FLAS Summer Awardees Immerse Themselves in South Asian Languages and Cultures at Home and Abroad

     This year, the South Asia Center was excited to award five exceptional graduate and undergraduate students with summer FLAS grants. The awardees, who were chosen from a pool of qualified applicants, used their Department of Education awards to study South Asian languages and area studies throughout the United States and India.   

      Analysse Mason, a University of Pennsylvania Master’s student in South Asia Studies, studied advanced Hindi at the South Asia Summer Language Institute hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She partook in eight weeks and 180 hours of intensive language training, an amount equivalent to two full semesters of academic study.    

     Elliot Miciek, a University of Pennsylvania undergraduate and rising sophomore studying International Studies and Business in the Huntsman program, studied advanced Hindi through the University of Wisconsin’s Summer in Delhi program. In order to spur his fluency, Elliot lived and practiced his language skills with his host family. During his two-month immersion in Delhi, he has noticed marked improvements in his Hindi, and has had the chance to explore much of northern India, including Jaipur and Amritsar. Throughout the rest of his time at Penn, Elliot plans to continue studying the politics, cultures, and languages of South Asia, as his ultimate goal is to do nonprofit or policy work in the region.            

     Jessica Bachman, a PhD in History at the University of Washington, spent the summer studying intermediate Urdu in SASLI Madison. She spent the eight weeks strengthening her language skills through intensive in-class language instruction.    

     Isa Thompson is a University of Pennsylvania MA in South Asian Languages and Literature, with a minor in Comparative Religion. This summer, Isa studied first year Kannada at the American Institute of Indian Studies in Mysore, India. Through her program Isa has had the opportunity to visit historical sites, statues, and Hoysala temples throughout the region. Isa hopes that her immersive study and eventual fluency will allow her to translate Kannada Shaiva religious and historical texts accurately and respectfully for her research and future scholarship.  

     Ravi Patel is a joint Wharton MBA and masters in International Studies at Lauder Institute. This summer, Ravi used his award to study advanced Hindi through the Lauder Institute Summer Immersion in Delhi. During the seven-week program, Ravi studied Hindi not only in the classroom, but also via cultural visits and weekend excursions. Ultimately, Ravi hopes to use his language skills and experiences in India to build a consultancy that focuses on climate change mitigation, by bringing agri-biotechnology solutions to South Asia.