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Academic WorldQuest


2017-2018 Program Information

2016-2017 Program Information

2014-2015 Program Information

What is it?
One of the greatest challenges facing our nation and our schools across the country is preparing our youth for the globally interconnected world of the 21st century. America’s ability to face the economic and security challenges of the 21st century and seize new opportunities is dependent on an educated and informed citizenry and workforce. Academic WorldQuest is a unique opportunity to expose our youth to the world outside our borders and prepare them for the challenges and the opportunities of the 21st Century.

Academic WorldQuest was invented by the World Affairs Council of Charlotte and is now widely played at the adult and high school levels around the country. It is a team competition testing competitors' knowledge of international affairs, geography, history, and culture. Participants come from high schools that work with the World Affairs Council network.

Why It Is Important
Preparing the next generation of American decision-makers and opinion leaders to thrive in tomorrow's world, where our national interests and policies are deeply intertwined with those of the greater global community, requires that we close the gap in students' knowledge about global affairs and restore American excellence in science and math. Research is showing troubling signs. American students are performing well below students in other developed nations in science and math and American students are also lacking in basic knowledge of world history, international geography and global issues. The mission of Academic WorldQuest is to help close this gap.

The Tennessee World Affairs Council on September 19-20, 2016, hosted former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, to share his insights on global literacy and the importance for Americans to be aware of global affairs and the role of World Affairs Councils in educating and inspiring the community to know the world. See interview 

Program Structure
During the academic year preceding the National Competition in the spring, approximately 4,000 students across the country participate in local competitions hosted by over 40 local World Affairs Councils in 26 states.  A study guide is provided with detailed resources on each of the categories to help students and teachers to prepare for the competition. All questions for the competition are drawn from the resources in the study guide.  Winning teams are invited to represent their high school, city, and local council at the National Competition, held in the spring each year in our nation’s capitol, Washington, DC. This special weekend includes the competition as well as substantive programming planned to enhance the global education experience.


Academic WorldQuest Endowment 



National Competition Sponsors 


National Conference

Speaker Series

Cover to Cover

Know Now


1918 Society

Leadership Missions

Hot Topics

Student/Teacher Education Programs

Academic WorldQuest 2017-2018

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1918 Society Members

Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation

Carnegie Corporation of New York


The Claremont Group

The Coca-Cola Company

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) 


Delegation of the European Union to the United States

Eden Hall Foundation


Foreign Policy Association

The Gambrinus Company

Global Ties U.S.

Goldman Sachs


The Holmes Organisation

Johnson + Sterling

Mr. Michael Phillip


Orbital ATK

Rational Middle Energy Series


Rosetta Stone


Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center  

Thomson Reuters

Tomassian, Throckmorton & Inouye LLP

Turkish Cultural Foundation