The anticipation was obvious as the 315 IOI contestants, their leaders and visitors stepped off their buses at The University of Queensland on Saturday.
Some students were returning to the competition, eager to reunite with friends from previous years, and hoping to finally secure a medal this year.
Italian contestant, Gabriele Farina, said this was his second year in the competition and he was feeling calm.
“It’s very exciting to be here in Australia… and here with these people.”
For others, like Malaysian competitor, Si Wei How, it was their first time participating and the nerves were certainly setting in.
“I’m nervous because this is just my first year and Malaysia’s second year,” he said.
But Mr How’s Leader was confident he will be a strong contender in the exam on Monday.