Kreuzberg Walking Tour and Döner Kebab Tasting Tour
For early arrivals on July 11, we’ll embark at 3pm on a tour of Kreuzberg. Once a working class part of town, it became the heart of Berlin’s large Turkish community in the 1960’s-1980’s. Recently, it’s gentrified, but still maintains a large immigrant (and second-generation) population. On this tour, we’ll also sample some of Berlin’s famous Döner Kebabs, which are (in the supreme estimation of your directors) the finest in the world. We’ll explain the different variations on offer and give you some recommendations. We should be able to find an ice cream shop or two along the way.
Prenzlauer Berg Walking Tour
Prenzlauer Berg is one of Berlin’s trendiest neighborhoods, located in a former part of East Berlin. It has a very interesting social history which has been heavily influenced by its geography, as it was adjacent to West Berlin (and thus of course the Berlin Wall) during the Cold War. On the evening of Day 2, we’ll have a chance to explore Prenzlauer Berg, and weather permitting, we’ll play the preliminary rounds of the Scramble outside with battery-operated buzzers (!) in the Mauerpark (Mauer is the German word for wall) where the Berlin Wall once stood.
East Side Gallery Visit
The East Side Gallery is both one of the largest remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall which is still in place and one of the world’s largest public outdoor art galleries. Running for over a kilometer, the Gallery is located within a 15 minute walk of the IGB Youth Hostel. Students will have a chance to visit the Gallery during the International Geography Showdown on the afternoon of July 14, either while they are waiting for their turn to compete or once they have exited the tournament.
Palaces of Potsdam Tour
The Palaces of Potsdam Tour will take place during the International History Olympiad Opening Ceremonies on the morning of July 15. Students competing in the Olympiad will take part in the Opening Ceremonies and will then have a chance to take this same tour on Day 7 of the Olympiad. On this tour of Berlin’s most famous suburb, participants will have a chance to visit Sanssouci Palace, where Frederick the Great entertained Voltaire and many other luminaries as well as the nearby New Palace where Kaiser Wilhelm, among others, resided.
Mitte Walking Tour
Many of Berlin’s most significant sites (e.g. the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall remains) are located in the Central District of Mitte (literally “Middle” in German). This tour is described in detail on the Olympiad website, though IGB participants will take the exact same tour as well on July 16.
German Spy Museum / DDR (East Germany) Museum
Students not competing in the International History Olympiad have the option of visiting the German Spy Museum and the DDR (East Germany) Museum during the afternoon of July 16. Students competing in the Olympiad will have the chance to visit these museums later on during the Olympiad. Students staying over on the night of July 17 will also have the chance to visit the German Spy Museum on the afternoon of July 17 if they wish.
Jewish Museum / German Technology Museum
Students not competing in the International History Olympiad have the option of visiting the Jewish Museum and the German Technology Museum during the afternoon of July 16. Students competing in the Olympiad will have the chance to visit these museums later on during the Olympiad. Students staying over on the night of July 17 will also have the chance to visit the Technology Museum on the afternoon of July 17 if they wish.
Students staying over on the night of July 17 have the option of visiting the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery in German), one of Germany’s top art museums. Old master paintings from Raphael, Caravaggio, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and many others form the bulk of its renowned collection.
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and Memorial Museum
Students not competing in the International History Olympiad are still welcome to join the Olympiad students for the day trip to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and Memorial Museum on July 18. Further details are listed on the Olympiad website here.
Other IGB World Championships Events
The Opening Ceremonies of the 2018 International Geography Bee World Championships will be held on the morning of July 12 at the same location where students will then take the International Geography Exam. We’ll have a parade of students, some announcements about the week ahead, and then we’ll reveal the team assignments for the team events. The venue of the Opening Ceremonies will be determined in spring 2018 once the number of participants and spectators is clearer.
Geography Careers Panel
Now that you have all this geography knowledge, how can you put it to use in your future careers? While scores of jobs require a certain degree of geographic awareness, in this career panel, you’ll get a chance to hear from people whose careers are directly related to geography. Possible panelists include urban planners, tourism and transportation executives, diplomats, cartographers, environmental advocates, and more.
Guest Speaker Panel
On the morning of July 14, participants will hear from a variety of speakers with direct experience in one of the most notable geopolitical developments of the past few years: the ongoing refugee crisis. Germany (especially Berlin), has played a key role as a major destination for many people fleeing Syria in particular, but also other countries in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. In addition to getting a first-hand account of how the refugee crisis evolved, participants will consider the role that political, cultural, and physical geography have played in shaping refugee flows and routes.
Movie Night: Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis
On the evening of July 14, after the Team Quiz ends, we’ll show Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis, an hour-long silent movie that showcases life in Berlin in the 1920’s. This is an optional activity for any interested participants.
FIFA World Cup Finals
The final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup coincides with Day 4 of IGB Worlds on July 15. After the conclusion of the preliminary rounds of the Historical Geography Bee, students will have a chance to watch the second half of the match before the Geography Knockout competition later that evening. This, of course, is optional – otherwise, students will have the chance to study or hang out at the JFK School until the end of the match.
The Closing Ceremonies of the 2018 International Geography Bee World Championships will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 17. We’ll have awards for the world champions and top finishers, as well as the top country or state in the medals table. Once the Ceremonies conclude, students are free to leave, though they are also welcome to visit either the German Spy Museum, the Gemäldegalerie, or the German Technology Museum with IGB staff.