December 14-16—SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: Wholesale and retail show; Gem Faire Inc.; Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camino del Rio S; Fri. 12-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-5
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 Post subject: Best GIA Campus in the World
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:55 pm 
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I want to go for GIA Graduate Gemologist Course. But I'm confused from which is the best GIA Campus in the world to get all knowledge about Diamonds ? Please Reply Soon :?:


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 Post subject: Re: Best GIA Campus in the World
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:45 pm 
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I want to go for GIA Graduate Gemologist Course. But I'm confused from which is the best GIA Campus in the world to get all knowledge about Diamonds ? Please Reply Soon


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 Post subject: Re: Best GIA Campus in the World
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:58 pm 
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I'd go to Carlsbad.


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 Post subject: Re: Best GIA Campus in the World
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:39 pm 
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What she said!! :P

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 Post subject: Re: Best GIA Campus in the World
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:47 am 
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At the headquarter, I suppose. I will confirm this with you after I've attended the lab class at the end of October :)


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 Post subject: Re: Best GIA Campus in the World
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:54 am 
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I do keep my promises... =)

I've just came back from Carlsbad last weekend after staying there for three weeks for all the lab classes. I will say Carlsbad campus has some of the best hardware that probably no other campus can compete.

First of all, the whole campus is a museum for gemstones. You can find displays of gem in museum-quality literally everywhere in the two-level building. They are all with different significance - in size, rarity, design, or gemology world. It is always fun to be surrounded by gemstones while you are studying gemology.

Carlsbad campus also has they largest gemological library in the world. 38000 volumes of books, 1000 videos & DVDs, 100000 photographics images, and a Cartier Rare Book Repository and Archives. The best part of the library are the experts sitting in the library as librarians. They can pretty much answer all questions regarding gemology. In the rare cases if they cannot, they will just call around and find you an expert to answer your questions. At one time I have asked a very in depth question about the possibilities of new synthetics jadeite in the market, the librarian just made a call and pulled a specialist from Gem Trade Lab to discuss with me for half an hour.

I am not sure about the resident students, but for lab classes students (esp. Gem ID), we have a half an hour session to tour around the Gem ID section of Gem Trade Lab (i.e. the next building with armed security guards at the front entrance). They show you their methodology and the monster size machineries used, as well as some "interesting pieces" submitted by the customers that we are not allowed to touch. I remembered one of the pieces is a stunning 8-carat Kashmir Sapphire.

The cafeteria is run by a nearby restaurant called Bistro West at West Inn & Suites. Quality is excellent as you read good reviews all over the internet. Problem is that the menu stay the same all year round... but since you have an hour for lunch, you don't have to stay at the campus if you drive. Besides, there are like a couple fridges and ten microwaves if you want to bring your own lunch.

Bookstore is shut down permanently - but if you order any books or equipments on Monday (and confirmed they have the items in stock by calling), you will be highly possible to receive them by Friday after class by local courier (I did it twice). Just place an order at the Student Service counter and you should be all set.

Student Work Room is kind of small and busy. Tables too close to each other is kind of distracting, esp. when you are doing exams like 20-stones... By the way, if you write an exam at the room, the usage fee is waived, and the lab assistant can mark the paper and give you the result right the way.

Distance Learning instructors are located right above the Student Service. If you need a 20-minutes interview to get an approval to register for Gem ID, that is the best time to do it. They will just walk down the stairs and meet with you in person.

Always contact Students Service if you need an accommodation or a rental car. It's a mistake I made - instead of renting an apartment for like $800 per month and get a rental car, I paid like over two grands for staying in a hotel for three weeks... Also, GIA students have better rates from car rental companies near by.

There are usually some events going on every two or three weeks. Halloween party on Oct 31 - free pizza & drinks for all students, and a dress up contest. Guided field trip to the gemstone stone section of L.A. Natural Museum held on Nov. 15 (that I have missed =(... I heard that there were some special gemological seminars as well.

I believe I have covered pretty much everything I saw in the last three weeks. Let me know if you have further questions.

Sunny

P.S. Oops! A bit off topic. The instructors of my Diamond Grading Lab travels around the world to teach Diamond Grading (& other) Lab classes only. They are very knowledgable in diamonds, and extremely patient to the students.

P.P.S. I spent the last day in Carlsbad in the student workroom just grading diamonds. I spent $60 to sit there the whole day to do plotting, which is the weakest part of my diamond grading. I did see a significant improvement at the end of the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Best GIA Campus in the World
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:04 am 
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Well, sounds like you are pleased with you overall experience.
Thank you so much for your extensive review.
:D


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