IHBB is currently in the early stages of planning for the inaugural 2015 International History Olympiad, which will be held at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA on July 9-15, 2015. The International History Olympiad will be a week-long celebration of history for students from around the world, with competitions, field trips, seminars with professors, social events, and more.

Students will qualify for the International History Olympiad in one of 3 ways:

1. Qualifying through International History Bee and Bowl tournaments – Outside the USA
Students who finish in the top half of any qualifying tournament outside the USA in either the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 school year will be eligible to participate in the Olympiad.

2. Qualifying through the International History Bee and Bowl – Inside the USA
Students and teams in the USA who finish in the top half at the high school or elementary and middle school National Championships in either the 2013-14 or 2014-15 school year will be eligible to participate in the Olympiad.

3. Qualifying from outside the USA through an online qualifying exam.
Students who are interested in attending the Olympiad from outside the USA and whose school is located more than 400 km away from a regional tournament in the 2014-2015 school year also have the option of taking an online multiple choice test, which must be administered by a teacher at their school. Students who finish in the top half of students from their country by the end of the 2014 calendar year or obtain a certain score on the online qualifying exam can also attend. You will be able to take the online test from the end of October 2014. Please contact nolwenn@historybowl.com if you are interested in taking this exam.

A few other notes:

  • As further information becomes available, we will post it here, and a new website dedicated solely to the History Olympiad will become available in the fall of 2014.
  • During the program of the Olympiad, there will be individual and team-based events . These include buzzer-based quiz competitions, exams, historical debates, simulation of historical events (e.g. the Congress of Vienna or the planning of the D Day invasion), historical games, field trips to historic sites, and a historical scavenger hunt. There will also be a chance to interact with professors and get a sense for what studying history in college is like. Foreign students in particular may be interested to tour an American university and gain information on study abroad opportunities in the USA.
  • There will almost certainly be far more students from the USA at the Olympiad than any other country (as IHBB is most developed in the USA so far). In future years, this arrangement will likely change.
  • Students who gain eligibility for the 2015 Olympiad but who then graduate high school in spring 2014 will still be allowed to compete in 2015 even if they have 1 year of university or other post-high school experience . When students qualify for the Olympiad, they qualify for 2 years, so as to allow for greater ease of planning. They may then attend both Olympiads for which they are eligible without having to requalify.
  • Students will not have to compete in all events (in fact, in some cases, this will indeed be impossible), but there will be no discount given if students compete in fewer events.
  • We will have a middle school division at the Olympiad as well. Students must turn 13 by December 31, 2015 to compete in it, however. If students have qualified and are younger than this, they can defer their qualification to a year of their choice (if they qualified in April-June 2014) or two years of their choice (if they qualify in September 2014 and thereafter).
  • Additional information on the age ranges for the three divisions at the Olympiad will be posted shortly.
  • We are actively seeking input and suggestions to help guide our planning. Contact us at director@historybowl.com if you would like to contribute your thoughts.

 An update on costs and planning (posted on October 13):

The exact prices for the Olympiad will be posted by November 1, and the exact prices for the tour of the Northeast USA at the end by December 31. The Olympiad will cost approximately between $US 1,070 and 1,250 per participant and the tour, between $1,500 and 2,000 per participant. The price ranges for the Olympiad depend on whether a student chooses double or single occupancy and a room with or without air conditioning . The prices for the tour depend on whether a student selects double or quad occupancy. For the Olympiad, all the meals will be included, while the tour will include breakfast and a farewell dinner.

The Olympiad begins on the afternoon of July 9. Students should plan on arriving at William and Mary no later than 2pm. We will provide transfers for a fee from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Baltimore Washington International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, as well as Richmond International Airport and Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. Accommodation on the 8 and meals before dinner on the 9 can be covered but there will be an additional fee for this.

In terms of departing, the Olympiad will end by mid-afternoon on July 15. If you are flying out of a Washington DC area airport, don’t book before 9pm that night if you are leaving for a USA destination, and 10pm if you are flying outside the USA. If your flight leaves from Richmond or Newport News, it can leave from 7pm. We will be able to provide transfers to airports that day and on the following day, as well as accommodation on the 15, for extra.

If you take the tour, it will leave directly from Williamsburg as soon as the Olympiad concludes. It will stop in all the major cities of the Northeastern USA, concluding in Boston in the early morning of July 23. You will be able to fly out of Boston at any time on July 23. The exact activities on the tour have yet to be planned, but they will involve a number of sightseeing activities and an opportunity to visit 15-20 well-known colleges and universities including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Penn and Georgetown. It will include breakfast but not lunch and dinner with the exception of a farewell dinner, so you should bring about $25 to 35 USD per day to cover that and incidentals.