Dear International History Olympiad Participants, 

On behalf of our staff, I would like to extend an early welcome to you to the inaugural International History Olympiad! I hope that you are all getting excited about meeting in Williamsburg next week. Nolwenn and I congratulate you for qualifying, and thank you for your support of our competitions. Please read this email carefully, so that everything is clear. We will then send additional emails as needed, until the start of the Olympiad. 

First, if you haven’t yet filled out the appropriate event selection forms, please do so asap! You can access the forms through Email 2 which has been posted online here.

  1. Help desk contact details

Starting July 7, for fastest response to any questions you may have relating to the Olympiad, please call +1 (202) 492-2420 or email Until then, you can reach us at and +1 202-951-1596.

  1. Shuttles

Please review carefully the information here, and let Nolwenn ( know if we need to make any changes. There are two different tabs at the bottom of the file, one for the arrivals, and one for the departures. We will send you more information regarding the shuttle (where to meet, whom to look for, etc.) closer to your arrival.

For shuttles to other airports, please contact

  1. ESTA (for students from outside the USA only)

You might need to fill out the ESTA to enter the US, if you don’t have a visa

You need to apply in advance for it here:

You will also need a printed copy of their return ticket to show the US customs officer

  1. What to bring

-We are staying at a College, not at a hotel, so please bring towels, toiletries, an alarm clock, a hairdryer if you need it, and other such items.

-There are laundry facilities on site, but we recommend bringing enough clothes for the whole stay. It will be hot, but if you are not from the USA and used to air conditioning, don’t forget to bring pants and long-sleeved shirts / pullovers / sweatshirts, as you might feel cold because of the AC.

-Bring some cash as well (we recommend $100-$200 in cash depending on if you want extra $ for small items / Busch Gardens. If you are coming on the post-Olympiad tour, you need to bring money to cover all your lunches and dinners except for two dinners (see itinerary for details), and we suggest bringing more money for souvenirs and snacks as well.

-If you are not from the USA, plan to bring an adapter so that you can use all your electronics. Remember that the USA runs on 110 volts with two thin metal prong plugs.

-You might want to bring some small souvenirs from your country to give to your new friends, though this is not required.

-Bring comfortable walking shoes – you can expect to do a good amount of walking (especially if you are doing the post-Olympiad tour)

-An alarm clock (if you don’t have one on your phone)

  1. Leaving Campus Rule

Unless chaperoned by Olympiad staff, students can leave only with a parent or family member, and students must be signed out at the help desk.

  1. Change in Affiliation

Please let Nolwenn know asap if you want to change your affiliation (i.e. the state/country you are playing for). Note that you can also play for the country or state you were born in, even if you don’t hold its citizenship. This must be provable on your passport or birth certificate.

  1. Events where spectators are allowed

Spectators are allowed at all of the quiz-bowl style events, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and at most other events, but not at any exam, written competition, or computer-based competition (i.e. Civilization or the ancestry.comcompetition). Spectators/parents are welcome to go to Busch Gardens or Colonial Williamsburg, but must purchase their own tickets for these.

  1. Dress code

Dress at all Olympiad events is casual, and it’s likely to be very hot, so plan accordingly! Shorts and t-shirts (or comparable attire) are fine at all times, including for the Opening and Closing ceremonies. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes for the visit to Busch Gardens as well.

  1. Study guides

If you are looking for good resources from which to study, we highly recommend the following links:

NHBB resources page:

  1. You gotta know – from NAQT:

That’s all for right now – a final logistics email will go out in a few days, including the following topics: where to meet, parking, wifi, health/medicines, release forms, and additional information on certain events. Certain students may be contacted on specific events as well, depending on what they have signed up for.



David and Nolwenn