Info for Councils

Academic WorldQuest™ is a fun, friendly, and powerful team-based knowledge competition designed for high school students keen to learn about international affairs. This flagship program involves both locally sponsored AWQ contests as well as the AWQ championship in the nation's capital. Students, with teacher guidance, need to be prepared for the increasingly interconnected and complex world of the 21st century and Academic WorldQuest lets them show what they know!

Info for High Schools | Info for Sponsors | AWQ Endowment

Originating as a global trivia contest created by the World Affairs Council of Charlotte, Academic WorldQuest has been developed by the World Affairs Councils of America as a flagship youth education program, now in its 18th year. WACA has expanded the program to some 50 Councils that host local AWQ competitions annually that engage nearly 5,000 high school students nationwide. The program culminates in the Carlos and Malú Alvarez Academic WorldQuest National Competition each spring in Washington, DC.

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 complex and 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.


You must register with this Registration Form by March 22 in order to participate in the National Academic WorldQuest. Please use these flyers to promote the Academic WorldQuest program to teachers, students, and sponsors: Teacher's Guide and Flyer. There is no maximum number of teams that are required for local AWQ competitions. 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. 

For Councils interested in launching an Academic WorldQuest™ program for high schools in your area, please read WACA's 2019 Operations Paper.

Click here to see participating Councils, dates, and winners (as available) for local AWQ Competitions around the country.

AWQ Study Guide and Topics

The World Affairs Councils of America’s AWQ 2018-2019 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. WACA will distribute local competition questions with all Council AWQ contacts. Councils may adapt the topics (and questions) to align with their local programming initiatives. Typically, teams prepare in an after-school setting over the course of several months.

AWQ 2018-2019 Topics will be 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 likeminded peers from around the United States.

2018 AWQ National Competition Highlights

  • For 2018 Competition winners: read WACA's press release. Click here to see the questions and answers from the 2018 AWQ National Competition
  • Thank you to the United States Institute of Peace for hosting the 2018 Welcome Reception and to USIP Executive Vice President William B. Taylor, who made the welcoming remarks. The reception also featured USIP "ambassadors" who stamped students' "passports" at learning exhibits throughout the pavilion at USIP's iconic headquarters.
  • Reception photos by the United States Institute of Peace available here (Album 1 and Album 2)
  • Check out Guest Speaker Nabil Kapasi's well-received presentation here. Nabil Kapasi is an AWQ 2017 alumnus and grand prize winner and currently a student at Georgetown University.
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