I was in Europe for a bit this summer. I wanted to go to a technology conference to meet fellow hackers internationally. I saw that EuroPython (the Python language conference of Europe) was in Florence, Italy this year. They were offering scholarships for students for free tickets to the conference plus hotel. I applied, pointing to my many contributions to Python like my Python web framework.
I got it, and had a fantastic time. It was incredibly well-organized, and I met some brilliant hackers. My room-mates made Kivy touch platform, psyco, and the Italian Pirate Bay. I met Armin Rigo, the hero-genius behind PyPy.
I gave a talk about my minimalist with-statement based Python templating system.
Google also hosted a programming competition, Google Code Jam. I got 2nd place among all contestants at the conference and I won a nice new Android phone!
It was a good trip that paid for itself.