Nicholas Oo Accepted into Prestigious NAFSA RISE Fellowship Program
Congratulations to Nick Oo, who is currently working as Education Abroad Administrative Coordinator at UMass Amherst’s International Programs Office, for being accepted into the highly competitive and distinguished NAFSA RISE (Representation, Inclusion, Support, and Empowerment) Fellowship program. The NAFSA RISE Fellowship is a two-year professional development program with the goal to support and empower international education professionals from underrepresented backgrounds with resources and tools to contribute to their institutions and communities.
As part of this fellowship program, Oo will be enrolled in NAFSA’s Academy for International Education and will receive training in the primary knowledge areas of international education for his first year. In addition to receiving free tuition for the NAFSA Academy, he will also receive free registration and a travel stipend for the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo. For his second year, he will implement his learning plans into the work he does at UMass Amherst, as well as give back to the field by volunteering with NAFSA and engaging in the NAFSA RISE Fellows alumni program.
Oo says, “I am looking forward to networking and continuing to meet amazing individuals that work in this field as well as attending the NAFSA Academy to further my growth as a professional and international educator through experience and learning from seasoned veterans in the field. I am also very excited to continue my work within the realm of diversity and equity in this field and hope to gain some new insights and strategies that I can utilize in my work at the International Programs Office and how it will benefit our overall mission of increasing study abroad access for all students.”
Oo’s interest in international education began at UMass Amherst as a first-year student selected to be a part of the renowned Emerging Scholars Residential Academic program. His participation in this program provided him with the unique opportunity to study abroad for ten days in the Dominican Republic as part of a faculty-taught program based on service learning. Upon his return, he served as Education Abroad Peer Advisor for three years, helping the office’s efforts to recruit more students for study abroad. This experience ignited his passion for pursuing a post-graduate career in this field. After graduating, he was asked to be the Program Assistant for the First-Year London Experience, UMass’ inaugural first-year study abroad program in collaboration with CEA CAPA, formerly known as CAPA: The Global Education Network in the Fall of 2022. In London, he supervised the cohort on cultural field trips and provided guidance and support for navigating their first semester abroad.
In his current role as the Education Abroad Administrative Coordinator, Oo primarily focuses on organizing the semesterly study abroad fairs where external and internal campus partners are invited to speak to prospective students. For many students, this is the first opportunity they get to learn about the prospect of studying abroad. In addition to his fair responsibilities, he is particularly motivated to increase access and the visibility of study abroad opportunities to underrepresented students. Currently, he is organizing a video series featuring study abroad alumni with the goal to highlight diverse voices and stories. He understands the importance and benefits of international experiences and strongly believes that everyone should have the opportunity to study, live, or work in another country for an extended period.