Thank you for your interest in the 2024 International Geography Championships! We’re excited to bring together the top geography students from around the world and hope this page and the rest of the site can help you learn more about how IGC works and how you can take part. Here are some FAQs that you might be interested in. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions, though please note that more information on IGC 2024 will be posted to this site on a rolling basis in the months leading up to the event.
What’s new for 2024
Q: When will registration for the 2024 IGC open? What will the registration deadline be?
A: We expect that registration for the 2024 International Geography Championships will open in late November 2023. Registration will run through June 23, 2024.
Q: What do you expect the cost will be?
A: Approximately $2000 for the program itself for each competing student. There will be a family program charge of approximately $200 which will cover administrative costs of being able to enter the host school, attend ceremonies, take part in multiple choice exams, and select other events. The day trip to Budapest will likely cost about an additional $195 for each participant (whether competing student, family member or chaperone). We expect the post-IGC tour from Vienna to Berlin will cost anywhere from $1700 to $2200 per person, depending on exactly what is included (e.g. how many meals, exactly which sightseeing opportunities, etc.) The exact costs for all Summer 2024 IAC programs and tours will be available once registration opens.
Q: Will proof of completed vaccination against Covid-19 be required to attend?
A: No, beginning in 2024, Covid-19 vaccination is not required to attend IAC summer events.
Q: Which age divisions will be offered at the 2024 IGC? How old must students be to compete?
A: Beginning with the 2024 IGC, we will offer four age divisions: High School (students who finish grade 9-12 in Spring 2024), Middle School (those finishing 7th or 8th grade in Spring 2024), Intermediate (those finishing 5th or 6th grade in Spring 2024), and Elementary School (those finishing 3rd or 4th grade in Spring 2024). Students must have finished 3rd grade in order to be able to compete, or the international equivalent thereof. If you are uncertain as to if that applies to you, please contact email@example.com to obtain a ruling. Those who qualify but who are not old enough may defer their qualification to the next IGC for which they are eligible.
Note that if a student qualified in a younger division between September 2022 and August 2023 compared to what division they are competing in during the 2023-2024 academic year then they do NOT need to requalify for IGC in the 2023-2024 academic year, but they MUST compete only in the age division that they are eligible for. Thus a student who competed in 8th grade in North America in 2022-2023, and who is in 9th grade in 2023-2024 must compete in the High School division at IGC.
Q: What day must students arrive in Vienna? What day must students depart Vienna?
A: Students (and family members) who are participating in the optional pre-trip to Budapest must arrive in Vienna on July 12. Students who are otherwise competing in IGC must arrive on July 13. The mandatory Opening Ceremonies will take place at 10am on July 14; arriving in Vienna that morning is not permitted unless you are coming from within a 2.5 hour driving radius per Google Maps. All participating students who are not coming with family members must depart Vienna on July 21. Because of the pre-trip and post-trip plans, IAC staff will not be able to assist with arrivals prior to July 12, nor with students departing after July 21.
Who can compete
Q: How do I qualify for the International Geography Championships?
A: Qualification criteria are described here.
Q: Do students need to come with a parent? What about students who are 18 years old by the time IGC starts?
A: Students competing in the High School Division are welcome to come without a parent or guardian. Students competing in the Middle School, Intermediate, or Elementary School Divisions must come with a parent or other family member. Middle School or Intermediate Division students may come with a friend’s parent if both families provide written permission of such an agreement. This arrangement is not permitted for Elementary School Division students. Students who are of legal age (i.e. those who are 18 as of July 12, 2024) who finished 12th grade in Spring 2024 may come and compete, but IGC staff will not be responsible for them after hours, and they are not permitted to stay in hotels or accommodations where other IGC students are staying.
Q: Is there a maximum number of students who can represent a country or compete?
A: Unlike various other competitions, we don’t limit the number of students who can attend per country. There is no field cap on the number of students who can compete.
Q: Is there a maximum age to attend IGC? I qualified for IGC while in high school, but in the 2024-2025 academic year I will be enrolled at a college or university. Can I still attend?
A: Unfortunately, no. There will not be an opportunity for anyone who graduated high school prior to 2024 to compete, with the exception of students whose academic calendars correspond to the Jan-Dec. year (e.g. students in certain Southern Hemisphere countries), and who graduated at the end of the 2023 academic year. These students may compete even if they have started university in early 2024.
Q: Do I have to attend with my school academic team or quiz bowl team?
A: No, you don’t, and a lot of students will be coming on their own, too. And you won’t feel alone for long, as you will make friends from all around the world, who share the same passion for geography!
Q: Do I need to compete in certain events? Can I/my school team come just for the International Geography Bowl?
A: All team competitions are mandatory as are the Battery Exam, the International Geography Bee World Championships, the Written Exam, and select other events. Aside from this, all student participants participate in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and the daily Medals Ceremonies.
Note that while you are welcome to come with other players from your school (assuming you all have qualified), at IGC, you will be assigned (on the basis of your country/state affiliation, Battery Exam results, age division, and other criteria) to a 2-3 student team. This may or may not be with other school team members, but in any case, please do not come expecting that you will definitely be competing together with your school teammates. It is not permitted to come just for the Geography Bowl (or any other specific event, for that matter).
Q. What if my school or university starts again before the end of IGC? Or if I have some other pressing event that precludes me from being at IGC during the entire time?
