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Like many prospective students deliberating whether to undertake a course with Koenig, I had reservations...

Marcus Payne (United Kingdom), MCSE 2000;MCSA 2003;MCDBA 2000 (SQL Server 2000) 03 Apr to 05 May 2006

Like many prospective students deliberating whether to undertake a course with Koenig, I had reservations. I held a preconceived view of what the company and Goa would offer! Does it exist is an obvious question? Is the money you send via Pay Pal going to disappear and no one will turn up to meet you at the airport? I am pleased to say, that Koenig is very much real.

I am also pleased to say that everything has worked out as I expected. From my initial email contact to my final exams I have had an enjoyable experience. The Koenig staff work well as a team providing a professional service. In Goa, your main point of contact is Maria, who along with her team was always very helpful, organized and professional. The teaching standard is very good and the tutors are more than happy to put in the extra work you may need to understand your chosen subject and of course, pass those exams!

I was very pleased to arrive at Goa airport and be met by the Koenig representative. After arriving at the hotel I took the opportunity to familiarize myself with the local town and visit the Koenig center. The first thing that obviously hits you in India is the heat and humidity! So plenty of water is always needed when walking around. The taxi's are cheap and easy to use, but I found walking around was not a problem and a great way to see the local people living their lives. Of course, you have to expect that parts of Goa (Panaji) do not look like the tropical paradise you may expect. The hotels in the town are only a 10 minute walk from the training center which made it easy not needing to rely on taxi's etc.

Some of the hotels offer swimming pools, which I felt was essential when staying in the town center. Being able to relax by the pool was very important. Getting to the local beach ( Miramar ) is very easy, a simple 15 minute walk (5 mins by taxi). The main tourist beaches are only 20 minutes by taxi if you want to visit them. There are also some hotels that are directly on the beach which are very nice. One is a 5 star, which is obviously more expensive and another is a 3 star which is good value and very popular with students at Koenig. During my course I decided to stay in a town center hotel (Fidalgo, 4 star) as I liked the close proximity of the training center and the large choice of restaurants and entertainment. Being in the center is okay if you are staying by yourself, but if you are planning on bringing your partner then being closer to the beach is a much better bet. After the course I decided to stay several days at the Cidade de Goa (5star) as this is a great place to unwind and relax beside the sea. The Cidade de Goa offers good beach, restaurants and service etc. Well worth the visit. My personal view of the 5 star hotels is that they are great if you are staying with your partner, as they will appreciate the pleasures of the hotel, but if you are here alone and just wanting to get on with your course, then save the money and stay in the other cheaper hotels. Then when you finish the course, you can visit the better hotels around Goa .

During my time here, I have noted several points, which I would pass on to my friends when I recommend Koenig in Goa . They are:

* Really think about the course you want to do before you visit here. It is a long time to study something you don't really enjoy!

* Add as many extra days to your trip as you can afford. These days will be very helpful if you need to re-sit any exams or suffer days of illness and to have a holiday at the end of the course.

* Eat good quality food and eat sensibly as this will help to keep you healthy while visiting India .

* Get everything organized back home, such as bills paid or someone who can organize things for you. You want to be able to focus on the course and not be worrying about things back home. Having a clear mind really helps get on with the course and enjoy India .

* The total fee you pay to Koenig covers a lot of things such as lunch, evening meal and taxi's to and from your hotel. Therefore you will find that Goa is a cheap place to visit. I have been surprised by how little money I have spent! I hope you enjoy the course and Goa as much as I did. Koenig definitely gets my recommendation.