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My name is David Hodge. I am British by birth but currently live in France...

David Hodge (France), A+ 2009;MCITP: Consumer Support Technician 26 Jul to 10 Aug 2010

My name is David Hodge. I am British by birth but currently live in France. Until recently, I worked for Hewlett Packard and specialised in telecommunications on the NonStop machines. I took the opportunity for early retirement and have started a business providing PC support to the Anglophone population in my area of France. At HP, I considered myself an advanced PC user but not a technician as other people did that for us. So in order to advance my knowledge and skillset, I needed to find some education.

I spent quite a while looking around the internet and whilst there are plenty of cheap, correspondence or self-paced courses available, I know that I would be distracted by other things so I needed a class-based training solution. Koenig seemed to fit the bill both in terms of price and the availability. I exchanged a great deal of messages with a Koenig advisor and she was great - even phoning me on occasion to clarify items. We agreed a good set of classes would be CompTIA A+ course for the hardware and Microsoft IT Professional - Consumer Desktop Support training for the software.

On the website, Koenig offers airport pickup to airport dropoff and everything in between and they did not fail in this one bit. As arranged, a driver was waiting for me and I was taken to my hotel. Koenig offers a range of accommodation options. At the lower end, it is almost like backpacking so decide on your accommodation needs beforehand.

I was picked up each day, taken to class and returned each evening. On the final day, Koenig had thoughtfully reserved my hotel room for the longer day so I was able to go back, pack at my leisure, and take a shower and so on before my driver arrived to leave for the airport. I cannot fault the logistics.

Both my instructors for CompTIA A+ and Microsoft IT Professional training were very knowledgeable and I could ask them anything. We set the pace of the class according to knowledge. Indeed, and I mean this as a compliment, it almost felt like a couple of friends chatting than an instructor/pupil situation. I am pleased to say I passed the exams suggested and am now duly qualified. I feel my knowledge is a lot deeper, particularly on the hardware side of things. The software training filled in many of the gaps in my knowledge.

In summary, I would recommend the Koenig training solution as a cost-effective and quick way of gaining knowledge and certification. Be prepared to work hard - it is not a holiday and there is not very much time for tourism. My only regret is I did not have more days to explore after the classes had finished. When I return, I will plan my flights better!

On a personal note, India is generally a safe country and the people are welcoming and friendly. It is very crowded and busy. There is noise and traffic but the disorder of the traffic seems to have its own charm. It is a very different culture from my own but I was touched by the warmth, generosity and willingness to help of the people. I will finish by using a French expression and say "Au revoir Koenig and India". Those words are saying goodbye but not permanently. One day, I will return.