Greetings from International Academic Competitions!

We hope that you have been having an enjoyable summer, and are eagerly anticipating the upcoming competition season. IAC has been busy over the off season, and we are looking forward to our 10th anniversary year being our most exciting yet. Highlights will include the debut of the National Political Science Bee in the USA; our first ever tournaments in South Africa, Armenia, Puerto Rico, and other locations; greatly expanded outreach efforts in the USA, Canada, China, and the United Kingdom, and much more. For our championships in spring 2020, please note the following confirmed dates:

IAC US Varsity & JV National Championships – April 23-26, Arlington, VA (same location as last year; the new National Political Science Bee National Championships will be on Thursday evening)

IAC US Middle & Elementary School National Championships – June 12-15, Rosemont, IL (same location as last year)
IAC Asian Championships – May 29-31, 2020 in Seoul, Korea
IAC European Championships – June 5-7, 2020 in Basel, Switzerland
IAC Canadian Championships – TBD, but likely May 2, 2020

But most of all, we wanted to let you know about our biennial marquis events which are taking place in July 2020: the 4th International History Olympiad (July 19-26) and the 2nd International Geography Bee World Championships (July 12-19)! As you may have heard, both the Olympiad and IGB Worlds are being held in a spectacular venue: on board the Carnival Fascination during a week-long Caribbean cruise! Both cruises will depart from and return to San Juan, Puerto Rico and will visit St. Thomas, St. Martin, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and Barbados over a week. Both IGB Worlds and the Olympiad feature dozens of competitive and non-competitive events, sightseeing opportunities throughout the Caribbean, and a chance to get to make friends with the top young historians and geographers from around the world.

All the relevant information on both competitions is now online at and – please take the chance to learn more about how each week will work! In particular, we wanted to let you know that registration for both the Olympiad and IGB Worlds will open at 6pm New York City time (EDT) this Thursday evening, on August 22! This is much earlier than in past years, but we have a unique situation with the Carnival Fascination having a set number of cabins. We will not be the only group on board both weeks (in fact, the ship has about 2500 beds total, and is already approximately 50% sold for both sailings). Thus, there is a hard limit on the number of students, family members, friends, coaches, and IAC staff who are able to attend. We expect both weeks to fully sell out by early to mid-October, and as the ship nears capacity, the cruise fees will increase in price as well! Thus please register as soon as you know you will be able to attend!

Please also note the following:

-Do NOT make cruise reservations with Carnival directly for cabins on either week, as both the Olympiad / IGB Participation Fees AND the Carnival Cruise Fees need to be paid to IAC. (IAC will then in turn reserve and pay for your cabin(s) with Carnival).

-Participants for the IGB World Championships are required to arrive in San Juan by July 11, and participants for the Olympiad are required to arrive in San Juan by July 18 (unless you are also competing in IGB Worlds; doing both weeks is permitted).

-A full schedule of events for the International History Olympiad is located here with event descriptions available through the links here. For the IGB World Championships, the schedule is located here with event descriptions available through the links here

-Costs are located here for the Olympiad and here for IGB Worlds. Once activated, registration will be done here for the Olympiad and here for IGB Worlds.

-If you have not yet qualified for IGB Worlds, but wish to try to do so as soon as possible, the 2019-2020 IGB Qualifying Exams are already available, and they can be taken immediately (a score of 75 or higher is needed on any IGB Qualifying Exam version to qualify for IGB Worlds) with a teacher or community proctor (e.g. a town librarian, a local religious leader, or perhaps a Rotary or Lions Club member). This exam costs $20 in the USA, and is free of charge in other countries. Please see here for further details on how to apply for the exam.

-If you have any further questions after exploring the websites (including on confirming whether you (or your children or students) have qualified for the Olympiad or IGB Worlds), please contact International History Olympiad Director Mr. Emilio Ergueta at or International Geography Bee World Championships Director Mr. Suopeng Gao at

We hope that you and your students and children are as excited as we are, and we look forward to seeing many of you next summer for an unforgettable week (or two!) of history and geography fun and excitement in the Caribbean!

Best of luck at all your 2019-2020 competitions,

David and Nolwenn Madden

Co-Executive Directors, International Academic Competitions