Parents and other family members are welcome to attend the 2018 International Geography Bee World Championships. The following guidelines apply to everyone attending the IGB World Championships as a spectator:
1. All parents and family members (as well as family friends) are welcome to attend, but all those who attend must officially register, pay the family member registration fee, and stay at one of the official IGB hotels. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to attend any of the competitions or sightseeing events. This will also give family members a chance to fully experience Berlin as well.
1A. Coaches are welcome as well. See below for pricing. Note that, as is the case with family members and friends, coaches must stay in an official IGB hotel.
2. The registration fee includes lodging at the hotel, but not meals (except possibly breakfast) or drinks. It also includes the ability to participate in the following events in the Family Division (we will have medals for these, but these will not count towards the official medals table for the students). See the Competitions Page here for event descriptions.
-International Geography Exam
-Treasure Hunt (for this, as well as Geographeud and the Team Quiz, families can compete together on teams of up to 5, or you can pair up, or we can assign teams. No team would include the competing students, though, as they’ll be on their own official teams)
Note that none of these events are required – if parents and family members don’t wish to compete at all, that’s completely fine.
3. Parents and family members are welcome to take part in all sightseeing opportunities, as well as all of the other non-competitive events and activities listed here. Note that it is not required for parents and family members to be taking part in IGB-sponsored activities at all times. If parents and family members wish to visit other sites on their own at any point, that’s fine. The registration fees for the sightseeing opportunities are included in the registration fees for parents and family members, but only at the times listed when we will be visiting them.
4. In addition to the above, we are also organizing the following extra events for parents and family members. Note that some of these events are also offered after the IGB World Championships have ended for those staying on for the International History Olympiad:
-Day 1, July 12 – Eastside Gallery Visit
On Day 1, from 10am to 12pm, the competing students will take the International Geography Exam. This is open to all parents and family members who wish to take it as well. For those who don’t wish to take it, you can take this time to visit the nearby East Side Gallery (which competing students will have a chance to visit on the afternoon of Day 3). The East Side Gallery is perhaps the world’s longest public outdoor art gallery, stretching for over a kilometer, and composed of remaining portions of the Berlin Wall that have been painted as murals. The gallery is a 15 minute walk from the youth hostel, so you’ll certainly be back in time for lunch and the subsequent afternoon Treasure Hunt briefing.
-Day 2, July 13 – Spreewald Bike Tour (full day)
On Day 2, the students will be taking part all day in the Geography Crisis Simulation, which is not open to spectators. Spectators are free to explore Berlin on their own or participate in the other options listed below for the morning and afternoon. A different option though, is to take part in a bike tour into Brandenburg, the largely rural German state that surrounds Berlin. In the morning, we’ll take the train to Königs Wusterhausen, a suburb of Berlin home to a small 18th century castle, used extensively by King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia. After touring the castle and having an early lunch, we’ll continue on by train to the Spreewald, a forested region bisected by many canals. We’ll go on a 15-20km bike ride here, and have a chance to explore the native Sorbian (a West Slavic people) culture, sample the region’s famous pickles, and go punting on flat-bottomed boats on the canals. Limit 20 people, and of course, you need to be comfortable riding a bike for a total of 20-30km throughout the day. We’ll go rain or shine (unless the forecast calls for downpours), so if you’re planning on joining us, please be sure to pack appropriate clothing.
-Day 2, July 13 – Shopping Trip (morning)
One option on the morning of Day 2 allows for parents and family members to go on a shopping excursion, stopping at KaDeWe, Berlin’s (and one of the world’s) most famous department stores, followed by the boutiques of Mitte near Hackescher Markt. We’ll follow with an official Olympiad car, so that you can drop off your purchases for safekeeping before heading off to whichever activity that afternoon you choose. We will repeat this tour later during the International History Olympiad for those staying on for that who would prefer to do this later.
-Day 2, July 13 – Natural History Museum Visit (morning)
A second option on the morning of Day 2 is to visit the Natural History Museum. The dinosaur exhibits in particular are a hit with children (and adults!) including a well-preserved T. Rex and the largest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world.
-Day 2, July 13 – Playground Safari (afternoon)
For families with children aged 11 and younger, we are offering a unique excursion this afternoon – a playground safari! Berlin has some of the most adventurous playgrounds in the world, and we’ll have a chance this afternoon to visit a few of the most interesting ones. The route will split after the first hour or two, and allow somewhat older children a chance to visit a “climbing forest” playground with a zipline course and a chance for younger children to visit a farm for kids. Both routes will stop off for ice cream too!
