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I felt quite a bit uneasy when I stepped out into the arrival hall of Delhi airport at 0:30am wondering what I was to expect...

Michael Enz (Switzerland), Oracle9i DBA OCA & OCP 03 Jul to 25 Jul 2006

I felt quite a bit uneasy when I stepped out into the arrival hall of Delhi airport at 0:30am wondering what I was to expect. After all it was my first visit to India and from what I had heard and read before I was prepared for a real culture shock. My discomfort grew even stronger when I found out that there was nobody waiting for me at the agreed meeting point. However, I soon relaxed when after searching in the crowd for a while I found a guy holding up a sign with my name on it. The guy gave me a warm welcome and a welcome package from Koenig. Minutes after I found myself already in a cab heading for my hotel. After a very short night at the hotel I was taken to Delhi train station where I was placed on the 6am train to Shimla. The 12hour train ride was a welcome opportunity to catch up some sleep. So I missed most of the great landscape flowing by. In Shimla I was received again by a Koenig official who brought me to my hotel.

I stayed at hotel Willow Banks where also most of the other students stayed. I was more than pleased with that choice. My room was well-sized and clean and the staff friendly and efficient. The hotel lies directly at the Mall road where most restaurants and shops are located. Shimla itself is a nice little town attached to the hills. It has a relaxed atmosphere and is easy to explore by foot if yet the thinner air and the hilly area make it a bit harder than usually. There are plenty of wild monkeys and dogs in and around the city.

Koenig itself is located a bit outside the city. Every day I and the other students were picked up by a cab provided by Koenig. The Koenig staff was always friendly, supportive and helpful with anything I asked. The infrastructure if yet not top modern was more than adequate. The course – I took the OCA & OCP fast track – was quite demanding and I spent the weekends mostly studying. My trainer was a nice guy and very competent. The only drawback of taking the OCP course in Shimla was that for my exams I had to travel to Chandigarh, a city about 130km south of Shimla, as there is no Oracle testing center in Shimla. This meant a three hour cab drive there and back on four occasions over the bumpy and winding Himalayan roads. We were quite a small group of students which made it easy to socialise. We met every evening for dinner and also went out to a disco once or twice.As I had very little time for sightseeing shopping and the like during the course I was glad that I had one week left after the course which I used for a trip further north. Koenig staff helped me organise this trip.

Overall I was very satisfied with the experience at Koenig. You will hardly find another place where you get so much value for your money. The cultural insights I gained there should also not be forgotten to mention. I can well imagine going back to India sometime, be it for another course or just to learn more about this amazing country.