Welcome to Perth


skyline of Perth with city central business district at the noon

Founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829, Perth is the current capital of Western Australia and is the largest city in the region. What you might not know about Perth is that the city is named after Perth in Scotland. Perth is the fourth most populated city in Australia and has a population of over 2 million people.

One of the many things that make Perth a preferred destination for many foreigners looking for a study destination is the amazing ambience of the city. Being a riverside city, Perth enjoys a burst of year-round sunshine and you don’t have to worry about extreme conditions. As a matter of fact, Perth offers you a chance to engage nature at its finest.

Apart from this, the amazing art and cultural initiatives and active social scene in Perth offer international students the opportunity to experience the holistic global experience. With over 35,000 international students and several emerging graduate employment schemes, the region is fast becoming a hub for young people to get an education and find opportunities to get a kick start their careers.


What Does Perth have to offer?


Carefree woman overlooking Perth Water, a section of Swan River, and central business district of Perth from Kings Park, the most popular visitor destination in Western Australia. Blue sky, copy space

Some of the perks of studying in Perth have already been highlighted; amazing natural environment, several socio-cultural structures, etc. However, another recently added advantage for international students is that Western Australia now offers international students access to an additional year post-study work visa and better access to migration visas.


Here are some of the things that you should look out for in your time in Perth.


  • Wine central

With its first grapevines planted by Thomas Waters in 1829 at Olive Farm in South Guildford, the region houses some of the oldest wine regions in Australia.

  • Aboriginal roots

 An interesting fact about the Perth area is that the aboriginal name of the region is Boorloo and it used to be part of the Mooro which were the traditional lands of Yellagonga. This group was one of many that used to live around the Swan River which was then called the Whadjug.

  • The king of parks

 Another major point of attraction in West Australia is Kings Park. Unlike several other parks around the world, the King’s park is always open to everyone. At about 400 hectares, the King’s park is larger than even New York city’s central park and London’s Hyde Park. This makes it one of the largest city parks in the world.

  • Taking flight

Perth currently prides itself as the only city in the world that allows you to land an aircraft in the central business district, even though flying from Perth to Melbourne is still faster than flying from one end of Western Australia to another.



Finding Accommodation


The accommodation options available in Perth include;

  • Private rental

 This would offer you a truly independent living. It involves renting an apartment or a house either by yourself or together with housemates. If you’re the type that likes to explore, living with others might not be a bad idea as you get to meet new people and reduce costs. However, if you are the type of person that likes privacy, you can choose to stay alone although this indicates higher costs.

  • Managed accommodation

 Managed accommodation refers to large centres that contain several types of apartments. For students, these apartments are usually located at a convenient point for students that is safe and secure.

  • Homestay

 Homestay accommodation involves staying with a family in their home. In this accommodation arrangement, meals, internet and utilities are usually handled by the host. A lot of foreign students often prefer this arrangement as it makes their integration relatively easier. Homestay accommodation offers you the support of a family while settling in. 

  • Residential college

 Although they may seem more expensive, residential colleges offer several advantages. They are often situated close to campus with weekly housekeeping services. Study facilities and gyms are also available and meals are often included in the package.




Important Points to Note Before Taking a Lease Out on a Property

  • Be sure you can afford the bond.
  • Have a referee or a guarantor.
  • Check out the property before making a deposit or signing a contract
  • Keep copies of all documents involved in the transaction
  • Read all necessary documents regarding the lease before signing anything.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Accommodation in Perth

  • How close is it to your institution?
  • How close is it to public transport and what is the cost of transportation?
  • What are the nearby landmarks? (Parks, Shops, Hospitals etc.)
  • Is the area noisy?
  • Is the area safe?


Available Support Services for renters in Perth

The Western Australia Department of Commerce can help foreign students understand their rights when renting a property in Perth. More information can be obtained from www.tenancywa.org.au and www.commerce.wa.gov.au 

Also, Community Legal Centres (CLCs) offer free legal services to the public. They can help in case you need any legal aid and can’t afford a private lawyer

Paying rent

There are several ways to pay rent in Perth. You can either choose to pay with direct debit (bank), electronic payment (BPAY) or with a card. You can also choose to pay in cash depending on the options made available by your landlord or real estate agent.

Rental scams

Concerning accommodation, another thing you want to be careful of is rental scams. Here are a few tips to protect yourself from these scams.

  • Avoid ridiculously cheap offers
  • Avoid making any decisions before actually taking a look at the property
  • Also, if what you see on inspection does not match the photos or description you got, this might be a warning.
  • If the landlord or estate agent asks you to wire money overseas.


