Academic WorldQuest™, a flagship WACA program entering its 18th year in 2020, is a fun, friendly, and powerful way for high school students to learn about international affairs. Nearly 5,000 students compete in AWQ contests organized by 50 World Affairs Councils hosts in their states. Prepare yourselves for the increasingly interconnected and complex world of the 21st century and show what you know!
Preparing the next generation of leaders, scholars, and decision-makers to thrive in a rapidly changing world - where our national interests are intertwined with the global community - is one of the greatest challenges facing our country. It requires a renewed enthusiasm for global studies in our high schools. Too many American students today fall behind their counterparts from other countries in their knowledge and understanding of world history, geography, and current international events.
The mission of Academic WorldQuest is to close the gap.
A World Affairs Council in your area will provide key dates and information to high school teachers and students for local Academic WorldQuest programs. Teams consist of four students plus alternates who are passionate about current international politics, geography, global economics, history, and world cultures. Typically, teams prepare in an after-school setting over the course of several months. You can read instructions and rules in our Operations Paper here and our Teacher's Guide here.
If you are a staff member of a Member Council and would like to participate in WACA's 2020 AWQ National Compeition, please register via the 2020 AWQ Pledge Form. If you are a high school student or a member of the public, please find your local Council here to get involved! Click here to see participating Councils, dates, and winners (as available) for local 2018-2019 AWQ Competitions around the country. We will update for the 2019-2020 season as information becomes available.
The World Affairs Councils of America’s 2019-2020 AWQ Official Study Guide is the primary resource to help students and teachers prepare for the topics covered in the timed question-and-answer AWQ competitions hosted by local Councils. Councils may adapt these topics to align with their local programming initiatives.
AWQ 2019-2020 Topics were announced in mid-September. The AWQ Study Guide is also an essential resource for the Carlos and Malú Alvarez Academic WorldQuest National Competition, hosted by WACA every April in Washington, DC.
Winning teams are invited to represent their high school, city, and local Council at the national AWQ championship weekend, which includes the competition, unique programming planned to enhance the global education experience, and an opportunity to meet and engage with more than 200 like-minded peers from around the United States.
AWQ Topics Announced
September 16, 2019
AWQ Official Study Guide Release
October 11, 2019
AWQ Pledge Form Due
November 15, 2019
Local Competition Questions Released
National Competition Registration Opens
National Competition Registration Closes
Hotel Block Deadline
April 2, 2020
April 24, 2020
2020 AWQ Championship at USIP
April 25, 2020
The Westin D.C. City Center
April 23-25, 2020
1400 M St. NW
Deadline: April 2, 2020