A. While only a few events are mandatory, you cannot specifically just come for a portion of IGC unless you gain special dispensation from International Academic Competitions due to school attendance requirements or some comparable family event / religious holiday / other suitable reason. Please note that while we will try and be flexible to the extent possible, we are not able to grant partial discounts, and we cannot guarantee partial stays until we have reviewed your situation and seen if it is feasible for a student to attend. If you are interested in a partial stay at IGC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your situation.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: Once you have qualified, you can register here. Once you have registered, we’ll send you instructions and an invoice for how to submit payment.
Q: Can IGC staff meet my child / our family at the airport or train station?
A: IGC staff can provide airport or train station pickups (at Vienna Hauptbahnhof or Flughafen Vienna Schwechat respectively) for participating students in the High School Division who are coming to Vienna without an accompanying adult. There is no extra charge for these pickups, but IGC will only provide these for students who are officially traveling as unaccompanied minors to Vienna. Thus even if a student is staying under IAC staff auspices and not with their parent in an outside hotel, IGC will not provide pickups unless these students are traveling without parental or other adult supervision.
Q: Where will participants stay?
A: Students who are staying with their families may stay wherever they like. A list of recommended hotels will be provided once the host school for IGC 2024 has been determined, but it will not be required to stay at any one hotel. High School Division students whose families are attending may choose to stay either with them or under IGC staff supervision at an official hotel and/or hostel. These official accommodations for High School Division students will be posted in November 2024 in advance of registration opening. There may be a cost difference if two or more accommodation options are provided.
Q: Can parents, family members, family friends, teachers, and academic team coaches attend?
A: Yes, all of these people are welcome; we will even have certain separate events for them. They must, however, register as official spectators through the Parents and Family Program. Further information for spectators is available here.
Q: What language are the International Geography Championships held in?
A: IGC’s official language is English. If English is not your mother tongue, we can provide you with a bilingual dictionary that you can use for all the non-buzzer-based events.
Q: Can International Academic Competitions provide us with a visa letter to attend?
A: Yes, International Academic Competitions has provided these many times. A list of countries that have visa-free travel to Austria is provided here. If this does not include your country of citizenship, you will need a visa, and you are strongly advised to begin the process of obtaining one (for which you will need a letter from us) as soon as possible. Please contact email@example.com if you need a visa letter to attend IGC 2024.
Q: Which country or US state can I represent?
At IGC, each student will have a specific affiliation (i.e. country or US State). You are eligible to compete for a country or US State if any of these methods apply to you:
1) you have citizenship of that country (or for India, are an Overseas Citizen of India) as of July 1, 2024
2) you were born in a particular country or US state
3) the country or state for which you were a permanent resident for the majority of the 2023-2024 academic year (August 2023-June 2024)
4) the country or state for which you are a permanent resident on July 1, 2024
5) the country or state in which you were enrolled in school for the majority of the 2023-2024 academic year (August 2023-June 2024)
6) the country or state in which you most recently attended school as of July 1, 2024
You can only select one affiliation. This can be adjusted later if needed until July 1, 2024.
Students from Hong Kong and Macau or with passports from those locations may play either for them or for the People’s Republic of China. Students from North Korea will play on a unified Korea team. Students are not permitted to represent Belarus or Russia; these students will compete as independent students. Students from subnational territories should contact International Geography Championships staff for a ruling on representation eligibility.
Q: How many medals will be awarded?
A: Numerous events will be held, but only one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal will be distributed per event, per division (though for team events, all team members will receive medals).
Q: What are the buzzer-based quiz events?
A: These are the events which are played with a buzzer system. These are sometimes called quiz bowl events, though note that they are all individual, not team-based, except for the International Geography Bowl.
Q: What’s the difference between the Bee and the Bowl?
A: Real simple here – the Bee is for individual students; the Bowl is for teams.
Q: How are teams formed?
At IGC, citizens and residents of the USA will represent their state, while citizens and residents of the rest of the world will represent their country. The preliminary rounds of the International Geography Bee World Championships will be used to determine the composition of National and State teams for the team events at IGC. Normally, the top three students from a country or state will form the A Team for that country of state, the next top three scoring students will form Team B and so on per age group. However, some teams may consist of just two students due to the need for rounding, while solo students will be paired up either with a higher age division within one’s country or state or with students from a different country or state. Solo teams will not be permitted.
Q: Is there going to be an Individual Champion at the International Geography Championships?
A: For each division, there will be an individual champion. For the Elementary School, Intermediate, and Middle School Divisions, this is the student with the combined highest position in the Battery Exam, the International Geography Bee World Championships, and the Written Exam. For the High School Division, this is the student with the combined highest position in the Battery Exam, GIS Competition, and the Written Exam). There will also be a champion country or state based on the highest position in the medals count (this is for all divisions combined).
If there are ties for the Overall Championship, ties will be broken on the rank points principle through a final tiebreaker. This would consist of 5 Geography Bee buzzer questions, 1 short answer prompt (6 sentences maximum), and 5 multiple choice questions, with all parts having equal weight.
If, for example, 2 students each score the same on the multiple choice, this tie will only be broken if needed (through additional multiple choice questions as necessary) to determine the Overall Championships positions (i.e. if two students tie on multiple choice, but then one other students wins both the other parts, then the tie isn’t broken).
If you have any other questions, just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org