A summer in Italy conjures up thoughts of idyllic landscapes and perhaps slower, comfortable routines. But for Colorado State University senior Melissa Minervini, six weeks abroad was another step in the process of moving out of her comfort zone and embracing new opportunities.
During Minervini’s journey of studying interior architecture and design within the Department of Design and Merchandising at CSU, she came across one experience – studying abroad in Florence – that was too alluring to pass up.
Wine, cheese, and interior architecture and design
During her three years at CSU, Minervini has become an exemplification of a person who seizes every opportunity that is afforded to them.
Minervini regrettably missed the opportunity to study abroad in her sophomore year due to COVID-19. However, his summer was different.
In Italy, Minervini is taking what she has learned in her major at CSU and implementing that knowledge into her new classes such as “Art, Food, Fashion, and Wine: Creative Advertising of Italian Destinations and Consumer Behavior and Retail Strategies.”
“Both classes I’m taking have aspects that include IAD including the science supporting the layouts of specific stores, the reasoning behind branding, and the overall influence of culture, art, and cuisine within branding and advertising,” she said.
Having completed programs at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, Minervini has used this new opportunity to further bolster her knowledge derived from the Interior Architecture and Design Program.
These experiences correspond with her innate curiosity as Minervini said, “I love doing things out of my comfort zone and meeting new people!”
Impact of the program
Minervini would contest the idea that the IAD program is predictable.
“My favorite parts of IAD have been the different classes that we take that expose us to things that you would never think are important to interior architecture and design,” she said.
She has a deep-rooted passion for this program, explaining “When I was ten years old, I learned the word architect and was immediately drawn to it. I even wrote in my fifth-grade yearbook that I wanted to be an architect when I grew up.”
With conviction and a strong work ethic, Minervini is now heading into her senior year at CSU. Looking back on her time, she said “Within the IAD program, my favorite experience has been getting to know all my professors and classmates so well since it is such a small program.”
Through these experiences, Minervini has assembled a distinct hope that “In the future, I would love to work for a firm that is passionate about sustainability in architecture and interior design, and I look forward to meeting new people!”
Advice for fellow students
Minervini is enthusiastic about her study abroad experience. “It is so crazy to me that I am here in Italy learning about the culture and being able to immerse myself in every aspect of Italy and its surrounding countries. I would 110% recommend anyone move out of their comfort zone, even if it is only for six weeks like me to go abroad,” she said.
Minervini’s story and experiences epitomize what makes CSU and study abroad programs so extraordinary and life-changing – including the chance to leave comfort zones behind in favor of new opportunities.
To learn more about opportunities to study abroad, visit the CSU Education Abroad webpage provided by the Colorado State University Office of International Programs.
The Department of Design and Merchandising is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.