Princeton in Latin America Fellowships

Term: Academic Year

Provide year-long service-oriented fellowships in countries in Latin America

IMPORTANT NOTICE Regarding the 2022-2023 Application Cycle

As colleges and universities prepare for the return to campus for a new academic year, PiLA has shared an important update regarding their application and placement cycles.

PiLA will NOT hold a standard application cycle this fall and instead will focus on working with recent deferred finalists that remain interested and available to engage in their placement process, with the goal that as many deferred finalists as possible are matched with potential partners and will be able to interview (virtually) for tentative placements for 2022-2023. If, after working with finalists deferred from the Spring 2021 and Spring 2020 finalist pools, they determine that they will still need new applicants to fill available placements, it is possible PiLA will open an abbreviated application cycle in early 2022. Any updates concerning an off-cycle application process, if occurring, will be posted on both the PiLA and URF websites in early 2022.

Please read PiLA's full update here.

Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) offers year-long service-oriented fellowships for work in NGOs, multilateral organizations, local government and/or community-based organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Focusing on a demonstrated commitment to community service (including with Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S.) and a record of academic achievement, PiLA identifies highly qualified and motivated fellows to meet the needs of our partners and the communities they serve. Partner institutions work in natural resource conservation, public health, education policy, microfinance, and many other areas. Most placements are in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, with limited additional opportunities in the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean. Placements emphasize the power of firsthand work experience to shape young people's attitudes and mobilize them to effect positive social change and

For each country, PiLA determines a monthly stipend to cover housing, food, and local transportation, which is paid to the fellow through contributions from the host organization and PiLA. In addition to this local salary, PiLA provides an orientation program and assistance finding health insurance and deferring student loan repayment obligations.


Candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree before beginning their programs. Spanish- or Portuguese-language competency is essential, and tested during the interview process. French also may be helpful in countries such as the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Because the program is intended for graduating seniors and recent alumni/ae, it rarely considers applicants who are more than five or six years out of college.

Besides some proficiency in the language, PiLA has no set formula for selecting fellows. Its selection committee considers all aspects of an application, including academic performance, past travel and work experience, evidence of emotional maturity, and a sense of adventure. Other desirable qualifications include knowledge of and experience in the region, interpersonal and intercultural sensitivity, leadership potential, polished writing skills, the flexibility to adapt successfully to shifting circumstances during the fellowship, a sense of humor and humility, and a commitment to PiLA’s mission that extends beyond the year of service: an ethos of “paying it forward.”

Fact Sheet

Arts and Architecture, Foreign Language Learning, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM
Columbia Alumna/us, Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Not U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, Senior, U.S. Citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident
Fellowship Type:
Experiential, Public Service
Latin America and the Caribbean
Academic Year

Dates & Deadlines

Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Sunday, January 2, 2022
DATE POSTED ABOVE IS NOT ACTUAL DEADLINE. Please see important notice at top of page regarding 2022-2023 academic year.