Hi everyone! This is my first time posting here. Let me tell you my story, but first, I need to ask you something: try your best to keep an open mind and not judge me. In other websites (particularly Reddit), I am always met with criticism for not having a college degree: it wasn't my choice, I was just poor and had a horrible family and had to start working as a teenager. I don't want to move to Europe to be a leech, or because I'm a shady thief, I just want to try to make my life better, and maybe finding a job I like and doing something with my life. Maybe this warning is not needed here (I hope you guys are nicer than the Reddit crowd), but based on my previous experiences in online forums, I felt the need to say it.
So, I'm a 30 year old woman, I have no kids, and I live with my boyfriend of 3 years. When we first met, we traveled Europe for 3 months together, on very little money: hitchhiking, couchsurfing. We fell in love with Europe, but particularly Germany: its landscape, its people... we knew that we wanted to live there! It became our dream. So we started researching how we could do it: getting a freelance visa to teach, my boyfriend is a technical drawer (AutoCAD, works for architects) and his certificate can be validated in Germany. I have nothing to show for except a sad english teaching certificate and my 10 years of experience. I also have experience teaching Spanish (my native language), but no certification.
We're very hard-working people. I've been alone (without family) for my entire adult life. I started working at 16 and started living alone at 18. I couldn't afford college, of course (even though it's free in my country, I would have had to move to a different city, find another job in a more competitive place with zero qualifications, all things that I might have had been able to do if I just had someone to guide me or help me, but I was a teenager completely on my own). So I just kept on working crappy jobs. Then I decided to start teaching English, since I was very good at it. I did a pretty good job and got excellent recommendations, so I decided to get certified. I did. It's not that I never thought about college, it's just that I was too busy trying to survive to even consider that a possibility. Even now, I couldn't do it: I'd have to give up my job and get a crappier one, move to another city, study and work full time... and I don't even know what I would study. I've been so busy dealing with life that I don't even know what I'd like to be.
Anyway, lately I've been starting to apply for English teacher jobs overseas, but I get rejected at every single one because I'm not a native speaker. My accent is minimal, but still noticeable. I have tried asking other teachers online for help, but they all say: "You should get a college degree, or at least CELTA". CELTA is almost 3000 dollars. I have never SEEN that much money. I make 7000 a year, and during the summer months I don't get paid because the students are on vacation. There is no way I can afford it. For the record, this is the best job I can get in my country with my qualifications.
I spent all my saving in two online certificates for teaching English, so I cannot longer afford any other courses. Maybe I wasted my money because since I'm not a native speaker, I won't get a job, or maybe I won't even get a freelance visa without a college degree.
The language school I work for demanded that I tell them now if I'm traveling next year, because if I am, I am not allowed to take students. We want to leave in April. Our country's economy is falling rapidly, my boyfriend has been out of work for the past year and it doesn't seem like it's going to get better. We don't want to have to eat our saving instead of using them for our trip.
What possibilities of work do I have in Germany? I'm willing to work in other areas besides teaching language, it is just the only thing I have experience in, and I'm already 30. I know that a lot of people might think I should stay in my country and not bother Germany with my existence, but I'm no longer happy here, and I really want to get out there and see the world. I just can't afford to travel without working wherever I go. Can anyone offer some advice?