Julian Guelig

Julian began her adventurous life roaming the backwoods of rural Pennsylvania on horseback, but discovered the allure of living abroad and international travel as a Rotary high school exchange student in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This formative year enabled her to step back and observe American culture through a different lens, shaping her nascent global view. She studied Economics and International Development at Tulane University, honing a tangible skill-set spanning business development and economic analysis. Wanderlust struck again; she spent a semester abroad in Rio de Janeiro, where she fell in love with all things Brazilian. After graduation, Julian taught English with Fulbright at a federal university in Cuiabá, Western Brazil, and later independently in Rio de Janeiro to young children. She first witnessed the power of microfinance while living in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro; the microcosm of life in a favela reinforced broader economic and development concepts she learned at Tulane. Dedicated to Kiva’s mission to alleviate poverty and improve people’s lives around the world in a sustainable manner, Julian is eager to return to Brazil as a KF28 Fellow. The opportunity to work as a Fellow will allow Julian to further her understanding of small businesses and the intricacies of microfinance in Brazil.

Fellows Blog Posts by Julian Guelig

May 11, 2016 MZ Mozambique

You probably know more Mozambican Portuguese than you realize… After first landing in Maputo three months ago, my jet-lagged brain strained to understand the small talk with my taxi driver. He excused himself as he answered his phone and said “Estou busy no meu job, brother.” Baffled, I realized I understood what he was saying not because of my Brazilian-Portuguese background, but because of my native language, English! I knew I would have to adjust my Portuguese accent, but wasn’t expecting to have to adjust my English accent in order to communicate in Mozambique...

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Feb 19, 2016 MZ Mozambique

I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and ended up in the wonderful world of Maputo, Mozambique.  Forgetting my old routine and relearning the spicy, Mozambican way of things. 

Women harvest a piri piri pepper field outside of Maputo
I was on my first placement in Brazil when I found out I would be going to Mozambique. I began to eagerly dream about my future life in Africa, a new continent for me. My initial worries were practical: Would they understand my Brazilian Portuguese accent? What kind... Continue Reading >>


Nov 20, 2015

With over 2 years living in Brazil and speaking Brazilian Portuguese, I’ve reached the point of conversing where I have stopped literally translating in my head when I speak. I even find my instinctual reaction to come out in Portuguese. Nossa! Opa! At times, however, I have to chuckle realizing the literal translation of some Brazilian terms. I’ve compiled a list of common Brazilian words and sayings that in some ways exemplify Brazilian spirit but simply don’t translate (but I did my best). 1. “Saudade” Literal Translation: Saudade doesn’t... Continue Reading >>