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Student Study Tour to Azerbaijan for Essay Winners – Start Writing!

The Tennessee World Affairs Council is pleased to announce its participation in the 2012 National High School Essay Contest on the Republic of Azerbaijan, sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Ten students from the network of World Affairs Council, which includes the TN WAC, will be selected for a two-week study tour to the country of Azerbaijan this summer. The top three essays from Tennessee will be submitted to the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington to compete for the ten study tour slots. The deadline for essay submissions to the Tennessee World Affairs Council is March 1, 2012.




About Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a country at the nexus point of the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Historically, the country has always been a middleman for the East and West– in ancient and medieval times it was a central point along the Silk Road and today its strategic placement keeps it a focal point for commercial and energy policies and regional and global geopolitics. The World Affairs Councils of America conducted a Leadership Mission to Azerbaijan in spring 2011.

Essay Topic

The Essay Topic is the following: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has planned an official visit to Azerbaijan. You are Secretary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Advisor responsible for Azerbaijan and have been tasked to write the briefing materials for her trip. The briefing materials can be no longer than 1000 words maximum. The materials must be succinct and to the point. They must include:

  • An assessment of whether/how the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic of 1918-1920 influences Azerbaijan today in terms of democracy, rights of women, and foreign policy;
  • A discussion of how Azerbaijan’s geographic location has influenced the country’s security and economic policies;
  • An explanation of where the strategic interests of the U.S. and Azerbaijan converge and diverge;
  • A summary of perspectives for extending Azerbaijan’s geopolitical influence beyond the South Caucasus in light of its leading regional position and its socio-economic development; and
  • The top 3 most important issues in US-Azeri relations and your recommendations for US policy on the trip.


  • March 1 – Student essays must be submitted to TN WAC.
  • March 15 – Councils select the top 3 essay contest winners and forward to WACA.
  • April 1 – WACA announces top 10 essay contest winners.
  • June 16-30 – Tentative dates for trip to Azerbaijan

Submitting Essays:

Essays must be sent hard copy via mail to the TN WAC, postmarked not later than March 1, 2012. We recommend that you send an email to the TN WAC advising that your essay has been submitted so we can make sure the hard copy is among those reviewed. We will confirm receipt of essays from anyone who provides an email to us. ( patryan@tnwac.org).

Mail to:
Tennessee World Affairs Council
Attn: Patrick Ryan
c/o Center for International Business
Belmont University
1900 Belmont Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37212