Tell Better Stories

MatadorU teaches beginner through advanced-level students how to produce travel media through writing, photography, and filmmaking. Our successful approach is based on experiential learning, or learning by doing: We don’t just rely on curricula and assignments, but proactively engage students around projects and publishing opportunities.

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  • Travel Photography

    Travel Photography

  • Travel Writing

    Travel Writing

  • Travel Filmmaking

    Travel Filmmaking

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Recognition from National Geographic Traveler Magazine

National Geographic Traveler, the world’s most widely read travel magazine, is looking to Matador to help us find new talent–writers, photographers, videographers and multimedia reporters. MatadorU has created a unique interactive program for those who wish to become travel writers that is very thorough. By learning the many and varied aspects involved in becoming a travel writer for both the online and print worlds, those new to travel writing will have a leg up.

Keith Bellows, Editor in Chief, National Geographic Traveler Magazine

Matador is more than just a high-quality online travel site. It is a great community of travel enthusiasts who mix expert advice and local knowledge through blogs, forums and destination pages.

Society of American Travel Writers

MatadorU has created a unique interactive program for those who wish to become travel writers that is very thorough. By learning the many and varied aspects involved in becoming a travel writer for both the online and print worlds, those new to travel writing will have a leg up.

Transitions Abroad

What you get with every course


MatadorU offers college level courses that have all been made by industry leaders.


Receive one on one feedback from MatadorU's faculty on select assignments, exercises, and labs.


Participate in our special labs and gain opportunities for more personal feedback.

Pro Modules

Gain access to one of a kind tutorials only available to U students.


Join a network of thousands of other travel journalists - connect and collaborate.

Market Leads

A list of leads, press trips, contests and paid gigs.

Press Trips

Gain access to press opportunities for free trips across the globe.

Partner Offers

Discounts and offers MatadorU has negotiated on behalf of the student body.


Travel writing course outline.


Travel photography course outline.


Travel filmmaking course outline.

Meet the MatadorU Faculty

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Carlo Alcos Dean of Education

Carlo Alcos (Dean of Education)

Carlo is a Managing Editor at Matador and Dean of Education at MatadorU. He began freelancing with Matador in 2008 and has been an editor since 2009. His work has also appeared in Business Insider, CNN Travel, Asian Traveler, and Huffington Post TV, as well as on a novel where he landed a cover photo. In his other life he performs with an acoustic group (guitar, mandolin, vocals) and loves yoga, rock climbing, hiking, and nature. He currently lives in Nelson, BC.

David Seth Miller Director of Curricula

David Seth Miller (Director of Curricula)

Winner of two consecutive Lowell Thomas awards for excellence in travel journalism (2010, 2011), David Miller is Matador's Senior Editor and Director of Curricula at MatadorU. He was a contributing author for Fodor's Patagonia (Random House 2009) and edited two books: No Foreign Lands (Matador Publications, 2011) and 101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die (Saint Martin's Press, 2014). As an educator, he has presented on the craft of travel journalism in the digital age at Tumblr, Hostelling International, the Public Relations Society of America, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. He lives with his wife and two young children in Asheville, North Carolina, and loves nothing more than traveling with them somewhere with waves.

Colby Brown Director of Photography

Colby Brown (Director of Photography)

Colby is a photographer, photo educator, entrepreneur and author based out of Denver, Colorado. Specializing in landscape, travel, and humanitarian photography, his extensive portfolio spans the four corners of the globe. Early in his career he worked as a photography instructor for National Geographic in South America and he is currently the CEO of The Giving Lens, an organization that aims to blend photo education with support for NGOs in developing countries. His clients include companies such as Canon, Sony, Toshiba, and Wacom and his images have been seen in various publications around the globe. Colby is is one of the most followed photographers in social media.

Scott Sporleder Director of Filmmaking

Scott Sporleder (Director of Filmmaking)

Scott is a professional photographer and filmmaker who found his passion for photography and travel documentation while living in China nearly 10 years ago. Since then he has gone on to win various photography awards as well as having his work published in The New York Times, Mashable,, The New Yorker, The Daily Guardian, Islands Magazine, and numerous other publications. Over the past two years Scott has traveled from Tasmania to the Canadian Arctic and from the Namibian desert to the Fjords of Norway for Matador Network, where he is the Creative Director. You can check out his photos at or follow his adventures on Instagram @SpoArt.

Kate Siobhan Havercroft Photography and Writing Faculty

Kate Siobhan Havercroft (Photography and Writing Faculty)

Kate Siobhan is a travel photographer and writer based out of Vancouver, Canada. She holds a degree in Non-Fiction Creative Writing from UBC, where she graduated with Honors and received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Leadership. She is a published author, photo-educator, mentor, and public speaker. She runs The Giving Lens, leading teams of photographers on international volunteer workshops around the world, combining photo-education with humanitarian and documentary work. She quit her "real" job in 2011 to pursue a full-time awesome life, which, aside from travel, includes craft beer, coffee, her fat cat, and one excellent husband.

Mary Sojourner Writing Faculty

Mary Sojourner (Writing Faculty)

Mary is a writer with seven nationally published books (the latest coming out in August 2014 from Torrey House Press) and has been mentoring writers since 1990 at writing conferences, universities, colleges, and for private students. She wrote her first novel when she was 46, fought her first environmental battle that same year, ran her first river when she was 51, started rock climbing when she was 55, was awarded Distinguished Writer in Residence at Arizona State University in 2007, and likes to solo hike and camp as often as she can. She works with her student's fiction, creative non-fiction, novels, and poetry with respect and a fierce eye for quality. Mary's students tell her that working with her takes them down a wild path to their real stories. She teaches that the deepest stories originate in place.

