From Italy to North Adams


Jason Misani's MCLA education included a semester abroad in Shanghai, China.

At first glance, it may seem a bit unusual that Jason Misani '13 would travel all the way from his home in Italy to attend college in the Berkshires. But Misani's roots also extend to western Massachusetts.

While many wondered at his logistical choice throughout his four years at MCLA, Misani - who grew up in Rivolta D'Adda, a quaint little town about 16 miles from Milano, Italy - was well familiar with North Adams. He visited the community many times as a youth, where his mother grew up on her family's farm.

When the time came to look into colleges, Misani was on a tight budget. The cost of Italian universities and private institutions in the United States seemed unreasonable, so he considered a number of Massachusetts' public institutions.

"I came to realize that city life and large schools were not what I was looking for, so I decided to give MCLA a tour and loved it ever since," he said.

At MCLA, Misani - who enjoys dual citizenship in both Italy and the U.S. - earned his bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in economics, and a concentration in international business management.

"I've always loved traveling and different cultures, customs, the arts and ways of life," he explained. "I also know that [my fluency in] Italian is a true, marketable talent. I do not need permission or a visa to work in Europe and the U.S.  I have households in both countries, and two licenses; a mixture of traits not many are so lucky to have."

At MCLA, Misani's high-impact activities included a semester abroad. He studied in Shanghai, China, which he found to be "an exhilarating learning experience."

Misani also enjoyed his experience as a business student at MCLA.

"I found it to be incredibly rewarding, with a significant amount of opportunities," he said. "I found most professors to be professional, incredibly helpful, and at times exceptional. Many MCLA professors have transmitted to me memorable knowledge and, most importantly, the means to expand it. Many MCLA professors also shaped my character and ambitions, and I sincerely thank them for it."

As a member of the MCLA alumni community, Misani feels ready to take on almost any challenge.

"I built confidence in my abilities and expanded my knowledge, allowing me to feel comfortable in my ability to move on to new experiences and be successful. This was a major accomplishment which seemed nearly impossible my first day of class," he said.

What's his advice to prospective students?

Misani urges them to understand the importance of studying abroad so they might experience other cultures. Opportunities to study abroad, he points out, are easily accessible at MCLA. He also recommends that students take on at least one responsibility each semester - such as through a club or an on-campus job - that supports the way the College functions.

"MCLA is a good school with abundant opportunities, and truly challenging courses," Misani continued. "The campus is located in a beautiful area; it has great faculty and staff, small classrooms, and is systematically improving and investing in its academia and infrastructure."