The American India Foundation’s (AIF’s) Banyan Impact Fellowship is an interdisciplinary experiential learning program that places young professionals from India and the U.S. in service with development organizations in India. Through collaboration and capacity-building, Fellows and local communities exchange knowledge and skills to steer projects that advance social and economic development, and Fellows learn about grassroots development and inclusive leadership.
Since 2001, AIF has selected, trained, and supported 490 Fellows and 214 partner organizations to scale impact, catalyze change, and build the next generation of socially-minded change makers. AIF provides Fellows with a living stipend, health insurance, professional development, mentorship, and programmatic benefits to enable their service. Selection of Fellows includes a written application and an in-person interview, followed by matching with potential partner organizations for projects.
AIF selects, trains, and places these individuals directly with partnering implementation organizations across India. Fellows serve through contributing their efforts and skills to developing ongoing initiatives, as well as strategizing new projects for the host organizations. To review previous Fellow bios and placements, see here.
AIF’s Selection Criteria for Fellows Include:
- Applicants must be either U.S. Citizens, U.S. Permanent Residents, or Indian Citizens.
- Applicants must be young professionals between the age of 21-35 by the program start of November 1.
- Applicants must have completed a least a Bachelor's or other undergraduate degree before the program start of November 1.
- Applicants must be willing and able to serve on the ground in India for full duration of the program (As of April 6th, 2021, AIF is planning for the program to be hosted fully in person on the ground in India. Should the situation around COVID-19 drastically change by then, AIF may shift to a hybrid model).
- Applicants must be willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the program.
- Applicants must bring both skills and experience, as well as an eagerness to learn with host communities on the ground.
- Applicants must be willing to learn a local language if required for the project.
- Applicants must be committed to enriching learning opportunities for the fellowship community and positively contribute to building U.S.-India bridges of understanding and partnership during their time of service and after.