While you spend February in Brunel rather than Brunei, or Keele instead of Lille, you could be writing your way to a more exotic university city. BT Chargecard and The Independent have joined forces with Rough Guides and Campus Travel to concoct the best-ever student travel-writing competition. To enter, you need not cross your own city limit, because the task is to write a Rough Guide-style account, in no more than 500 words, of the municipality where you study. Send these to the address below, and you are in the running for one of five big prizes:

5Travel by Eurostar to Paris, and cross to the Sorbonne on the Left Bank (plus pounds 750 spending money)

4 Fly to Bologna, venue for one of the most ancient universities in Europe (plus pounds 750 spending money)

3 Take a trip to Harvard, just across the river from the New England city of Boston (plus pounds 1,000 spending money)

2 Wander over to the West Coast, and bowl up at Berkeley, on the San Francisco bay (plus pounds 1,000 spending money)

1 Surfer's Paradise may sound like an implausible place for a university, but study's up on the Queensland coast of Australia (plus pounds 1,500 spending money)

For guidance on how to style your story, BT has set up a special helpline which you can call -at local rates - to hear top tips from Rough Guide writers. Just dial 0345 345004; if you are using a payphone, then you will find it cheaper to make the call with a BT Chargecard than by using cash. Call the freephone number on 0800 345144 to sign up - this is a free call. Your account, which needs to be accurate, pithy and observant, should be sent to "Write your way around the world", c/o Rough Guides, 1 Mercer Street, London WC2H 9QJ, to arrive by 1 March. The results will be announced just before Easter. Ten runners-up will each receive the Rough Guide to Britain. The prizewinners may be commissioned to work on an assignment for the Rough Guides, payable at usual rates.

Rules: 1. Only students currently registered at UK universities and colleges may apply. 2. Neither employees of Newspaper Publishing, British Telecom, Campus Travel or Rough Guides, nor their relatives, may enter.

3. Winners will be notified by post by 21 March. 4. Travel arrangements will be made by Campus Travel, and will aim to match the winner's preferred dates of travel. Please note, however, that certain dates may not be available due to heavy booking. 5. The editor's decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into. 6. Usual Newspaper Publishing rules apply.