I got an email from a professor that I've been working closely with for the last 2 years about giving a talk at a big research symposium. He said he would help me with my talk and get a nice presentation together. However, the symposium is not close to me at all. I am in NY and the symposium is at Argonne National Lab. The flight (if I purchase the tickets now) is $300 roundtrip. It's $70 a night at the Argonne guest house (I need to stay for 2 nights) and I need to take a cab from O'Hare to Argonne, which is I don't even know how much. And there is a $60 registration fee. I'm just wondering what you guys think. I'm estimating that I might spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $600-$700 for this whole process. My professor is telling me it is a good experience and I might meet some professors who are from the grad schools that I'll be applying to which might help come admissions time. I am kind of tight on money, this would hurt me financially, to what extent I'm not sure yet. I would like to avoid asking my parents for any money. It won't absolutely cripple me financially, but it will hurt a lot. What do you guys think? Just to add another note: There is no way I'm going to get travel money from my school since I'm technically not attending the school anymore. I graduated in May and I am no longer a student.