Say you're geting a motorcycle license. Do you start off with a used 125, or go all-out and get a 40 grand Harley?
My humble advice is to get inexpensive, but good knives, and use them until you know what you're comfortable with.
Victorinox (a.k.a Forschner) and Mac fall into this category.
After a year or so you'll see a zillion knives that the other studets have, that the Instructors have,--and whether you want to know or not--they'll all tell you about the good and bad of each type. You'll never get this brutaly honest information at a knife store.
At this stage you are thusly prepared to spend serious coin on your dream knives.
The Victorinox/Mac knives will still pull serious duty as loaners/ back-ups, and will never let you down
it could be argued that you should just buy a good knife now, since it will last you a long time... and with more practice on one knife, you would only get better with it. of course, don't be banging that knife on a steel damaging it thinking you got skills... or trying to sharpen it yourself because you will likely destroy it. (this is where cheap knives are nice to practice on)
i have learned to love the gyuto/ flatter profile knives and really saw no good from being taught how to use a german profile. so i would recommend springing some cash on a decent gyuto that will last you longer... instead of getting a throw away knife. there are many bargain gyutos to choose from... fujiwara fkm or tojiro dp or togiharu moly 240mm should last you quite some time and still be very good in a pro kitchen. the only problem here is they will likely teach you knife skills more akin to a german profile and it wont help you much if you do get a gyuto.
i've bought a bunch of knives i don't really care to use and that was what they required for each class. they should tell you what you need, though. basic kit is... 10" chef's knife, boning knife, paring knife, and vegetable peeler. the paring knife can be a cheap victorinox (although i love my Shun Classic, the Elite only gets better) and i recommend a kuhn rikon vegetable peeler. (also cheap) i have yet to spend much on a boning knife but i've been unimpressed with what i've used... I'm using a combo of Forschner/ Victorinox right now for boning fish and meat... a flexible straight, a stiff curved, and a 10" cimiter. gets the job done, but i may have to look into other options if I do serious boning. Although the cheap knives are nice because i just throw those nasty knives covered in blood and guts into the dishwasher and not care.
anyways, that is my .02 cents. i'm still learning, but i have way too many knives and still don't have a perfect set. i'm getting closer and closer though. lol. ok so maybe i helped, maybe not... but i was just sharing my own experiences. i started with a cheap messermeister kit and its all throw away except for the Chef's knife which i keep around in hopes that it would hold up to cracking open a lobster, but that was not recommended by my Chef-Instructor so I should probably leave that at home too.