World Affairs Council of Hilton Head


A competition designed to increase the awareness and importance of Global issues in our high school students

Academic WorldQuest (AWQ) is the World Affairs Councils of America’s (WACA) flagship education program which engages more than 3,000 high school students annually across the U.S. to test their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy. The program offers young people a fun and interactive way to learn about critical challenges facing the U.S. and the world.

Founded in 2003, the AWQ competition is a team game testing high school students’ knowledge of international affairs. During the academic year preceding the national competition, approximately 3000 students across the country participate in competitions hosted by over 40 local World Affairs Councils in 26 states. AWQ is a team game, like the “College Bowl” from the 60’s & 70’s. The students’ knowledge of international affairs, geography, history, and culture is tested in competitions throughout the school year.

Winning teams are invited to represent their high school, city, and local council at the national competition, held in the spring each year in Washington, D.C. The national competition is attended by more than 225 of the nation's most promising high school students annually, along with their parents, teachers, and chaperones.

AWQ ten topics for the competition this years are:

  • Where Climate and Migration Meet
  • Afghanistan: End of the 20-Year U.S.-Led Intervention
  • Human-Centered Agenda to the Future of Work
  • CDC and the Global Health Agenda
  • Technology and Democracy: Threat or Promise?
    • 21st Century Money: Dollars to Digital Currencies
    • Working for Peace Through Legacies of War: The Case of Vietnam
    • Insecurity in China’s Neighborhood
    • Current Events
    • Great Decisions:
        • Global Supply Chains and National Security
        • Persian Gulf Security Issues
        • Brexit and the European Union
        • Struggles Over the Melting Arctic
        • China’s Role in Africa
        • The Korean Peninsula
        • Roles of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic
        • The End of Globalization?

    World Affairs Council of Hilton Head is proud to be part of this great program and works in cooperation with the Beaufort County School District to bring AWQ to the six county high schools. Students work outside their regular curriculum to prepare for the final county competition in February. The winning team gets to participate in the national competition in Washington, DC in April of each year with the WACHH paying for all their expenses. The AWQ competition is a unique opportunity for the students to visit the nation's capital and other historical sites in and around D.C. (White House, U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, Organization of American States, etc.). 

    Over the eight years of our participation, the winning high schools for our local round have been Hilton Head Island in the first year, Beaufort (3 times), May River (2 times) and last year’s winner, Bluffton HS. Our finals this year will held on March 7th at Hilton Head High School at 9:00 AM. Come out, join us, get an answer sheet and test your knowledge against the actual questions posed to the competing AWQ teams in the “Are You as Smart as an AWQ Scholar?” contest!

    If you’d like to volunteer, coach, mentor or provide other support to the program, please fill out the Volunteer Form or contact the WACHH office (

    2020 AWQ Photo Gallery

    See the story under News & Updates

    World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

    PO Box 22523
    Hilton Head Island, SC 29925

    843-384-6758  |

    Member, World Affairs Council of America

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