Getting Settled in Perth


  • Get a SmartRider card

 If you’re new in town, one thing you’d definitely need to settle in the city is a SmartRider card. You’d need the card to get around town on public transport. You can easily get one of these cards from a convenience store or selected retailers around.

  • Know the emergency number

In case of an emergency, it is also important that you know the emergency number of the region (000). You can dial this number if you need any urgent assistance from the police, fire service or an ambulance. Once you’re in the region, the number goes through even without reception.  

  • Sort out your phone

You have two options with getting a phone, you can either choose to continue using your old phone or get a new one in Australia. Getting a new one offers you the option of going prepaid, although you can also sign up for a plan.

  • Map out your routine

Once you have the basics sorted, the next thing to do is find out when your classes start and what the schedule is. If the institution you’re registered in has multiple campuses, you should find out where your campus is located. You should also get to know about appropriate orientation programs and when they are scheduled for.

  • Sort out your phone

You have two options with getting a phone, you can either choose to continue using your old phone or get a new one in Australia. Getting a new one offers you the option of going prepaid, although you can also sign up for a plan.

  • Set up your bank account

Setting up your bank account is the next step to take when settling in Perth, especially if you have any plans to work in the course of your stay in Australia. Apart from this, a bank account would also make making payments easier for you through the course of your stay.



Things You Must-do in Perth


  • Explore the Cottesloe Beach

 Cottesloe Beach is about twenty minutes from Perth by train. Cottesloe Beach is one of the most amazing beaches in West Australia. You can surf and have other watersports on the beach.

  • Meet the wildlife

 Australia is known globally for its wildlife. So, in your time in Perth, you might want to explore this part of the region. All you have to do is get on the ferry to South Perth to check out the wildlife at the Perth Zoo.

  • Check out the Yagan Square

Yagan Square is a central hub that connects Perth and Northbridge. You’d find everything in the hub; from food halls to interesting sculptures, music, and entertainment.

  • Visit the Perth Cultural Centre

The Perth Cultural Centre is home to the art gallery of West Australia, the State Theatre Centre, the West Australia Library and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. The centre also houses a giant screen that can show up to three films.





Improving your English


If you’re coming from a region where English is not the first language, you might be looking forward to improving your English while in Australia. Apart from the fact that speaking better would help in the course of your program, it also offers you a better chance at socializing with natives and people from other regions. Here are a few tips that can help out.


Australia, there are a few tools and resources that can help.


 Speaking a language often is one of the best ways to get better at it. To achieve this, you can join a conversation group or find a friend who also wants to improve their English. Being home to a lot of international students, you would find several other students that you can network with and communicate in English. Joining a volunteer group or a sports team can also help with this.



 Another good way to improve your English is by committing to reading in English. Read books in English, see films and shows in English. You can start this off with subtitles and the move on to do away with the subtitles as you get better. This would go a long way to help improve your control over the language.


Also, writing a daily journal in English would go a long way to improve your English. This way you get better at expressing your thoughts and ideas in English.


Living With Other People


If you choose to live with a housemate, it is important to settle some basic affairs to make your cohabitation smooth. Some of the things you should agree on include;

  • Food

You and your housemate(s) must establish early how groceries will be purchased and what food would be shared.

  • Rent

 It is also important to ensure that the rent is paid on time and to the right person. You might have a head housemate or a person who has been designated for this task. The person oversees payments to the landlord.

  • Guests

 Also, agreements should be reached on receiving guests and how to access shared spaces.


  • Bills

 Also, there should be arrangements on how the bills would be shared and paid. This would help ensure they are paid on time and avoid any issues with housemates.

  • Cleaning

 Also, a cleaning roster should be put in place to share the responsibility of cleaning shared spaces and items.

  • Moving out

 Also, in the event that someone wants to move out, you might want to establish the process involved and agree on what the notice required should be.


Possible Extra Bills

Depending on your contract, sometimes, some accommodation packages might come with extra costs depending on the terms and conditions of the lease. This is why it is important to read all the documents involved in the transaction thoroughly before making any decisions. For instance, phone provider bills or cable bills might be included in your billing plan.

Getting a Phone

As earlier mentioned, getting a phone is one of the important things to do when you first arrive in Perth. In getting a phone, there are two main options; prepaid or plan options. The main documents you’d need include

  • An Australian bank statement or rental agreement
  • Your student visa details 
  • Proof of identity, such as your passport

 Working during your Stay

Yes, you can work in Perth over the duration of your course. A student’s visa allows you to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks during the semester and for unlimited hours during semester breaks. If you choose to work, you might also want to get acquainted with the Australian laws related to basic workplace rights, which includes minimum wage and working conditions.