Although it is one of the most isolated cities in Australia, people always find their way to Perth. Known also as the city of lights, Perth is a vibrant city with a myriad of opportunities for international students. If you’re planning to move here, you can choose among some of the best Australian universities and enjoy some of the best beaches and climate in the country.
Top Reasons to Study in Perth
As a modern and lively city, Perth is the ideal place to pursue your studies. Still not convinced?
Here are some of the benefits of living and studying in this city:
- Perth regularly ranks among the top 50 student cities in the world due to its great education infrastructure.
- Perth is known as the sunniest Australian capital, with around 3,200 hours of sunshine annually and an average of eight hours of sunshine per day.
- Perth is among the more affordable major capital cities in Australia.
- Perth has an amazing food and drink culture — you’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes throughout the city.
- Perth has a booming economy, with mining, professional, scientific & technical services, public administration & safety, and healthcare & social assistance being the major economic sectors.
- Perth is one of Australia’s most international cities and welcomes students from all over the world.
- Perth is only about a five-hour flight away from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, making it a popular destination for students of these countries.
- Perth is a beach lover’s heaven — Cottesloe Beach, Scarborough Beach, Leighton Beach, Trigg Beach, and City Beach are just a short drive away from the centre.
Best Universities in Perth
If you choose to study in Perth, you will have the opportunity to study in some of the best Australian universities, where you are supported in any student matters. Regardless of the field of studies, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in one of these top universities in Perth:
The University of Western Australia
Ranked among the top 100 best universities in the world, the University of Western Australia is home to thousands of international students who choose it for its quality education. With a myriad of courses at undergraduate and graduate levels and more than 160 clubs and societies to choose from, this university offers an exciting student life and experiences. The University of Western Australia also makes sure to support its students be it in academic matters, personal issues and well-being, career services, or financial assistance.
You will find various study areas at this university structured into the following academic units:
- UniSA Allied Health & Human Performance
- UniSA Business
- UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences
- UniSA Creative
- UniSA Education Futures
- UniSA Justice & Society
- UniSA STEM
Curtin University is an Australian public research university with a presence in Australia and several other countries such as Malaysia and Dubai. Named after Australia’s fourteenth prime minister, John Curtin, the university has a long history of achievements and academic excellence. Curtin offers a number of different study programs at the undergraduate, postgraduate, and research levels, as well as online courses hosted by the university and Open Universities Australia (OUA).
The university is divided into five main discipline-based study areas:
- Centre for Aboriginal Studies
- Faculty of Business and Law
- Faculty of Health Sciences
- Faculty of Humanities
- Faculty of Science and Engineering
Murdoch University is another outstanding Australian university with campuses in Australia and around the globe. Known for its flexible admissions system, Murdoch prides itself on making education more accessible and inclusive. With plenty of clubs and societies ranging from climate action groups to the women in STEM society or the Murdoch Medieval Club, you are sure to find your voice and people at this university. You can choose to study from a variety of undergraduate, honours, postgraduate, and research programs.
Murdoch University consists of the following schools:
- Murdoch Business School
- Murdoch Law School
- Murdoch Veterinary School
Edith Cowan University
Established in 1991, Edith Cowan University is the only university in Australia named after a woman, respectively, after the first woman elected in the Australian parliament. Since its founding, the university has grown into a high-quality educational institution with more than 30,000 students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Edith Cowan University offers a supportive learning environment and numerous student services such as help with accommodation and childcare, equity, diversity and disability services, and top-notch facilities such as libraries and student hubs.
The university is divided into eight teaching schools:
- Arts & Humanities
- Business & Law
- Medical & Health Sciences
- Nursing & Midwifery
- Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
- Kurongkurl Katitjin (Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research)
Student Life in Perth
You’ll never run out of activities when you’re in Perth, especially considering the good weather. Most universities in Perth have countless student clubs and societies that will help you find extracurricular activities that you enjoy. Whether you’re into sports or you’d like to join a book club, you will most likely find your people in some of these groups.
Perth is also the perfect city for leisure activities and sports, with many leisure centres, pools, skateparks, and sports grounds spread out across the city. Its many beaches are also a great destination for when you want to try out surfing or freshen up with a quick swim.
Food and Drink
When you want to splurge on good food, some of the best restaurants to check out in Perth are La Condesa for a Mexican cantina-style experience, My Bayon for Cambodian and Asian fusion dishes, Balthazar and Wildflower for Australian cuisine, UMA Restaurant to try Peruvian food, and Post for delicious Italian food.
If you’re staying on a budget, some of the best cheap eats in Perth include The Fish & Chip Co, Chop Chop BBQ, Wok & Ladle: Thai Eatery, Filos & Yiros, Toastface Grillah, Mack Daddy’s New York Slice and Taka’s Kitchen.
