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This was my second trip to train with Koenig in India. My first time was in Dehradun, northern India and the experience is a life changing one…

Daniel Thompson (United Kingdom), MCSA: SQL Server 2012;MCSE: SQL Server 2012 BI Platform 18 Mar to 09 Apr 2013

This was my second trip to train with Koenig in India. My first time was in Dehradun, northern India and the experience is a life changing one. This time I decided to choose Goa and one of the forces that drew me there was the fact that on my first trip I'd become good friends with my previous trainer. I quietly hoped that I would get to train with him again as my tutor however I trusted that Koenig would guarantee the quality of the training.

Upon arrival at Goa airport, my flight had been delayed (2 hours) and I was anxious that I'd be met at the airport. After collecting my baggage I walked out the door to be faced with a horde of faces, taxi drivers & such. Fidel, the Koenig driver was patiently waiting there with a placard with my name on it, he quickly handed me a large bottle of water & speedily took my luggage from me. This was just the very beginning of being made to feel very important and being completely looked after. I was travelling on a budget and decided to stay at the Koenig Student Apartments. I would definitely recommend the apartments to anyone who doesn't require hotel luxury.

I met an American lady during my stay and she had originally booked herself into one of the hotels on offer. Part way through her training she decided to move to the apartments. Her reasons being that the hotel was not as clean as expected, the service was lacking and she said there was no interaction between students at meal times (maybe only a few students staying there?). My apartment was essentially a home with a kitchen, lounge, dining area, balcony, washing machine, fridge and then three large bedrooms. You are assigned your own (bed)room and each room has air conditioning, TV, desk, Wi-Fi, large bed, hot & cold running water and of course a western toilet.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Sanjay, Tinku & Gomez (the cook) for their constant care at the apartment. All three are a huge credit to Koenig as from the day I arrived they were friendly, helpful and nothing was too much trouble for them. If you require beer, a taxi, a new suit or a takeaway just ask & you will receive ;-). The food at the apartment was delicious and varied with all students communing together for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast and dinner were freshly prepared and there is a menu available so you can see what's coming and duck out if you don't fancy it. Meal times are definitely a hig hlight of the whole experience. It's an opportunity to take a short break from your study and to sit down with students from all over the world and discuss the days training. Everyone is friendly and with new students arriving all the time there is always something new to discuss and a new friendship to build.

Now for the training: All the trainers at Koenig have expert knowledge on the subjects they are teaching. Don't be too concerned about language barriers and not being able to understand the accent as you will soon get used to each other. My advice is get to know your trainer well (soon) and ensure that you fully understand each other by doing this you can tailor the training to your needs. I found the structure of the training day suited me much better than a UK boot camp training course. The day is basically 9am - 5pm whereas I had done training in the UK where we had been in class from 7:30am - 11pm at night. However don't think you won't be studying at other times because you will and guided by your tutor you will have a set workload to get through after class before attending the next day. The class sizes are very small even if you choose group training, I chose group training on both occasions & luckily for me I received 1-on-1 training.

The course I completed was the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 immediately followed by the MCSE: SQL Server 2012 BI Platform. The course was mid-March to mid-April however I spent three months prior learning everything I could about the Business Intelligence area of SQL Server 2012 to maximize my success.

A major reason I chose Koenig to do the course and not a UK company was the cost. It cost me around a third of the cost of the same course in the UK and included in that cost is the accommodation, all meals, transport from/to airport, exam costs and great customer service. Again I just want to say a massive thank you to my trainer, his patience, understanding, knowledge and ability helped me to successfully pass all five required exams to gain the MCSE: SQL Server 2012 BI Platform. Most days felt like a conversation with a friend rather than an intense training course.

Now for the sight-seeing: You cannot come to Goa without doing a little sight-seeing even if you only get to pop out on Saturday night and Sunday - your only day off if you're lucky ;-). My recommendations include the Saturday market @ Arpora there's live music, bars, DJ's, food and of course every Indian keepsake you could possibly want. The Goa tour that can be arranged by Koenig where you'll get to see the old church, a temple, a spice tour (including lunch & cashew feni) and pick a beach. Thanks to our driver Fidel he gave us snacks & water and basically allowed us to decide where, when and how long we wanted to be there, all for $25. Otherwise visit as many beaches as you have time to and ask advice from anyone at Koenig letting them know your requirements. Three of my favorites are Vagator, Baga and Candolim.

Finally if you're after a little luxury then the Vivanta by Taj is very close to the training centre. Go there for drinks, nibbles, food and on Wednesday/ Thursday Wahida sings anything you request @ Tease bar - give it a go! Transport wise, a taxi can be arranged through Koenig very cheaply for example five of us to/from Saturday market (1 hour drive) around £5 each or you can hire a scooter for £3.50 per day (cheaper for long term). My take away from my trip to Goa is not just the excellent training but everything else non-quantifiable.

The warmth of the Koenig staff really touched my heart, for example the driver Fidel knew one day I had an exam and wished me best of luck shaking my hand as well. If anyone asks for advice with regards to IT training I will definitely recommend Koenig Solutions to them. Goa itself is a beautiful place and there is no need to feel threatened either as a westerner or as a female. If you are considering a trip to India be prepared to study very hard and be prepared for a life changing experience. Koenig & Goa I will definitely be back!

Finally a BIG thank you to Sangeetha (centre manager), Dipti (testing administrator), Priyanka (accounts), Chandon (training centre help) the system admin guy (sorry no name) and everyone at Koenig it was an honor and a pleasure to have spent some time with you all. For anyone who is thinking about Koenig, feel free to email me @: itguy268@me.com

Warmest regards to all... Dan