Below are some frequently asked questions (and answers) to questions regarding the 2018 International Geography Bee World Championships. Further FAQs will be added here as the Olympiad approaches. If you have further questions that you do not see listed here, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Do I have to stay at the official youth hostel?
A: Yes. The only exception to this is anyone who actually lives or attends school in Berlin itself. Students are otherwise not permitted to stay with their parents at alternative accommodations, even if they pay the registration fee in full.
Q: Do students need to bring bedding?
A: No. Blankets, sheets, pillows, and bedcovers are included in the price.
Q: Can students leave the youth hostel at night with supervision from Olympiad staff?
A: This is unlikely, and would only be allowed in brief cases before 10:45pm (e.g. to get something needed from a nearby grocery store or kiosk) in the case of being supervised by two staff members.
Q: Can students leave the youth hostel with supervision from their parents, other family members, or a coach?
A: Yes, but they must return by 10:45. If students are going out with anyone other than their parents, written permission from the students’ parents or legal guardians is required in advance.
Q: Can students leave the youth hostel on their own?
A: No. Even if participants are 18 or older at the time of the IGB World Championships, it is not permitted to explore Berlin on your own.
Q: Is there a lights-out policy?
A: Lights out is at 11pm. JV and Varsity Division students who wish to study for another hour may do so in the youth hostel lobby.
Q: If I am competing in the International Geography Bee and the International History Olympiad, do I switch youth hostels, and if so, when?
A: Yes, in this case, you would move from the IGB hostel to the Olympiad hostel (Youth Hostel Berlin-Wannsee) on July 15, which is much closer to the JFK School, where the majority of the Olympiad competitions will take place.
Q: Can I request a roommate or roommates?
A: Yes, you may do this (provided they are the same gender), but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to honor this.
Q: Are all competitions mandatory?
A: Yes. For IGB students, all competitions are mandatory. The movie night and watching the FIFA World Cup Finals are optional – all other program components are mandatory.
Q: Can I specify who my teammates will be?
A: No, though if you and your country or state is represented by only 1-3 other students in your age division, you can presume you will be on the same team together.
Q: Where can I find resources with which to prepare?
A: The best preparation resources are the past questions from IGB Regional Championships which can be found through the Resources links on the IGB website. For the International Geography Exam, please also see all the past National Qualifying Exams on the website of the US Geography Olympiad listed here as well as the multiple choice exams and the quiz bowl questions on the page here. The International Geography Exam will have some visual questions and some entirely text-based questions. For the Historical Geography Bee, please see this page here on the Olympiad website as well. The Scramble will be on a very specific topic announced just a week in advance, so preparation before then is not possible. Resources for the Geography Crisis Simulation will be provided once the topic and students’ roles have been determined.
Q: When and where will the next IGB World Championships be held after July 2018 in Berlin?
A: July 2020. The “where” is not yet certain, and probably will not be until after the IGB World Championships.