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Based on my experience when obtaining my Indian entry visa in the UK,...

Ayomikun Obanubi (United kingdom), Oracle9i DBA OCA;Oracle10g  DBA OCA 17 Sep to 06 Oct 2007

Based on my experience when obtaining my Indian entry visa in the UK, I was apprehensive; all I could think was, what am I letting myself in for, but I thought to myself, I had come too far down the road to let some low level embassy bureaucrat deter me from pursuing what I had set out to; so I packed my bags and came despite my initial trepidation, and so far, it has proven to be a worthwhile journey.

I left England with two very specific goals in mind. 1. I wanted to now gain official certification to improve my credibility after practical experience and 2. I wanted to learn about some of the new features of the Oracle technology.

So I arrived in Delhi and was met at the airport by a member of the Koenig staff who took us to our Hotel (Patel Continental) he stayed to get us settled in. The hotel aesthetically isn't much at all; the porter took my bags to my room, I looked around and found it had everything I needed, internet access, shower room, a bed, clean towels, Cable TV, a study desk and in Delhi most importantly, a functioning air conditioning unit; the only downside, it's a completely vegetarian hotel so you cant even have eggs there and it can get a bit noisy.

Next day, was off to Koenig center in Delhi (transportation organized by Koenig), went through the administrative hoops and was taken to my Lab and the instructor came in a while later – what really impressed me about him was the first few words he uttered, he introduced himself and went on to ask: what are your objectives, because I am here to ensure that those objectives are met, for me personally that was very impressive. I stated what my objectives were and he said he will draw up a schedule and we will work together to make sure what I have set out to achieve is achieved. And at the end of my stay here, I can say he was true to his word, he also proved to be well clued up, not just theoretically but practically too, he was able to answer my questions impressively and where I did feel there were contradictions between real life scenarios and theoretical principles, he was able to address these concerns clearly, I found him a consummate professional.

Anyway, after a week in Delhi, I then moved up to Shimla to continue my studies: up until I had arrived in Shimla, I thought I had encountered the best of Indian hospitality, well, in Shimla, they rank it up a notch, the Koenig staff there are exemplary and I mean exemplary, they attend to your every need with a personal touch that is very pleasing to encounter and to top it up: the Shimla climate, the views, the walks, the food, I mean just the whole ambiance of the place for me, made it a much more ideal environment, I would take an evening walk when I felt my head couldn't cope with all the studying and information I was taking in and I would return back to my hotel refreshed and ready to get on with things, it was just great to have come up here.

So was it a utopian like experience? NO it was not, things did go wrong, mistakes were made, but the most impressive thing was, once any dissatisfaction was highlighted there was a genuine and sincere attempt to resolve/address any such concerns and in my book that deserves a lot of commendation.

If you are coming out here, know what you are coming to do, set out your goals clearly; open your mind to new experiences and a different way of life, follow the dietary advise given to you by the Koenig staff to the letter and try the local food (note, you wont get any stakes or Pork out here, the most you will get is Chicken and Lamb, I found the chicken a much better choice) and by so doing I hope you find it as worthwhile an experience as I have.