-Day 2, July 13 – DDR (East Germany) Museum Visit (afternoon)
The former East Germany dissolved soon after the Berlin Wall came down nearly 30 years ago, but for decades after World War II, roughly a third of Germany’s territory and a quarter of its population lived behind the Iron Curtain. The DDR (East Germany) Museum, with many hands-on exhibits, suitable for children, shows how people lived in the DDR (aka, the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, aka, the German Democratic Republic, aka East Germany). Families staying on for the Olympiad will have a chance to visit this museum later on if they prefer as well.
-Day 3, July 14 – German Technology Museum (morning)
The morning of Day 3 features our guest speaker panel on the refugee crisis, which all spectators are welcome to attend. For those (particularly with younger children) who are looking for a sightseeing option, we’ll also be taking a group to the German Technology Museum. The Museum has loads to see of interest to young and old alike, including an impressive collection of planes, trains, and other transportation exhibits. Families staying on for the Olympiad will have a chance to visit this museum later on if they prefer as well.
-Day 3, July 14 – Berlin Zoo Visit (afternoon)
Berlin’s world-famous zoo is the most-visited and one of the oldest in Europe. Spectators are certainly welcome to watch the International Geography Showdown this afternoon, but for those looking to sightsee, we’ll be taking a group to the zoo. Families staying on for the Olympiad will have a chance to visit the zoo later on if they prefer as well.
-Day 4, July 15 – Botanical Garden Visit (only for spectators of students competing in Intl. History Olympiad)
July 15 is Day 4 of IGB Worlds, and Day 1 of the Intl. History Olympiad. For spectators who are attending the Olympiad Opening Ceremonies at the JFK School this morning, you can also take the 400 question Olympiad Battery multiple choice exam in the afternoon. Or, for those who will be at the JFK School in the morning who would rather spend their time outside in the afternoon, we’ll be organizing a trip to the nearby Berlin Botanical Garden. We’ll leave at 1pm, arrive at 1:30, and stay until 3pm, which will allow enough time to get back for the Historical Geography Bee or 3:30pm (different leaders will leave at different times; the latter time will allow you to get back in time for the FIFA World Cup Finals) though if you wish to stay longer, you’re more than welcome to do so.
-Day 4, July 15 – Berlin Nighttime Tour
Berlin’s nightlife is world-famous and has been for over 100 years. While you’re on your own if you want to brave the bouncers at the Berghain, we’ll be happy to show you a few unique nightspots in and around the area where Christopher Isherwood lived when writing Goodbye to Berlin, which became the basis for the musical Cabaret. No children, please.
Note that this tour will be given again two days later. We will try and accommodate as many people as possible, but it is likely that spectators coming for both the IGB World Championships and the International History Olympiad will only be able to attend on one night or the other.
-Day 5, July 16 – Schlachtensee Boating, Swimming, & Biergarten Outing
The JFK School (where we’ll be holding the Historical Geography Bee finals later this evening) is not far from the Schlachtensee, a lake which features swimming and boating opportunities and a beautiful biergarten and restaurant. On the afternoon of July 16, weather permitting, we’ll organize a trip here to soak in the relaxing atmosphere. The path around the lake is 5km for those who wish to walk or jog. This runs concurrently with the Hextathlon Olympiad event (open to parents and family members), so those competing in that would not be able to come. Note also, that parents and family members also have the option this afternoon to visit the German Spy Museum and the DDR (East Germany) Museum (this is one option; those selecting it will visit both museums) or the Jewish Museum and the German Museum (a second option; again, those selecting it will visit these two museums).
Children not competing in the IGB World Championships (guidelines updated on Oct. 21, 2017)
Children of all ages may come to the IGB World Championships together with their parents (or grandparents, guardians, etc.). However, please be mindful of the following guidelines:
1. Children under two years of age are welcome to come free of charge, with the exception of any fees charged by the hotel for a baby or infant in the room and any public transit pass charges for having a stroller/pram. Please note that such children are not able to watch competitions though, lest they disturb the competitors at an inopportune moment. We highly recommend you bring a stroller / pram in such cases, as a good amount of walking will be unavoidable over the course of the week.
2. Children from 2-6 years of age, while allowed at the IGB World Championships, are not particularly encouraged to attend, as there are very few events planned which are appropriate for children in this age group, nor do we provide child care so that parents can take part in the other events on their own. Children in this age range staying at the hotel cost 2/3 of the prices listed below for what an additional adult would cost (meaning, a room with one child aged 2-6 and one adult costs $1583). They are welcome to participate in whatever portions of the program their parents and guardians deem appropriate, but special allowances will not otherwise be made to accommodate them.
3. Children aged 7 and above are welcome at the IGB World Championships. They cost the same amount as an adult, as they can take part in the spectator IGB program in full. Note that it is up to parents and guardians to judge if a child is likely to enjoy the week, given the program on offer (translation: some 7-9 year olds in particular may find the official program overall to be a bit demanding). Note that children must be in the company of their parents or guardians at all times.
