Passion, Purpose and Perspective

Erin Farmer describes herself as compassionate, adventurous and curious, and her time at the University of Arkansas reinforces this.

Farmer received the prestigious Bodenhamer Fellowship as a freshman, as well as several other scholarships, and knew the private gift support would allow her to study abroad during her collegiate experience. For her, that was reason enough to become a Razorback.

“Opportunities were afforded to me because of the scholarships,” she said. “And when I knew I’d have the chance to study abroad, there was no question about where I should go to school. It’s like a second home to me.”

Farmer is pursuing a triple major in economics, physics and math and has conducted research throughout her undergraduate years. She studied abroad six times in four years and says her international experiences influenced her research – and future career plans – greatly.

“The summer after my freshman year, I studied abroad in Mozambique,” she said. “It’s the reason I added economics as one of my majors; I realized I am passionate about economic development.”

Farmer channels this passion into research, where she is examining price elasticity and the intrinsic honesty and trust of others.

After her junior year, she traveled to Eswatini, where she studied economic policy and the impacts of research and development funding on their economy. She also visited Belize and collected data for her thesis. In addition to these countries, she studied abroad in Vietnam, Spain, and participated in the TEXT, or Tibetans in Exile Today, program in India.

Traveling the world has shaped Farmer’s personal development and broadened her perspective on life.

“If I hadn’t received these scholarships, I wouldn’t have studied abroad and found my passion,” she said. “It’s more than academic to me – it’s personal. It changed my perspective on my place in the world. I could not be more grateful.”

Farmer says she would love to attend MIT for graduate school and her ultimate goal is to be a professor.

“An education is the greatest gift you can give someone,” she said. “The scholarships I received offered the gift of opportunity for me to find my path in the world. I’ve had experiences that have taught me more than I could’ve learned solely in the classroom.”

Give Students the World

  • Students who study abroad can earn credit hours and reap many social, cultural and personal benefits, such as self-confidence, self-reliance, global sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Named endowed scholarships for study abroad or international experiences start at $50,000 for those that are designated to a college, school or unit and $25,000 for those that are undesignated.
  • A scholarship or fellowship is the passport to higher education for many high-ability students and provides access for those who may not otherwise have the means to attend.