Kiva fellows must be 21 years of age by the start of training week. You must be able to legally travel to the U.S. for the week-long training program, and you’ll need a laptop to use during training week and your time in the field. You must also be fluent in English.
Travel the world and make a difference
By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy, or realize their potential. For some, it's a matter of survival, for others it's the fuel for a life-long ambition.
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 on the Kiva Fellows Blog.
Fellows make an impact
Where will you serve?
Fellows are matched with one or more Kiva Field Partners in 60+ countries throughout the developing world. Field Partners are local microfinance institutions, social enterprises and other organizations that facilitate Kiva loans, making it possible for Kiva to have the reach we do – 2 million borrowers and counting.
Kiva's Partnerships team requests fellows based on the current needs of the partners in each region where Kiva works. Most fellows will be placed with multiple field partners in several countries throughout the duration of their fellowship. Kiva cares about the safety and security of all fellows, and uses travel advisories provided by trusted sources including the State Departments of the U.S., U.K., and Canada to inform security-related decisions during the placement process.
We recommend reading through the job descriptions carefully and applying to a position that you feel you're a good fit for. Some locations require candidates to have high proficiency or fluency in a second language, and the specific workplan for a Field Partner may also require certain skills.
Within the positions that are English-speaking, you'll have a chance to indicate your preference to serve in a certain region. For all candidates, the Kiva Fellows Program staff may feel you're a better fit for a different role in a different region, so country/region flexibility is highly valued throughout the application process.
Countries where Kiva Fellows have served
Hands-on field experience
All fellows play a critical role in supporting operations and monitoring Kiva's Field Partners, including meeting with borrowers, documenting Kiva processes, conducting trainings, and working with field staff to improve efficiency. No two fellowships are the same, and a fellow's workplan may evolve once in the field based on shifting priorities or changes to the portfolio.
Some fellows may also work on design and management of partners' credit programs, the risk management and strategy development of partners, or Kiva's impact measurement efforts. Other examples of deliverables include helping to find and develop new partners, blogging from the field, and sharing photo and video content that helps tell the story of Kiva's impact.
There are no "typical" Kiva fellows
Maryse Martin, CARE – The Kiva fellowship gave me the critical field experience I needed to move away from the private sector. I felt so alive in the field, closely working with partners and interacting with beneficiaries... Truly, a great experience at all levels – personal and professional!
Oleg Izyumenko, AlphaCE Coaching & Education – As a long-time Kiva lender, I wanted to experience the borrowers' reality first-hand, to see how Field Partners manage lenders' funds and what difference Kiva loans make for people. I now work as an educator, helping refugees learn basics of Swedish language, society and culture.
Ariadni Liakis, FINCA Haiti – After 10 years working in the audit/banking sector, the Kiva fellowship was a great career break with possibility to explore new horizons. The experience has heart; the connections between you and your work cement your true being.
Mark your calendar
Kiva will soon be hiring for our July 2017 - January 2018 fellowship class starting in early July 2017. These are important dates for the next class of Kiva fellows:
April 16, 2017
July 10, 2017
Jan. 19, 2018
The Kiva fellowship is a full-time, 6-month program, so interested applicants must be able and willing to commit to the full time period.
Steps for applying
We encourage you to apply for any open position that aligns well with your skills, including language requirements, but we may consider you for another position if we think there is a great match.
Due to the Fellowship Program's competitive nature, we recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. We receive a large number of applications, and we do our best to review applications as they are received. Please note, if you are invited to an interview and are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, we will still ask to speak with you via Skype.
Get to know our current fellows and alumni
Kiva fellows come from a wide range of backgrounds and have gone on to work in many different sectors all over the world at companies and organizations like Apple, Grameen America, Save the Children, IDEO.org, Box, Oliver Wyman and USAID. Learn more about our talented fellows here.
Check back here in March 2017 to apply!
Frequently asked questions
What are the minimum requirements for becoming a Kiva fellow?
What is the time commitment of a Kiva fellowship?
Is the fellowship a paid position?
What will my costs be as a fellow?
Will I need to get my own travel insurance?
How do I apply?
Can I apply for a fellowship if I’m not a U.S. citizen?
Can I still be a Kiva fellow if I don’t speak any languages other than English?
Is this a good way to gain my first immersion abroad experience?
Is it safe to volunteer in a certain region, country or city?
Will there be time for me to travel and sightsee while I am abroad?
Who are my contacts at Kiva while in the field?
What are my housing options?
What kind of visa should I apply for?
What vaccinations will I need?
What training is provided for Kiva Fellows?
Can I get a job at Kiva after my fellowship?
How does Kiva help with the job search process?
Is there a Kiva Fellow Alumni network?
What opportunities are there for Kiva Fellow Alumni to stay involved with Kiva?
Have a question that you couldn't find here? Email a member of our team.