Kiva Fellows are matched by Kiva staff to one or more of Kiva’s partner organizations across the United States and in over 60 countries around the world. Please find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about placements below.
Do I get to choose where I serve my fellowship?
Applicants will be asked to select the region(s) where they wish to serve as a fellow, although a placement corresponding to that preference cannot be guaranteed. Flexibility is central to the Kiva Fellows application process and to the program as a whole.
I speak a foreign language with a high level of proficiency. Where can I go as a Kiva Fellow?
Given the variety of languages spoken by Kiva’s partners and borrowers, language skills are extremely helpful and in some cases required for some placements. Click here for a list of countries where Kiva has (or will likely have) partnerships with Field Partners and the languages that are required or recommended at each location. In most cases, Fellows work out of the partner’s head office. However, Fellows often visit branch offices and borrowers throughout their time in the field. Future placements may take place in countries or cities other than those listed.
Please note that for placements with a language requirement, you must be highly proficient to fluent in the language (your language skill level will be assessed during the interview process). If you speak conversational or low proficiency Spanish, French, Russian, Turkish, Arabic or Portuguese, we cannot place you in a location requiring these languages.
What if my only Kiva language is English?
If you do not have advanced skills in any Kiva language you may still apply to the program. Kiva works with partners in many countries where English is the language of business – these are represented by Kiva’s “Anglophone portfolio.” There are placements available in the U.S. as well (see below).
If accepted to the program and assigned to a placement within Kiva’s Anglophone portfolio, you will still be expected to prepare for your service by studying basic conversational skills in the native language of the country where you are placed. Your ability to connect with borrowers in the field will be greatly enhanced by having a few key phrases to use in these interactions.
Do Kiva Fellows serve in the United States?
Yes, some Kiva Fellows do serve with Field Partners in the United States. These placements are an exciting opportunity for applicants who are interested in deepening Kiva’s impact domestically and furthering the fields of microfinance and community economic development in the United States.
In addition to working with Kiva’s partners, there are opportunities for Fellows to serve in support of Kiva’s newest initiative, Kiva U.S., which provides a peer-to-peer lending platform for lenders and borrowers across the U.S.
Kiva Fellows have served in cities including New York, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Antonio. The availability of U.S.-based placements may vary with each class, depending on the needs of Kiva’s partners, and of Kiva U.S.