Students: write your way to Australia

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The Independent Travel
While you spend February in UEA rather than the USA, or UCE instead of the UAE, 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 venture any further than your own municipality, because the task is to write a Rough Guide-style account, in no more than 500 words, of the town or city where you study. Send these to the address below, and you are in the running for one of five big prizes:

5 Travel 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 Surfers 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 using a payphone, you will find it cheaper to call using a BT Chargecard than with cash. Freephone 0800 345144 to sign up.

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 WC2, 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 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 and 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 winners' preferred dates, but please note some 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.

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