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Meet Shelby Hinshaw (she/her)

Program and Location:

Summer, Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute: Florence, Italy


Fashion & Textile Management: Brand Management and Marketing and Business Administration

Why did you choose to study abroad?

My cousin studied abroad when she was in college and I always admired her for it. I have always wanted to travel and see the world and I thought that it would be awesome to do that while in college! Choosing to go to Italy was easy, I was so excited to learn more about the fashion industry and the culture of the country.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am adaptive when it comes to figuring out public transportation. I am not usually very outgoing when it comes to meeting new people, but I learned to put myself out there to make the most of my experience. I also learned that I love traveling and learning how to be more independent.

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

I really enjoyed enrolling directly into LdM, I was able to meet so many new people from all across the United States. I also appreciated the outreach programs they had for us, such as dinners and lunches, as well as field trips to see parts of the city and get acquainted with one another. It was really nice to have a community even though I was so far away from home.

What was your experience with navigating COVID-19 abroad?

Though many of Italy’s restrictions had been lifted, there were still rules in place to keep citizens and visitors safe. We wore KN95 masks to class and inside of any school building, which were provided by the school. We also wore masks when on public transportation, which made me feel safer.

How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?

I took Luxury Brand Management abroad, which is not currently offered at NC State. The class was very long which was different from what I was used to, but it allowed us to get as much information as we could in the short 4 weeks. We took field trips to high-end stores such as Gucci, Prada, Armani, and more (which were all right next to the building we were in!). We also visited the Ferragamo museum as a class, which helped us learn a lot more about the strategies used by these brands as we were able to see them first hand.

Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?

I would let other black students know that they should embrace themselves and their skin. In places where you are the minority, its easy to be caught up in the self awareness of your skin tone. I would recommend reaching out to those support systems and other POC that relate to the same experience. You are not alone, and you should value the skin that you’re in.

What advice do you have to future study abroad students?

Put yourself out there and make friends while over there, I was so lucky that my roommates were so awesome and fun to hang out with and travel with! This is honestly a once in a lifetime opportunity so travel as much as you can while abroad, it is way cheaper to move around once you’re over there. Embrace the culture and the people around you and soak it all in!

Would you do it again?

1000% yes!!