The United States Geography Olympiad was founded in order to provide American students with a way to qualify for the International Geography Olympiad (widely referred to as iGeo). The 2017 International Geography Olympiad was held in Belgrade, Serbia from August 2-8, 2017. The 2018 International Geography Olympiad will be held in August 2018 in Quebec City, Canada.

Tell me more about how I can qualify to take part in the International Geography Olympiad! 

Team USA 2017 from L to R at iGeo in Belgrade, Serbia: AJ Manning, Coach Jason Flowers, Jakob Myers, Coach Steve Muench, Kyle Yu, Martin Rakowszczyk

Sure! Four of the top Varsity students from the US National Championships will win the right to represent the USA at the 2018 International Geography Olympiad in Quebec City, Canada. See the Nationals page for how the qualification will work. The International Geography Olympiad is an international tournament for high school students from around the world which is organized by the International Geography Union, a global professional organization of geographers. The first iGeo was held in The Hague, Netherlands in 1996 – other iGeos have since been held in Portugal, Korea, South Africa, Poland, Australia,  Tunisia, Taiwan, Germany, China, and Russia.  In 2016, 45 countries and subnational territories sent teams to the 13th iGeo, which was held in Beijing, including the USA for the fourth time. We came in 7th place overall, our highest finish yet, and had the 8th, 9th, and 20th place students for the overall competition. In 2017, we bettered that with a 3rd place finish, and for the first time, all students on the team won medals (and all were gold or silver)!
Jason Flowers, a teacher and academic team coach at the Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy in Austin, TX, who also coached the 2015 and 2016 Team USA was the head coach for the 2017 US team and will return as head coach in 2018. Steve Muench, a social studies teacher and History Bowl and Geography Olympiad coach in Leonia, NJ will return to co-coach in 2018.
Please note, though, that only Varsity students (i.e. students born before July 1, 2002) are eligible to qualify for Team USA for iGeo, in accordance with iGeo’s eligibility rules.
All participating countries send four students to compete, but the entire competition is done on an individual basis. All students will compete in a multi-media multiple choice exam, a short-answer exam, and a fieldwork exercise. There is also a poster competition too. The students with the top overall scores, factoring in each part of the competition receive medals, and the top performing countries are recognized as well.
Subsequent iGeos will be held in Hong Kong (2019),  Istanbul (2020), and Paris (2022) among other locations.
For more information on the International Geography Olympiad in general, see www.geoolympiad.org/ as well as the iGeo Wikipedia page.
For more information on the past 2013 Geography Olympiad in Kyoto, Japan, see: http://japan-igeo.com/english/
For more information on the past 2014 Geography Olympiad in Krakow, Poland, see: www.geoolympiad.org/2014/index.shtml
For more information on the past 2015 Geography Olympiad in Tver, Russia, see: http://igeo2015.com/conf2015/
For more information on the past 2016 Geography Olympiad in Beijing, China, see: www.igeo2016.org
For more information on the past 2017 Geography Olympiad in Belgrade, Serbia, see: http://igeobelgrade.edu.rs/


How much will this cost?

About $500-750 total per student for everything other than flights to Canada (this takes the $1000 per student provided by USGO into account). This does include food at iGeo, lodging at iGeo, transport in Canada, entry fees, coaches’ expenses, and the costs of the training camp in Montreal. Further details will become available later in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Past International Geography Olympiad Medalists from the USA
Note: While the exact formula can vary a bit from year to year, typically 50% of students at iGeo receive medals. The top 1/12 receive gold medals, students finishing in the 2nd and 3rd 12th receive silver medals, and students finishing in the 25th to 50th percentile receive bronze medals.

2017 – 159 total students, held in Belgrade, Serbia
Gold – Martin Rakowszczyk, Wootton High School, Maryland (12th Place overall)
Silver – AJ Manning, Bartow IB High School, Florida (20th Place overall)
Silver – Kyle Yu, Westlake High School, Ohio (22nd Place overall)
Silver – Jakob Myers, Naperville North High School, Illinois (40th Place overall)

2016 – 173 total students, held in Beijing, China
Gold – AJ Manning, Bartow IB High School, Florida (8th Place overall)
Gold – Eugene Wang, BASIS Tucson North, Arizona (9th Place overall)
Silver – Matthew Janson, Providence High School, North Carolina (20th Place overall)

2015 – 159 total students, held in Tver, Russia
Gold – James Mullen, Monta Vista High School, California (3rd Place overall)
Gold – Kevin Li, Westview High School, California (7th Place overall)

2014 – 144 total students, held in Krakow, Poland
Gold – James Mullen, Monta Vista High School, California (Overall World Champion)
Silver – Anton Karpovich, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Illinois (36th Place overall)
Bronze – Tine Valencic, Grapevine High School, Texas

2013 – 128 total students, held in Kyoto, Japan
Bronze – Joe Kiernan, Moorestown Friends School, New Jersey
Bronze – Nirav Ilango, Chattahoochee High School, Georgia
Bronze – Anton Karpovich, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Illinois

Team USA at the 2013 iGEO in Kyoto consisted of (left to right) Anton Karpovich, (IMSA, IL), Nirav Ilango (Chattahoochee HS, GA), Pranav Bhandarkar (North Oconee HS, GA), and Joe Kiernan (Moorestown Friends School, NJ)

Team USA at the 2013 iGEO in Kyoto consisted of (left to right) Anton Karpovich, (IMSA, IL), Nirav Ilango (Chattahoochee HS, GA), Pranav Bhandarkar (North Oconee HS, GA), and Joe Kiernan (Moorestown Friends School, NJ)

Team USA Overall Results
2017 – 3rd out of 41 teams
2016 – 7th out of 45 teams
2015 – tied for 12th out of 40 teams
2014 – 10th out of 36 teams
2013 – 14th out of 32 teams