The regional competitions for the 2004-2005 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest are just around the corner. The regional competition dates range from the South Pacific Regional September 18th to the Asian regional in Kanpur December 15th.
The contest fact sheet [pdf] gives the best description:
The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance.
Generally, teams can pick Java, C++, or Pascal as their language of choice. (Sidenote: You will most definitely pick one language and wish half way through the competition that you had picked another. It is inevitable.)
So, find a couple fellow students, get your computer science department to foot the registration fee, and go for it.