How exactly does it work when a beginning graduate student wants to attend a conference? Do they usually take care of the hotel accommodations and flight reservations? How do they approve funding? Do I need a "reference" or do they just see that I'm a real grad student (i.e. my web address and departmental webpage) and approve the funding? I want to attend a conference in August, and I'm wondering what my chances will be. A lot of these conferences say "grad students encouraged to attend."