Emma Thieme Writing Faculty

Emma Thieme (Writing Faculty)

Emma is a Matador Network contributing editor and MatadorU writing faculty member. She holds a degree in journalism with a focus in women’s studies. Emma comes from Maine, a place of wide-open spaces, yet she’s become a master of living in small boxes, including a 27-foot sailboat in the Caribbean, an off-the-grid cabin in rural Maine, and a rented closet-sized room in a men’s halfway house. She enjoys driving long distances through nothing and looking mysterious in dim-lit dive bars. She’s also a yoga teacher, an amateur motorcyclist, and a leather worker.

Cathy Brown Writing Faculty

Cathy Brown (Writing Faculty)

Cathy is a full-time travel writer and editor specializing in Latin America. She currently lives in the Andes of Patagonia with her three kids, covering luxury travel for Luxury Latin America, adventure and family travel for Matador Network and the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and writing guidebooks for Fodor's and World Travel Guide. In addition, she has edited Escape From America and Culture Trip. Cathy works closely with the tourism boards of Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Ecuador, and collaborates with LAN airlines. Her current passions include surfing, shamanism, old-school Polaroid photography, mountain climbing, natural construction and organic gardening.

Ryan Libre Photography Faculty

Ryan Libre (Photography Faculty)

Ryan has called Asia home for 13 years and his photography has been exhibited in over 20 galleries, including the Nikon Salon and the Fuji Film Salon, as well as in the mass media: Outside, BBC, Marie Claire, Outdoor japan, and featured in 5 books. He is the winner of the Nikon Inspiration Award and grants from the Pulitzer Center, the W. Eugene Smith Fund and has given two TEDx talks. As a media educator, Ryan has taught university courses, and regularly teaches custom workshops throughout Asia for organizations such as, UNESCO, the EU, the Olympic Committee and many more. He founded and directs Documentary Arts Asia -- a non-profit foundation to support documentary photo and film in Asia, with galleries, libraries, cinemas, residencies, workshops -- and directs the F/28 month of photography festival. When not working on projects, curating or teaching, he enjoys working on his organic adobe solar homestead in northern Thailand.

Blaze Nowara Filmmaking Faculty

Blaze Nowara (Filmmaking Faculty)

Blaze is a documentary filmmaker whose work has dealt with a variety of issues ranging from peacemaking among civil war refugees in North Sumatra, immigrant victims of domestic violence in the USA, to alternatives to violence within a medium security prison in Dublin. In addition, he is a facilitator of conflict resolution workshops, most recently in Kathmandu. Blaze's work has been presented at conferences worldwide and film festivals nationwide.

Katie Scott Aiton Student Advisor

Katie Scott Aiton (Student Advisor)

Katie has been traveling the Asian/Pacific region for 10 years working as an anthropologist and regional analyst. She has worked for the United Nations as a translator, negotiator, and media liaison in Cambodia, Australia, and New York. When she's not surfing, chasing summers, and eating coconuts, she's writing stories in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Our Story

Matador has redefined travel media with an award-winning, multilingual editorial and educational platform that reaches a global monthly audience of more than 5 million. Since 2009, thousands of writers, photographers, and filmmakers have graduated from MatadorU programs, with students winning prestigious awards, getting paid assignments worldwide, and going on to successful careers in travel media. Our community of editors and guest faculty, along with major brand and destination partners, collectively forms a one of a kind travel media ecosystem, with editors proactively engaging students around projects and publishing opportunities.

What students are saying about MatadorU

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Lily Girma

When I received an email announcing the launch of MatadorU, I just knew this was the course I had been waiting for.

Abhimanyu Sabnis

Abhimanyu Sabnis

The coursework and interaction with the faculty make MatadorU an excellent choice for someone looking for a career in new media.

Laura Cook

Laura Cook

MatadorU has connected me with talented people all over the world and has given me the motivation to keep challenging myself.

Norbert Figueroa

Norbert Figueroa

MatadorU has been possibly the smartest decision I've taken regarding my travel writing career.

Kat C

Kat Clay

I can safely say I learned more from MatadorU about travel writing than my entire graduate writing course.


Kyle Ellison

In the first month of being enrolled at MatadorU I received more paying assignments than I had in the previous two years.

Nick Rowlands

Nick Rowlands

The specific and honest feedback the staff gave on the assignments was invaluable.


Diana O’Gilvie

My writing really improved as a result of the direct feedback from the editors.

Aloha Lavina

Aloha Lavina

MatadorU gave me a focus for a yearning to get back into journalism, but this time from the travel perspective.

Scott s

Scott Shetler

I’m able to instantly put the information into practice and see the direct results.


Caz Makepeace

I knew that if I was serious about pursuing my travel writing then I needed to take this step...

Jeff Bartlett

Jeff Bartlett

My investment in MatadorU's Photography program has resulted in countless opportunities to apply my new craft.


Megan Wood

MatadorU gave me the confidence, contacts, and skills I needed to become a professional travel writer.

Coen Wubbels

Coen Wubbels

Being on the road 24/7 since 2003, MatadorU proved to be my best learning experience.

Still Curious?

Click the button below to sign up for a free preview of the MatadorU platform.

MatadorU is an ecosystem for travel journalism. We offer programs in travel writing, travel photography, and travel filmmaking. Our online education platform is the Web’s most dynamic and comprehensive experience in the field of travel journalism. We’ve created a global community of thousands of travel writers, travel photographers, and travel filmmakers and empowered them to connect and collaborate with each other while also networking with destination marketers, brands, and creative agencies. Enrolling in our courses will be the best move you’ve ever made in improving your progression as a travel journalist—and we’re so sure of it, we’ll let you check it out for free.