The International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) is an annual competition for the best 16 to 19 year old geography students from all over the world. Students chosen to represent their countries are the very best, chosen from thousands of students who participate enthusiastically in their own National Geography Olympiads. The iGeo consists of three parts: a written test, a multimedia test and substantial fieldwork requiring observation, leading to cartographic representation and geographical analysis. The programme also includes poster presentations by teams, cultural exchanges, and time for students to get to know their fellow students and explore the host city.

The aims of the Olympiad are to:

  • stimulate active interest in geographical and environmental studies among young people;
  • contribute positively to debate about the importance of geography as a senior secondary school subject by drawing attention to the quality of geographical knowledge, skills and interests among young people;
  • facilitate social contacts between young people from different countries and in doing so, contribute to the understanding between nations.

The International Geography Olympiads are held under the auspices of the INTERNATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL UNION (IGU), through the IGU Olympiad Task Force. The members of the Task Force are:

  • co-chair Sumin Shen (Taiwan)
  • co-chair Sue Lomas (United Kingdom)
  • the future local organiser Lynn Moorman (Canada)
  • the current local organiser Nikola Srzentic (Serbia)
  • the past local organiser Wang Min (China)
  • Tomasz Sawicki (Poland)
  • Alexey Naumov (Russia)
  • Dubravka Spevec (Croatia)

More information available on the official website: http://geoolympiad.org/

During the 1994 IGU Congress in Prague, people from Poland and the Netherlands launched the idea of an International Geography Competition (iGeo) or Olympiad for students between 15 and 19 years of age. The first one was held in 1996 in the Hague, The Netherlands, with five participating countries, the second in 1998 in Lisbon, Portugal, and the third in 2000 in Seoul, South Korea. During the 2002 IGU congress in South Africa the fourth took place in Durban. Sixteen countries took part in the fifth one in 2004 in Gdansk, Poland. The sixth was in Brisbane, Australia, in 2006 with 23 teams participating. In 2008 in Carthage, Tunisia, 24 teams participated in the seventh iGeo. The 2010 iGeo was in Taipei with 30 teams. At the ninth Olympiad in 2012 in Cologne, Germany, there were 32 teams.

Up until 2012, the Olympiads were held every two years. In the intervening years some regional Olympiads were held. These included the Central European Regional Geography Olympiads, and the Asia Pacific Regional Geography Olympiads held in 2007, 2009 and 2011. The IGU decided to have Regional Conferences every year between the 2012 Congress in Cologne and the 2016 Congress in Beijing. In 2013, 31 teams completed in the 10 International Geography Olympiad at Kyoto, Japan. The eleventh Olympiad will be held from 12 to 18 August in 2014 in Kraków, Poland. The twelfth 2015 Olympiad will be at Tver University, near Moscow in Russia. In 2017 the Olympiad will be in Belgrade, Serbia.

Previous iGeos:

2016: BEIJING, CHINA
2015: TVER, RUSSIA
2014: KRAKÓW, POLAND
2013: KYOTO, JAPAN
2012: COLOGNE, GERMANY
2010: TAIPEI, TAIWAN
2008: CARTHAGE, TUNISIA
2006: BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
2004: GDANSK, POLAND
2002: DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
2000: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
1998: LISBON, PORTUGAL
1996: THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS