Study Abroad Ecuador
Chimborazo, Ecuador – @david1999

“I got lost, I did not cry, it was honestly just like running a mile, I was just happy I made it back.” Cierra Powell

Our first Gilman Scholarship award winner is on the show today, so yeah; kind of a big deal, and Cierra took advantage of it, in a big way. I haven’t interviewed anyone yet, who innovated her study abroad experience the way she did.

Her passion lies in studying the inefficiencies of foreign aid to 3rd world countries. She’s a true scientist, and a small country located on the Northeast side of South America by the name of Ecuador turned out to be her laboratory.

Listen to this interview if you want to receive a Gilman Scholarship.

I repeat…

Listen to this interview if you want to receive a Gilman Scholarship.

She was able to go because she received a Gilman Scholarship which we learn in the interview is more than mere funding given for education. It goes beyond the trip, and lasts a lifetime.

“One day you will be called upon to break a big law in the name of justice and rationality.” – James C. Scott


  • Deciding to study in Ecuador and receiving the Gilman Scholarship 💸 [1:41]
  • Conquering a fear of the unknown to travel abroad 👌 [4:50]
  • Designing a unique internship program for the Gilman Scholarship 💡 [7:33]
  • Living on a cacao farm, walking through a jungle with a machete to get wifi 🌿 [11:40]
  • An evolving day-to-day while learning the local way of life 📒 [15:33]
  • Traveling to different rural and urban towns for research 🚌 [17:52]
  • Research findings on the efficiency of foreign aid 💱 [19:23]
  • Getting completely lost on the first day and making the most of it 😓 [23:21]
  • Crashing a baptism, becoming friends and staying with the family ⛪ [25:55]
  • Rice, beans, and a meat and other common meals 🍲 [27:36]
  • Carroll College: a great small school in Montana with accessible faculty 🏡 [29:55]
  • Preparing for the future with hopes of receiving a Fulbright Award 🎓 [32:21]
  • Media recommendations and final words 🙌 [34:22]

Going beyond the numbers and speaking to residents of a country to hear what they have to say.

5 Steps To Designing A Study Abroad Course with Cierra Powell [Infographic]

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