Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico

Barrios of the Mega Ciudad: JJC Urban Field School in Mexico City
Mexico City, Mexico

Summer 2017:  July 23-August 17, 2017*


Roll up your sleeves, and .... Write from the source! On-Site Field Research in one of  North America's most dynamic and complex urban areas. Founded as the seat of the Aztec Empire in 1325, Mexico City is, today, second only to New York, as the media, film, television, advertising, and financial services capital of the Americas. Surrounded by massive volcanos with evocative Nahau names, Mexico City’s beautiful tree lined streets, perfect late spring weather, hip cafes, cosmopolitan restaurants, and world famous museums and music venues have made it the New York Times’ #1 travel destination for 2016. It is also the capital of the largest, wealthiest, and most regionally diverse country in Latin America, giving students a chance to write ethnographies and first hand texts that draw on the rich cultural variation of local, national, and international Mexicanidad, and in the process, refine the valuable skills of observation, research, and interpretation.   

In addition, time is set aside to visit a few of the most important sites of the pre-Columbian world accompanied by knowledgeable guides. Trips will be made to the ancient city of Teotihuacan, which boasts the world’s largest pyramid and Xochimilco, the system of canals and garden nursery of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan-Mexico. We will also explore the heart of the colonial city, amongst its architectural and artistic splendor as it rubs shoulders with the uproarious cacophony of the surrounding twenty-first century megalopolis.

This program is designed for active enrichment. In class, students will explore methods and techniques, and out in the field students will involve themselves in the basics of cultural anthropology as it is experienced in the real world. And of course, students will not be able to avoid experiencing the tastes, sights, sounds, and sensations of one of the most surprising (and exciting!) places on earth. This is a unique opportunity -- and it's a real education.

Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.


The following information sessions will be held in the New Building, room 1.76, from 1:40-2:55 pm:

  • Tuesday, February 21
  • Monday, March 6
  • Tuesday, March 14



Special Topics: Mexico Mega-City (3 credits): This course will draw on and critically examine the Mexican passion for Anthropology and Ethnohistory in combination and comparison with contemporary and historical film, television, art, fiction, architecture, and journalism to provide a direct experience of the world of Mexico City past and present to provide students with a broader understanding of the nature, scope and history of megacities and their role in national polities, the global economy and the production of the present and the future.

Special Topics: Ethnographic Writing (3 credits): Students will develop the necessary skills for research in various disciplines, but will immerse students in the reality of being front-line ethnographic observers and interviewers. This fieldwork experience will bring to life information from secondary sources, and will create an environment where participants collection of data and analysis will put ethnographic writing into real and meaningful theoretical and political context.

Both of the above courses are required as part of the study-abroad program.

  1. 2.5 GPA​   
  2. ENG 101 or permission from professor                                                                                        


  • Housing: Students will stay in double-occupancy accommodations.
  • 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 should discuss applicability of financial aid with the Financial Aid office.
  • All CUNY students must meet with their study abroad advisor to be sure the proper e-Permit registration process is followed.
  • All non-CUNY students are encouraged to apply early, to be sure there is ample time to apply and register for classes at John Jay College. Please contact OISP for more information regarding the application process. Please note: Tuition rate per credit is different for non-CUNY students. More tuition 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: students will be refunded 50 percent of program fees 30 days prior to the program start date, and 25 percent of program fees 14 days prior to the program start date. After the start of the program, no refunds will be provided, and the student is responsible for all program fees. If the program fee is not paid in full, there will be a hold placed on her/his CUNYfirst account.
  • For faculty-led programs, tuition refunds will be granted following the College’s policies.  For more information, please visit:
  • College-based funders retain the right to recoup funds from the student account if the student does not follow rules of the CUNY Travel Waiver & Release Form, uses the funds for other purposes, or withdraws from the program. Students must understand that they are responsible for full payment of the amount owed to the department.
  • 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.
  • Students are responsible for purchasing their own 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.
  • Information is tentative, and subject to change, **program cost(s), syllabi, *dates, etc.


It is important to be aware of the health information provided by the US Center for Disease Control and
Prevention. All vaccines should be up to date, and it is important to check the vaccines and medicines list and
visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. Ask your
doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you
will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US. 
More information can be found on the Center for Disease Control website.


Please note that all travelers:

Should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel.

Routine vaccines

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

get_vaccinated hygiene

Please note that most travelers:

Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting.

Hepatitis A

CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Mexico, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

get_vaccinated eat_drink


You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Mexico. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

get_vaccinated eat_drink



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

Application Deadline: Monday, April 3, 2017However, 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 $40.00 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. 


Estimated Program Fee: $1,990.00**
**Subject to change. Includes double occupancy accommodations, some meals, international health insurance, excursions and transportation on-site associated with program. Does not include tuition, airfare, some meals, personal expenses & excursions, etc.           

Summer 2017 Costs

Please note: all non-CUNY students, please contact OISP for more information


John Jay College Tuition and Fees
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees


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


Inquire at the Office of International Studies & Programs for information. If you are a John Jay student, you can apply for the JJC Study-Abroad ScholarshipJJC Student Travel Fund, and the CUNY Chancellor’s Global Scholarship. For more on scholarship opportunities click here. U.S.-wide scholarship opportunities can be found here.

Contact Mr. Michael Scaduto, Associate Director of Financial Aid, for more information in regards to the JJC Study-Abroad Scholarship and general scholarship opportunities for John Jay students at 212-237-8872 or email at


Academic Inquiries:
Prof. Anthony Marcus, Chair & Professor
Dept. of Anthropology
Tel.: 646.557.4782
Office: 9.63.22 NB
Professor's Biography

Ken Yanes, Dep. Director

Emily Ahmetaj, Coordinator

Office Location:
524 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
Haaren Hall, Suite 530

Mailing Address:
524 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
Haaren Hall, Suite 530