Hi CASI Blog! My name is Jacob Berexa and I am a third-year undergraduate studying South Asia Studies and Linguistics. This summer I am excited to be working for LEAP Skills Academy in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana.
Originally from Brentwood, Tennessee, I was drawn to Penn mostly because of its strong South Asia Studies Dept. My interest in India began early in high school and after senior year I had the opportunity to participate in NSLI-Y, a six-week Hindi immersion program in Pune, India. Since then I was able to go back to India last summer for another Hindi language program (CLS) in Jaipur. I have also taken classes in Marathi here at Penn for the past year (Marathi is a regional language spoken mostly in the state of Maharashtra in Western India).
My academic interests lie mostly in Indian language-in-education policy and educational linguistics, a field I am interesting in pursuing graduate work in. Working at a skills development start-up like LEAP this summer will be an amazing opportunity to explore some of these questions and gain experience in an up-and-coming part of the education & development space.
I am looking forward to many things this summer—speaking Hindi, having awesome home Indian food and Indo-Chinese food (India’s best kept secret), negotiating with rickshaw-walas, visiting beautiful temples, the list is endless! India is full of wonderful surprises and I’m sure there will be many this summer 🙂
Chalo, India mein milte hain!