up by a Koenig representative and I can tell you – I was really relieved when I saw someone at the airport, with a sign having my name on it. Anyhow, when you first get out on the street, you start realizing that this is going to be a very divers experience you are about to make from anything you have seen before (provided that this is your first time in India). The taxi rides were… quite interesting! Don’t even try to figure out how traffic works there. I felt very lucky when I got out of the taxi again – in one piece. I was brought to the Rangoli Park Hotel in Delhi and have been provided with a room having some of the basics you need to relax before continuing the journey – there was still a long way ahead of me. I left the loud, hectic, and busy city of Delhi the same night and took the train via Kalka up to Shimla. When I was dropped at the most crowded train station which I have ever seen, I have to admit that I felt like an (and the only) Alien there. I was surrounded by thousands of locals, staring at me and some of them even trying to approach me somehow. Although I didn’t felt like they have had negative intentions, it was kind of odd. Anyhow, after crossing the incredibly long train gates a several times, the taxi driver and I managed to find the right train and wagon which I was booked on. I strongly recommend booking First Class for the train journey. It only costs a very few dollars more and gives you a bed and a door you can lock yourself, along with a travel companion, in a compartment with. After 8 hours I‘ve arrived Kalka early in the morning and changed to the “Toy Train”. It slowly made its way through the mountains and I finally got to Shimla after another 5 hours.

Again, the pick up in Shimla worked well and I was brought to the hotel I chose – The Combermere Hotel. The room they have assigned to me was clean and in quite a good shape. No doubt that this was a good place where you can spend some time sleeping and learning – what else? The hotel staff was friendly and very supportive. Also the food provided there was all right. Allow some time to experiment what kind of food you and your stomach likes before eating a whole lot of it and you will find the menu that fits you well.

After all those impressions, I could finally start with the training. When I got to the training center, I was really impressed on how well everything was organized there. Especially the training manager my tutor, did an outstanding job in making sure that my stay is going to be comfortable and successful. My trainer has been teaching me everything I needed to know for CCNA. I found him very knowledgeable, which I really enjoyed, and I took great advantage of his excellent training skills. We’ve had sufficient time to strengthen the knowledge I’ve already had before I went there and to learn things you can barely understand without proper explanations. The lab was well equipped and gave me great opportunities to test what the Tutor successfully put into my brain. Furthermore, my tutor was a great advisor on various Indian topics and told me what I needed to know.

After all the excellent training, I guess it is needless to say that I have passed my exam at the first attempt. This enabled me to check out the nightclub my hotel hosted. Well, in fact I had the club all for myself celebrating my success.

The Training manager has repeatedly proven to make things possible for you, even at short notice and arranged a bus trip for me to Delhi the same night, where I could get onto the next flight back home.

To summarize my overall experience with the whole trip, I would like to point out that you should not expect a luxurious life there. Thinking that they make you pass the exam while you are having a relaxed holiday with only a little effort, far away from home (and everything else), would definitely be a false conclusion. Successfully studying there really requires you to work hard and keep focusing on what you are there for. But one thing is for sure – The Koenig Team will make everything you can think of in order to support you in achieving your goals and make it a successful and pleasant experience for you. And they are doing a great job indeed…

For me, it was a wise decision going for Koenig and not only that I’ve gotten my certificate; I have also taken some invaluable impressions with me back home – even though it looked like a bizarre idea at the first view.

I wish you good luck for your desired certifications.

Thanks to the Koenig Team – keep up the good work!

Cheers,
Benjamin

In German:

Koenig Solutions ist eine gute und günstige Alternative zu IT Trainings in Deutschland oder im Europaeischen Ausland. Eine gewisse Abenteuer-Lust für eine Reise nach Indien ist jedoch durchaus empfehlenswert. Für mich hat sich die Reise zweifellos gelohnt. Ich wünsche viel Erfolg beim Erreichen der gewünschten Zertifizierung.