Aliante is a competition for two-member teams of 15 to 19-year-old students. Its purpose is to raise the students’ awareness (knowledge) about history, geography, politics and above all security issues and North Atlantic Alliance. Deeper insight in these areas allows them to better understand actual issues and to better notice connections between events. But the unique concept of Aliante allows them also to examine physical and psychical endurance in challenging conditions, meet people with similar interests from other countries, and experience an unforgettable holiday trip.
The first year of Aliante took place only in the Czech Republic in 2001, when more than a thousand students participated. With every subsequent year, the number of involved countries and competitors grew. In the history of Aliante, 35 000 students from 19 countries tried their chances to win.
And what does it take to compete? Students have to prove their qualities in three rounds to fight their way to holiday trip. First round is just “warming-up” – it is required to correctly answer to 15 of 20 test questions, where there are four options, but only one correct.
The second round is also about knowledge, but it goes into details and requires comprehensive searching for proper sources. It consists of 35 questions about history, international relations, geography, and structure and functioning of NATO. Answers to them are often quite extensive, but only those who hit the nail on the head and describe the essence can succeed.
Subsequently, the best teams of each country are chosen to participate in the international final. A total of 30 teams take part, with allocations to each country based on the number of second round entrants.
The final is considerably different from previous rounds. Two national teams are randomly put together to form a four-member squad, in which the final proceeds. Rather than knowledge it is focused on physical and mental endurance, cooperation or solution of uncommon problems. We also have to say that with regard to its international format, the final is held only in English.
Absolute winners of Aliante are the 5 best squads from the final. They can look forward to unique trip to one NATO member country. However, everyone is rewarded in principle – either by unforgettable experiences, or by gained knowledge.