Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Organized Crime: Sociology & the History of the Italian Mafia
Florence, Italy

Winter 2020: January 2-22, 2020*

Photo by Ramon Guerrero
Summer 2016

Click here for the program flyer.


The John Jay College-Lorenzo de’ Medici Organized Crime: Sociology & the History of the Italian Mafia program will take place in Florence, Italy, and is open to all majors. The purpose of this study abroad program is to give students an accurate and in-depth understanding of the Italian (Sicilian) mafia.  Most tend to look at the mafia through stereotypes, but few go beyond the cinematic portrayals to learn the truth.  Students will engage in analytics through sociological aspects, and will learn how “mafia” is applied to a variety of criminal organizations around the world.

By the end of the program, students should be able to distinguish between stereotype and reality, have an understanding of the history of the mafia, show awareness of the role of the mafia, understand what makes the mafia flourish in Italy, etc. Lectures will be based on the why philosophy.

Among the highlights, the program will offer various field activities that will be connected to the curriculum.

Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.


Information sessions will be held from 1:40pm-2:55pm (community hour), in New Building, room 1.81.

  • September 18
  • October 10
  • October 24



Organized Crime: Sociology and the History of the Italian Mafia (3-credits): This course examines organize crime in Italy from a historical, social and cultural perspective, tracing its growth from the nineteenth century to the present. In this 3-week session, students will analyze sociological aspects of the mafia including language, message systems, the “code of silence” the role of violence, etc. Although the chief focus is on the Sicilian mafia, other organizations will be explored, including the mafia in the United States, and organizations in other Italian regions.

LdM offers a wide variety of courses open to CUNY students. Search other courses here.

Click here for course syllabus and here for class schedule

  1. Minimum 2.8 GPA required
  2. Good judicial standing
  3. 30 credits completed at time of program start date


  • Housing: Students will be housed in fully-furnished apartments, within walking distance of the LdM main building and classrooms. Most apartments will have a washer, but it is quite uncommon to find a dryer. Clothes are air-dried on drying racks, or outside on terraces. All apartments have a functioning kitchen and wireless internet. Apartments house from 2-8 students, and all rooms available are double-occupancy. Apartments are non-smoking. More information can be found here.
  • Refund Policy:  Payment of the program deposit indicates the student understands and agrees to the Office of International Studies & Program’s payment and refund policies.  Students who withdraw from a John Jay College program after confirming participation, but before the program begins, will lose the non-refundable deposit and any unrecoverable costs. Refunds for the JJC-LdM program fees, follow the LdM schedule and policies. Click here for more information regarding JJC-LdM withdrawals and refund policies. LdM tuition and housing cancellation refunds must be requested in writing. If requests are not in writing, they will not be processed. 

    Photo by: Maria Coretto
    Summer 2015

  • Housing Cancellation Policy: Be sure to review the LdM policy regarding Housing, as the policy specifies amount of days and the payment responsibilities of the student. Click here for more information regarding the JJC-LdM Program Housing Cancellation Policy for Short-Term Programs (Summer & January Intersession). LdM tuition and housing cancellation refunds must be requested in writing. If requests are not in writing, they will not be processed. 
  • The Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) has the right to modify or cancel the program, including  changes to the program dates, costs, scheduled visits, program itinerary, etc., as dictated by economic and/or political situations, etc.
  • Fluctuating exchange rates and other fees may lead to program cost changes.
  • Program cost is based on a minimum number of participants for the program.
  • Students who wish to arrive earlier or depart later than the program dates are responsible for any, and all, additional costs including, but not limited to, accommodations, meals, etc. until the program start date and after the end date.
  • Since the course will be taught by a foreign, non-CUNY , faculty member, the credits earned will be posted as transfer credit on the student’s transcript.
  • Students are responsible for the purchase of their airfare, and for their itinerary. Due to possible changes in program dates/itinerary information, students are not to purchase airfare until prompted by OISP.                                                     
  • Students are encouraged to apply early, due to limited space.
  • Attendance at on-site orientation is mandatory.
  • Exam dates can NOT be changed for any reason. Personal schedules must be organized accordingly.
  • Become familiar with the LdM Academic Policy and Rules of ConductThere are no exceptions to these policies.
  • Information is tentative and subject to change, including **program cost(s), itinerary, etc.
  • Two excursions are foreseen, at no additional cost: ​
  1. Via dei Georgofili (adjacent to the Uffizi), to view damages left by the mafia bombing of 1993, and a commemorative plaque and olive tree. The street name stems from the name of an institute for agricultural history, also damaged.
  2. The Florence branch of a national agency, the Anti-Mafia Investigation Office or “DIA” (Direzione Investigative Antimafia)



Applications are available from the Office of International Studies & Programs (Haaren Hall, Suite 530). Applications can also be found here.

Application Deadline: OCTOBER 28, 2019However, qualified applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis until places are filled. Thus, due to limited places, students are encouraged to apply early.

Please note: An application fee of $50.00 is due at the time of application. Money orders, personal checks and cash are accepted. Applications will not be accepted if incomplete. More information can be found here.

All non-CUNY students will need to pay an additional $65.00 at time of application due to a non-degree application fee. 



**Subject to change. Includes tuition, double occupancy accommodations, international health insurance, and various LdM amenities. Does not include housing deposit, airfare, meals, textbooks, personal expenses, personal excursions, etc.

John Jay College Tuition and Fees
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

  • $300.00 Housing Deposit (paid directly to LdM, and reimbursed after the program if no damages are made to the apartment). Payment deadline is December 1.
  • Course Textbooks (approx. $15 each; purchased on-site)
  • Declaration of Presence (if applicable); this fee must be paid if the student is a non-EU citizen and flies into the Schengen area, Ireland or England before landing in Italy. This declaration of presence must also be made if the student does not get a stamp in his/her passport when arriving to Italy directly. If flying to Italy directly, be sure to ask for a stamp if one is not provided (that is, s/he did not touch down in any other country before landing in Italy). 
  • Transportation from airport to program site
  • Meals (approx. $400-$600); please note there is an optional meal plan available. Upon arrival, you may purchase 11 meals for 65 euro (10 meals + 1 free meal. There is an LdM café where meals (breakfast and lunch only) can be purchased.



Students should make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office, at their home College, to discuss the applicability of their financial aid to this program. 

Inquire at the Office of International Studies & Programs regarding scholarship information. If you are a JJC student, you can apply for the John Jay Study Abroad Scholarships (JJSAS) and the Student Travel Fund, among other JJC-sponsored scholarships. For more on scholarship opportunities click here. U.S.-wide scholarship opportunites can be found here.

JJC students can contact Michael Scaduto for more information regarding the JJSAS, and general scholarship opportunities, at 212-237-8872 or email at mscaduto@jjay.cuny.edu.


Ken Yanes, Dep. Director
212-484-1339, kyanes@jjay.cuny.edu

Daniel Braslavsky, Study Abroad Coordinator
212-887-6105, dbraslavsky@jjay.cuny.edu


Office Location & Mailing Address:
Office of International Studies & Programs
John Jay College, CUNY
524 West 59th Street
Haaren Hall, Suite 530
New York, NY 10019 USA