Traveling can help pay for university with this new program


Traveling more can help pay for university

I can’t believe that summer is almost over and it’s time for kids to go back to school. Braydon, our oldest boy, is only 3.5 years old, but he will be starting kindergarten next year. It’s mind-blowing to think that our baby boy will be starting school in one year. How is that even possible?!

It feels like only a few months ago we were taking him on his first trip to California. We now understand why parents and grandparents told us to cherish every moment, even the bad ones. Blink and you’ll miss it!

We’ve already started to think about how we can help our boys pay for a university education. I know that university is waaaaay down the road, but the speed at which time is moving right now, those days will be here before we know it.

We want our boys to have the full university experience, including a student exchange overseas.


Student Exchange Program

The student exchange I took to Malaysia completely changed the way I view the world, and I strongly believe that experience has made me a better person. You can read about that experience here.

The university I attended in Victoria, British Columbia has relationships with schools all around the world, so I had plenty of options to choose from.

Initially, I applied to go to Germany for my exchange program. But, as I started to crunch the numbers and look at how much it was going to cost me, it became clear that Germany was out of my budget. The thought of taking on more student debt was not attractive.

So, I shifted my focus and began looking at schools in developing countries.

The numbers made sense, but the thought of traveling to the other side of the world was daunting. I’d never been to Asia before, so the thought of living there for 5 months was both exciting and terrifying.


After narrowing my search to Southeast Asia, I began the application process. Eventually I was accepted to the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), located just outside the city of Georgetown in Penang, Malaysia.

When the exciting news was shared with friends and family their initial response was, “Malaysia? Why would you want to go to Malaysia? Can’t you go to Australia or Europe?”

Most of them couldn’t point out Malaysia on a map.

I’m so glad I challenged my comfort zone and made that student exchange happen. To this day, that trip stands out as the trip that changed everything. Read about it here.


Because that student exchange was such an important milestone in my life, I want our boys to have a similar experience. But, that will come at a cost.

Who knows how expensive university will be in 15-20 years?


New to Aeroplan – redeem your Miles for tuition

We’ve been brand ambassadors for Aeroplan for over 3 years now. As part of our relationship with Canada’s premier loyalty rewards program, we’re sometimes asked to share details about new programs that it introduces.

One of Aeroplan’s newest partnerships is with a program called Higher Ed Points.

The new program allows students, family and friends to transfer their Aeroplan Miles into money that can be put towards tuition. Every 35,000 Aeroplan Miles = $250 dollars. More details here.


It’s nice to know that our loyalty and strategic purchasing can translate into money that can be put towards our boy’s higher education.

The way we accumulate the majority of our Aeroplan Miles is by using our Aeroplan Visa for everyday purchases like food and gas. By making simple decisions, like choosing to fly with Air Canada or Star Alliance partners, we acquire Aeroplan Miles quickly, and with little effort.

I wish this Higher Ed Points program was around when I was in university.

Higher Ed Points is currently working with over 30 schools and its goal is to get every institution in Canada to participate. Here’s the list of participating institutions.

If someone you know is in university and you want to help them out, consider transferring some of your Aeroplan Miles to the Higher Ed Points program. Here’s how it works

Suspension Bridge, Sea to Sky Summit, Squamish, BC

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About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are newbie parents living in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has taken them to over 70 countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.