4. Children 17 and younger are not welcome if not accompanied by their parents or guardians, even if they are teenagers.
5. Siblings aged 18-26 who are not competing in the IGB World Championships may stay either at an official IGB hotel or at the youth hostel. Siblings not competing aged 17 and younger must stay with their parents. Even if they are 18 or older, if they stay at the youth hostel, they are required to comply with IGB rules for competing students at all times that they are at the youth hostel or participating in IGB group activities. However, our staff is not responsible for supervising siblings 18 and older, as they are legally adults. The cost is the same for these siblings regardless of whether they stay at the hotel or the youth hostel.
6. Finally, do note that it is permitted for families (including non-competing siblings age 18 and older) at any times to set out on their own and explore Berlin outside of our group – no activity for spectators is mandatory. However, no discounts will be provided for anyone (child or adult) who only participates in a portion of the program.
Costs (see above paragraph for costs for non-competing children)
The costs for parents and family members will be officially determined by the time that IGB World Championships registration opens in the fall of 2017, but will be roughly the following (includes 6 nights lodging at a 3.5 star hotel in the center of Berlin, airport pickup/dropoff, public transit pass, all sightseeing with leaders, above-listed competitions, other IGB events (e.g. Movie Night, Guest Speaker, etc.), and the chance to watch all competitions open to spectators)
1 person (in one room) – $1250 USD
2 people (in one room) – $1750 USD
3 people (in one room) – $2250 USD
4 people (in one room) – $3050 USD
5 people (in two rooms) – $3950 USD
6 people (in two rooms) – $4450 USD
1. The final rate will depend on the exact particulars of the lodging arrangements, including whether or not breakfast is included (if it is, these prices will likely rise by $50 USD; if not, they will likely fall by $50 USD).
2. These prices are also depending on availability. While the IGB World Championships will not sell out, per se, we will have a limited number of rooms for our group at the official hotel, and once those have sold out, additional rooms may be somewhat more expensive to cover higher rates. Note that if you are coming alone, and would like to request a roommate to save on costs, you can request that, and we can pair you up as long as we can find someone also requesting a roommate. We cannot guarantee this though.
3. Extra nights will be available on either end of the stay as follows:
For staying over on night of July 17. Includes chance to take part in museum visits on the late afternoon of July 17.
1 person (in one room) – $130 USD
2 people (in one room) – $150 USD
3 people (in one room) – $170 USD
4 people (in one room) – $230 USD
5 people (in two rooms) – $300 USD
6 people (in two rooms) – $320 USD
For staying on until July 19. Includes lodging on nights of July 17 and 18, chance to take part in museum visits on the late afternoon of July 17, and visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and Memorial on July 18. Parents may also participate in the Loretta am Wannsee Biergarten outing that evening as described here.
1 person (in one room) – $295 USD
2 people (in one room) – $375 USD
3 people (in one room) – $465 USD
4 people (in one room) – $605 USD
5 people (in two rooms) – $755 USD
6 people (in two rooms) – $835 USD
4. If you are also coming for the International History Olympiad, you would stay at the IGB Hotel through the night of July 14, and then switch to the Olympiad Hotel for the night of the 15th and onwards. It is not possible to stay at the same hotel throughout, as after July 15, the focus will shift away from the IGB hotel for the rest of the time. Those staying for IGB only, though, can stay through the end of their stay (including optional stay over for July 18, departing on July 19).
5. Combined pricing for both IGB and the Olympiad will be approximately as follows (for 11 nights, from July 11 through July 22, not including the night of July 22):
1 person (in one room) – $1950 USD
2 people (in one room) – $2850 USD
3 people (in one room) – $3750 USD
4 people (in one room through July 15, thereafter in 2 rooms) – $5150 USD
5 people (in two rooms) – $6050 USD
6 people (in two rooms) – $6850 USD
These prices may also vary somewhat based on whether breakfast is included or not.
6. If you are staying on for an extra night on July 22, a room will be available for approximately $90-$140 USD (depending on how many people are in the room, and whether breakfast is included. $140 would be more likely if breakfast were included for 3 people. $90 would be if breakfast weren’t included for anyone, etc.)
Coaches are entitled to a discount of $200 USD per student brought from their school, maximum 7 (in which case they stay for free). If a second coach from a school comes, that coach can receive an additional 7 students. Limit 2 coaches per school. Coaches must be NHBB / IHBB / IGB coaches who have attended multiple tournaments before in the capacity as official coaches. If Coaches are also attending the International History Olympiad, they are entitled to a $300 USD discount per student competing in both competitions. In this case, the total maximum discount a coach can claim cannot exceed the combined spectator registration fee for both competitions.
International History Olympiad
Information on costs for parents and family members also coming for the International History Olympiad is available here.