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psyapplicant

Attending a conference as a delegate or not worth the money?

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(International applicant here)

I had a poster presentation accepted and got some funding to present it this summer in Canada. There's another conference right before it (ICAP) for which I haven't submitted anything because I wasn't really aware that the dates were so close. Is it worth spending my own money to attend this other conference? I know it could help me in terms of networking with other students from universities I'm interested in applying to... but will the inclusion in my CV of just the attendance (or possibly some volunteering work for the conference committee if they accept me) positively impact my application?

An advantage of traveling to Montreal for ICAP would be the possibility to visit two universities there, but I'm not sure if it's worth the money (the bus tickets and conference fee are worth one month of my stipend). I'd really like to go if I weren't on a tight budget, but I feel it's only wise to do so if it will have an impact on my application.

I plan to apply to Ph.D. programs in Canada and in the United States. I'm a Master's student in my country and I've never attended any conference before. I don't have any publications yet (but I'll have submitted at least one paper for review by the end of the year).

Thank you!

Edited by psyapplicant

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It's up to you if you feel the networking opportunity is worth it, but you shouldn't put conference attendance on a CV. However, if you know that a few particular faculty you're interested in will be there and you can speak with them, that may be a good foot in the door. If you volunteer, that may be a different story, but I'm not sure. I would maybe talk to your advisor about that one. 

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FYI ICAP/CPA is has a strong applied/practitioner focus. So if you're applying to experimental programs it will be less useful in terms of network and seeing good talks. I second @Hk328 about not putting conference attendance where you don't present on your CV. (The reason being, anybody can pay money and attend, this doesn't make it an accomplishment--unlike an accepted poster.)

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