Last Fall, I tallied up my sea time as a Mate and realized that I had enough to apply for an upgrade to Master. In addition to that, I was eligible to upgrade my license from 3rd Mate, to 2nd Mate. I looked into it and then found out that if I'm applying for a 1600 ton Master's license, it's better to upgrade to 2nd Mate first because the crossover from 2nd Mate to 1600 ton Master is an easier route, so I applied...
About 2 months later, I received my upgrade to 2nd Mate and approval to test, requiring only one module. I was excited about that, but I also received a letter stating that in order to get my International Master's license, I would also need to complete the current (as of 1/1/17) STCW requirements. Most of these I have completed, but there are 3 classes in particular that I would still need to take according to the new Coast Guard rules. Ugh.
-Advanced Ship Handling
I looked into and found that those 3 classes alone are a total of 4 weeks and approximately $9000 in tuition and aren't offered locally, so I'd have to go out of state most likely for the courses. So, I checked around to see if there was a loophole and so far, the only thing I have found, is that I can forego the International endorsement and just go for the 1600t Master Domestic (National) license if I don't want to have to take all the new classes.
Now, I'm currently waiting for a reply from my boss to see if my company requires a International license, of if a Domestic will suffice. For now, I wait. I will however, begin studying soon for the exam, which I plan to take in June sometime. I'm hoping that one module isn't too tough. I'll know more when I pay the Lapware fee in a few weeks and start studying.