I have a particularly complicated situation, and I could really use some advice. For starters, I am a US citizen but currently living in Europe, moving back to the US would obviously be a financially daunting task but I have decided that I want to be a Seafarer. At 33 my work history is primarily marketing and public relations work, and it’s been poorly paid and overall extremely boring.
What I am trying to decide now is how best to get into the industry. I fully understand that I will need my MMC and TWIC (Already have a passport). I don’t wish to go to any 4 year academies as that seems far too time consuming, as well as exorbitantly expensive. What I was looking at were either the two year academies (Kingsborough and San Jacinto College) are the only ones I know about. MITAGS also looks interesting but once again price is an issue.
The SIU Academy seems like a possibility, but I have heard that essentially a single mistake means I have to completely restart the program, so I really want this to be a final option.
How realistic is hawsepiping? And what would the best location be for me to start hawsepiping? To add to the complexity of this situation, I don’t have a drivers license as I have always lived in a Metropolitan area and thus really haven’t had the need to get a car.
My current plan is to get physically in shape, then by march-april try to have a few thousand saved up and likely move to a state with a large amount of Ports like Texas. Focus entirely on acquiring my MMC and TWIC cards and then applying for entry level OS positions. Is this even possible, are the schools a better option? How the heck do I pay for this and also cover rent/insurance etc?
To clarify I would love to instead go to a school/program and acquire either an AB or a 3mate license within 2 years, ideally something with stipends so that I could afford to attend.
Really sorry for the barrage of questions but I am very serious about getting involved here, my life has lost any meaning.
EDIT- Not sure if relevant but I have 56 study credits within the NYC CUNY system if this would somehow reduce time at some academies, or make me more likely to be accepted.