If you’re writing an honours thesis, doing a research project/independent study, or even are just interested in meeting other linguists, why not check out a local linguistics conference or two!
(This year I am finally making the “go to conferences” post with lots of time in advance to get a project up and running: many undergrad conferences take place in December-April and have deadlines sometime in the fall or winter.)
I want to especially encourage undergraduate conference-going because I think grad students and so on are more likely to already hear about conferences and know people who are going to them (although depending on your advisor it may still be worth looking some up).
Even if you haven’t finished your project yet, you can get comments on a work in progress, or just come and watch things and meet people (but seriously, submit something if you can, it’s worth a try). For smaller conferences, registration is often just enough to cover food, and you can ask the organizers about staying with local students, so your expenses can be quite minimal. Sometimes you can even get travel funding from your own department, especially if you’re presenting (ask a prof, even if you don’t see it advertised anywhere). Audiences of fellow students are generally very positive and non-intimidating, so it’s a good way to get some practice talking about academic things, get a line on your CV or grad school application, and make some ling-friends.
I even remember a high school student who came to McCCLU one year just because they wanted to learn more about linguistics and meet people.
Both Linguist List and the LSA (Linguistic Society of America) maintain lists of international conferences organized by date, and I’m aware of a few undergrad-specific conferences (McCCLU - Montreal, TULCon - Toronto, GLEEFUL - Michigan, Harvard colloquium, Cornell colloquium). I’m not sure if they’re current, but I’ve also heard of OCLU in Ottawa, SCULC in southern California, and a rotating conference hosted by ULAB - Undergrad Linguistics Association of Britain. The current websites may not be live yet, but you can look them up from last year to get a sense of timing, and this gives you plenty of time to work on a project.
I think there are also many student-focussed conferences for both grad students and undergrads, although grad students can of course apply for the general conferences as well! (Heck, I went to one as an undergrad, and while I didn’t present, I met a couple undergrads there with posters.)
Edited to add, from comments: Arizona Linguistics Circle (which is soon, October 3-5!), Minnesota Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium, HULLS (Hunter Undergraduate Linguistics and Language Studies, in New York).
And from more googling (“linguistics student conference” plus ctrl+F for “student” and “undergrad” on this list from LinguistList (note that if you’re viewing this post after September 2014, do double-check because conference calls continue to come out): University of Central Oklahoma, University of Texas (Arlington), Penn State, Tri-College (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore), East Carolina University, North-West (British Columbia/Washington State).
Outside North America: Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi), Arctic University of Norway, ConSOLE (European, rotating, this year in Paris), Austria (rotating, this year in Salzburg), Moscow, Slovenia.
If one of these conferences isn’t convenient: try googling the name of your region or major cities/universities near you with the words student linguistics conference, and you may find something! Many smaller linguistics student conferences aren’t very well-advertised and may not make it onto major lists like LinguistList every year, so if you find evidence of a conference near you from a previous year, try contacting the previous organizer(s) or department to see if it’s happening again.
Can anyone contribute to a list of other undergrad or student-friendly linguistics conferences, especially in locations that aren’t already well-represented here?