Reading a blog from April of The Absolute Travel Addict, I came across an advertisement from MatadorU, an online new media school for travel journalist. They have three programs with enrollment costs of $350 each- photography, writing, and filmmaking. However, if you take more than one course they offer a nice discount. You can also take advantage of a 7-day trial offer for just $10 for each course. I decided to Take A Leap and signed up for two courses, writing and filmmaking. The best part about the program is that the 12 week curriculum for each course can be conducted at my own pace, and it's available for life, no expiration. Therefore, any changes to the curriculum made years from now is accessible.
Another great feature is the access to their job lead center. Many of the job leads make it possible to travel domestically and internationally with all-expense paid trips. Work assignments include writing articles or creating travel videos on their Matador Network website or for their affiliates, including National Geographic or AOL Travel, amongst others. This can lead to additional writing and video assignments in the travel industry and more all-expense paid trips. How wonderful!! Rhonda and I are already looking at a few leads, and see the trips as a way to obtain short-term paid work assignments that can fit within our current full-time work. Not to mention, the international trips are a perfect fit to continuously expand our Take A Leap webshow.
Now technically I'm registered for the two courses, and will be sharing the class assignments with my sister. Isn't that the twin thing to do :). Hee, hee!! However, some of the job leads are only for students and alumni. Therefore, my sister plans to take the photography course after the New Year after we both save more money.
We spent quite a bit of time searching reviews on MatadorU, and couldn't find a bad thing said about the school or the courses. Many of the top travel bloggers have taken the courses, and are currently working full-time in the travel journalism industry. I can see how all three areas will be useful in making a full-time career in travel journalism, and the fact that they recently added filmmaking a few months ago is awesome!! In fact one assignment from a lead that Rhonda and I plan to apply to is a travel film scholarship for an all-expense paid trip for two to create 3-5 three minute videos surrounding Brazil's cultural festival--Carnival. Exciting!!
Have you heard of MatadorU? Have you taken a course? And if so, what has been your experience?