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In every new cohort, there are a few students who travelled far, moving to Toronto or Vancouver to study tech. Jeffrey Johnson was one of those people, travelling 2200 kilometres from his hometown of Miami, Florida to Toronto, for a six-month full-stack developer course. We had to ask Jeffrey, how did you find us? Why did you choose RED Academy?

1. The Experience

The first thing Jeff mentioned was the “Canadian Experience,” which is a good sign considering one of our early memories of Jeff was running into him at lunchtime in his first days of class, having just visited a Patagonia store nearby to invest in an emergency parka jacket. Soon after, we’d see him wrapped in a large blanket scarf in class as he coded.

“I had always wanted to go to Canada. When I was a kid there was a TV show called 6Teen, that was about a group of teens from a multicultural background. That was something that at my impressionable age I had never experienced! The more research I did, the more I learned that a lot of people that live in the Greater Toronto Area are not originally from there. This was a great opportunity to meet people from other parts of the world and learn from them. Also, the American perception is that people are so nice in Canada and I wanted to see what that was about.” Jeffrey quickly became connected to classmates, earning the title of Prom King. After the course, he even travelled to South Korea post-graduation due to recommendations from a classmate. He loved South Korea so much, he’s now applying for jobs out there!

Our two cities – Toronto and Vancouver – are very different but equally memorable and equally Canadian experiences. Vancouver on the West coast is a smaller city surrounded by mountains, forests, and the ocean. Toronto in contrast is one of the biggest cities in the North America, a huge metropolitan area filled with more entertainment and diverse food than you can imagine! Also, both Toronto and Vancouver are so close to the US border, American students could get to the states on a weekend if they wanted!

a photo of alumni jeffrey, in south korea
Jeff, on his trip to South Korea

2. The course content and career preparation

Jeffrey told us how he researched other career colleges and bootcamps in the states, but liked our curriculum and the added career preparation of client projects (community partners), our personal and professional development sessions, career coaching, and networking opportunities. He got to work with a great client, VentureKids, a Canadian non-profit providing free computer programming workshops to youth in underserved communities.

“I was making a career change from a tech support company. In the states every place I looked for that offered full-stack development did not offer what RED does. I wanted to learn languages like React/React Native, GraphQL, and I wanted to work with community partners – real people. A lot of schools were mostly carbon copies of every other bootcamp I had looked into. Also with RED, the class sizes were smaller and I knew I needed more one on one guidance. Most of the schools in the states had 20+ class sizes, the personal element mattered to me.”

3. The ease of moving to Canada

Jeffrey was surprised how easy it was to move to Canada, no visa necessary! American citizens can travel across the border with a valid US Passport and stay for up to 6 months! Just enough time for Jeff to complete the full-stack developer six-month course. For housing, he easily found a Toronto Airbnb for his originally three-month stay, and when he decided to stay another three months, he found a RED alumni willing to sublet!

4. The cost (the strength of the US Dollar in Canada)

“I chose Canada to study in general due to the fact that the American dollar goes a bit further in Canada, roughly 30%.” 

True story: Our 3-month diplomas cost $11,000 CAD, that’s $8,409 USD!
Our 6-month full-stack diplomas cost $17,500 CAD, or $13,376 USD!
(Plus, ask about our early bird incentives for up to $1,500 CAD off of tuition when you register 2+ months before the course starts.)


These were Jeffrey’s main reasons for deciding to move to Canada for RED Academy, but yours may look different. Your journey to a career in tech can be as easy as Jeffrey’s. To find out more and talk about your options, let’s get in touch!

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