Kiva Fellows Program

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Kiva.

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Kiva has a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty, and Kiva fellows live and breathe that purpose every day. Since 2007, fellows have been Kiva’s eyes and ears in the field, creating a crucial link between borrowers and lenders and working hands-on to grow Kiva’s impact.

A Kiva fellowship allows you to immerse yourself in the culture and language of your host country or region for 6 months, while applying your skills in new ways with one or more of our 300 Field Partners. You’ll gain a behind-the-scenes understanding of microfinance and social enterprise, while meeting inspiring people working to improve financial access around the world. Learn more about the Kiva Fellows Program experience at our site.

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You are responsible for finding your own housing for the duration of your placement.

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9.33 Rating
based on 3 reviews
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  • Impact 9
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 9
  • Value 8.3
  • Safety 7.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing opportunity to really get involved in international development and microfinance

Being a Kiva Fellows was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I worked in Honduras and Colombia and was warmly welcomed into the local communities and the field partners where I was placed. I had a significant amount of responsibility, and while I felt supported by Kiva staff members, I was also able to design my own schedule and had a lot of autonomy. At the same time, I learned a ton about microfinance and met many borrowers in the field first hand. All in all, it was a super rewarding experience that significantly changed the course of my life, as I decided to continue working in microfinance after my fellowship ended.

1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Invaluable Learning experience!

I became a Kiva Fellow because I had a specific interest in understanding more of what Microfinance is about. I had read books, but I knew I wanted to see it work (or not work) first hand.

My experience as a Kiva Fellow turned out to be everything I had wanted and more.

My fellowship was in Nicaragua and I had the chance to work with two "Microfinance Institutions". Since each institution had different branches, I had the chance to travel throughout Nicaragua, visiting the branches and visiting their clients.

Before hitting the field, Kiva trained me for a week. The training was pretty intense (tons of stuff to cover) but the staff as well as the other fellows were pretty amazing and they made the whole experience tons of fun. One thing that impressed me about the rest of my class was the number of professionals that were taking time off from their careers to travel to some foreign country and work for free.

By the end of training the Kiva Fellows staff had done an awesome job of preparing us with knowledge but also by giving us a healthy list of tasks to do in the field. They were realistic in understanding that some of tasks probably would not get done but they were also dedicated to empowering us with the tools to get them done.

One thing to note about the Kiva Fellows program is that it does a great job of screening candidates, and later training them and being there as a resource while fellows are in the field. However, for the most part they depend on fellows to be able to function on their own while working in various remote locations (wherever they have microfinance partners). I think this is great, as it gives fellows the opportunity to truly explore microfinance and the communities in which they are placed, but it also means that individuals should be driven, and know how to handle themselves in unfamiliar situations.

The Fellows Program also turned out to be a great way to meet like-minded people. Today, many of the alumni keep in touch and we even meet up every once in a while. In fact, I liked Kiva so much that I am now working for them as an engineer :)

1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great exposure to microfinance in the field

I was a Fellow in late 2009 and early 2010. It was a fabulous experience. I learned so much and it definitely helped me land my next job.

Since Kiva places Fellows all around the world factors like safety and social scene vary a lot. I was in Managua- so relatively unsafe and you had to fight for a social life (but it was there)

1 person found this review helpful.