Living in Western Australia

Busselton jetty WA

Welcome to Western Australia

Perth is the capital of the vast and ever-growing state of Western Australia.  It is a clean, safe and beautiful city with world class educational institutions and boundless work opportunities.  Perth is consistently ranked in the top 10 most liveable cities in the world.

Although Perth has just over 2 million residents, the city has a spacious open quality because of its layout.  It is spread out along 125kms of coastline with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.  It is set on the Swan River with the Indian Ocean bordering the west and vast desert land towards the east.

The open layout, along with the favourable climate, makes Perth an ideal city for an adventurous outdoor lifestyle.  The warm and sunny climate means there are endless outdoor and recreational activities for students to take part in. The amazing beaches, beautiful parks (including Kings Park – one of the world’s largest inner-city parks), long walking and cycling paths, barbeque facilities and interesting natural phenomena, is sure to entice you to spend time outdoors and explore this beautiful state.

Perth also attracts major cultural events and festivals for those students interested in music and arts. You will always find something unique to do. Perth loves celebrating different cultures, especially with food, meaning you will find cuisine from all across the globe which will undoubtedly add to your student experience.

Before arrival

Preparing:

Pack your passport safely and easily accessible into your hand luggage.

Exchange cash into AUD (maximum $1000).

Upload copies of important documents, contacts, photos and music onto your mobile phone and/or the cloud.

Check flight details such as check-in and boarding times, maximum luggage weight, etc.

Book your airport transfer.

Clearly label your luggage.

What to pack:

Clothes – consider climate.  During winter months Perth experiences its rain season.  Winters are mild, it doesn’t snow but it gets cold in the evenings particularly and it rains most of winter.  Close-toed and waterproof or water-resistant shoes are ideal.  Warm clothing that can also be layered are ideal as it can be very cold in the mornings and warm up during the day.  A raincoat/jacket and umbrella are strongly advised. 

Spring and autumn months bring comfortable weather but extreme heat can be experienced during summer.  Keeping that in mind, cool, light clothing (like shorts and t-shirts) are advised. 

Aussies do love their sandals (thongs) but considering Perth’s many great walk paths and trails to explore, sneakers are also a must!  There are numerous beaches to frequent so your bathing suit (togs), beach towel, sunglasses, hat and sunscreen is essential.  (The UV index can rise to 10 even on the cooler days so sunscreen is very important throughout the year but can also be purchased anywhere in Perth).

Perth offers a wide range of outdoor activities, whether it be camping, hiking, surfing or snorkeling (just to name a few), so if you have gear it might be worth packing.  That said, outdoor and sporting gear and supplies are readily available for purchase or hire all over Perth and Western Australia.

Toiletries should be packed but if you want to save on luggage space or forget anything, general toiletries can be purchased most anywhere in the city.  If you have any brand-specific or specialized toiletries you should bring that with you as it might not be available in Australia.

Medications – if you are on any prescribed medications you should try and pack enough for your time in Perth, it is also recommended to take a copy of your script(s).

A backpack is recommended as it’s a convenient option for hand luggage when travelling and also for any adventures you might decide to go on whilst in Western Australia.

Electronics – make sure to pack chargers for your electronics.  Depending where you are coming from you might need an adaptor.  Australia’s associate plug type is I – it has two flat metal pins shaped like a “V” and some have a third flat pin, creating a triangular pattern.  If you can’t find an adaptor where you’re from you will be able to find one at Perth’s airport.

Useful links

Visa:

You are required to apply for an Australian student visa to study full-time for over 3 months in Australia.  This visa allows you to stay and work in Australia whilst studying.  You can work 20 hours a week during your course and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks.  You need to ensure you have a valid visa before your departure.  We will assist you with your visa application including preparing documents and completing application forms.

photo of funky Perth Street Art
Perth has a lot of street art done by local and international artists.

Safety

Perth’s relatively small population of welcoming people makes Perth a safe and friendly city.  People come from all over the world to work and study in Perth which will give you endless opportunities to meet like-minded people or even people from your own country and/or culture.  Communities and students look out for each other.

Perth’s excellent public transport system offers reliable and safe transport throughout Perth.  Busses and trains are cheap, easy and safe to use and students can move around Perth easily and quickly.

Cost of Living

About $150 – $200 a week on food, entertainment, transport, domestic travel and incidental costs.

Tips to save money:

  • Eat home-cooked meals
  • Attend free events/activities
  • Get discounts with your student card
  • Share travel or transport expenses with friends

 

Accommodation

Homestays – from $250 – $320 a week

  • Ideal for first time travelers
  • Ideal for students under the age of 18
  • You have a host family that will look after you
  • Meals are included
  • Great way to learn conversational English and more about the Australian culture/lifestyle

 

On-campus Student Residence – from $190 – $300 a week (Price largely depends on type of room i.e. single or dual occupancy)

  • Convenience – close to campus
  • Cook for yourself
  • Most student residences have sport and social facilities
  • Enjoy university life
  • Social, educational and recreational opportunities

Rent a room – from $120 – $180 a week (cost depends on location)

  • Cheapest option
  • Allows you more freedom
  • Look after yourself
  • Do housework and cook for yourself
  • Cost usually include bills (such as water, electricity and sometimes even wi-fi)