I am an international student in the United States (originally from India) and have been here for my PhD in Mechanical engineering since Fall ’06. I've attended a bunch of conferences all in the US and Canada and mainly the ASME or APS DFD (division of fluid dynamics) meetings. As I get close to finishing my PhD, my source of funding (NSF) is running low!
As an international student, I find it difficult to find institutions that provide travel grants for conferences in the USA conducted by organizations such as the APS, ASME, AIAA etc. It is also unfortunate that India doesn't have travel grant opportunities for Indians students outside India.
Does anyone have an idea on where I might look? I have two conferences coming up: the ASME Fluids engineering conference in July 2012 and the APS DFD in November 2012 that I'd like to get travel grants for.
Usually the best place to ask for a travel grant is the conference itself. I see, for example, that the APS DFD 2012 meeting had a travel grant program (sure, now it's too late to be useful). Many big conferences have such programs and those that do not may have "fellowships", which give a reduced registration fee for select students.
Otherwise you want to look at framework programs in your field encouraging the mobility of students. It is true that it might have been easier if you were actually located in India, because of binational exchange programs and such, but you also have to realize that the travel costs would then have been greater!