Some lovely cafes to try out when you’re in Perth include Hemingway Cafe, Forklore, Tartine Cafe, Voodoo Cafe, Telegram Coffee, etc. And if you’re down for a cocktail, wine, or beer on your night out in town, try Bobeche, Foxtrot Unicorn, Casa, Wolf Lane, or Varnish on King.
Just because you move abroad doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Whether you need help with accommodation, scholarships, physical and mental health support, disability, or children, many universities in Perth will provide support services. Outside of your university, StudyPerth is another great resource that offers free support for international students in the city. They have plenty of interactive tools and regular events to help you make yourself at home in Perth.
Top Things To See and Do in Perth
There are plenty of touristic destinations that you can check out in Perth without going out of your way. When you arrive in the city and have settled down, here are some landmarks and things to do to keep you entertained in-between classes or during weekends:
- Kings Park and Botanic Garden
- Swan River
- The Perth Mint
- Matagarup Zip+Climb | Perth
- Captain Cook Cruises
- Perth International Arts Festival
- Art Gallery of Western Australia
- His Majesty’s Theatre
- Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park
- Heirisson Island
- Queens Gardens
- Perth Zoo
- The Bell Tower
Public Transportation in Perth
Perth’s public transport system makes it easy to get from one place to another. The city’s main public transport provider, Transperth, operates an integrated network of buses, trains, and ferries. You can use this journey planner to calculate Transperth routes and connections.
There are two main ways you can access Transperth services: through cash tickets and the SmartRider card. You can buy the SmartRider card at Transperth InfoCentres or some select retailers. Some students are available for concession fares through the card.
Cost of Living in Perth
In comparison to the eastern capitals, with the exception of Adelaide, Perth is generally considered to be more affordable. That being said, living in the city is not exactly cheap. However, budgeting or working part-time as a student goes a long way. Your expenses depend heavily on the location and type of accommodation as well as your lifestyle.
In general, you can expect to spend around AUD $3,000 to AUD $3,300 per month in rent and other expenses. You can use this Cost of Living Calculator to calculate your weekly or monthly expenses according to your accommodation and lifestyle preferences.
Perth Student Accommodation
There are numerous student accommodations available in Perth. Although the city is affected by the current housing crisis in Australia (and many places worldwide), there are many ways to find a place to live. The most popular types of accommodation for students include on-campus housing provided by the university, private flats or house-sharing, purpose-built student apartments and complexes, and homestay accommodation.
Note: All rates presented below are $AUD.
On-campus accommodations can be a great way to instantly make new friends and become part of a community. Plus, they often save you the hassle of commuting and paying for utilities.
Here are some of the university-provided accommodations in Perth:
The University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia has five residential colleges that are often referred to as College Row:
- St Catherine’s College starting at $469 per week.
- St George’s College around $498 per week.
- St Thomas More College starting at $420 per week.
- Trinity Residential College starting at $469 per week.
- University Hall from $375 per week.
Curtin offers a variety of on-campus accommodation options in collaboration with UniLodge and St Catherine’s College:
- St Catherine’s College starting from $484 per week.
- Erica Underwood House from $235 per week.
- Guild House from $212.
- Kurrajong Village starting from $210.
- Vickery House from $235.
- Twin Dolphin Hall from $386.
Murdoch University has a partnership with Campus Living Villages and houses more than 800 students at its Murdoch University Village. Prices start at $256 per week for a shared apartment.
Edith Cowan University
Edith Cowan University offers on-campus housing managed by Campus Living Villages:
- ECU Village Mount Lawley from $258 per week for a shared apartment.
- ECU Village Joondalup from $237 per week for a shared apartment.
- ECU Village Bunbury from $200 per week for a shared apartment.
Private Flat & House-Sharing
Plenty of students in Perth prefer sharing a private flat or house with other people to cut down the costs. This is a great housing option if you prefer living independently or if you are unable to secure campus accommodation. Some useful resources for finding a private apartment or house/roommates include Flatmates.com.au and Realestate.com.au.
You can also search in local real estate Facebook groups or pages. Rental prices may vary depending on location and apartment size. However, you can expect to pay from $200 to $300 per week for a room.
Purpose-Built Student Accommodation
Perth has some great options for purpose-built student accommodation. This type of accommodation is housing built specifically for students to live in.
Here are your options in Perth:
- The Switch from $285 per week.
- Campus Perth starting from $175 per week.
- Yugo starting from $269 per week.
Homestay arrangements are a great option for students who want to experience living with a local family. This type of accommodation typically involves paying for a private room in an apartment or house shared with a host family.
If you want to learn more about this type of accommodation, check out the Australian Homestay Network website or other websites such as Homestay.com. Prices for this type of housing typically start from $255 per week, depending on the homestay package.
Studying in Perth will be a rewarding experience, as you will be among peers from all over the world, studying in one of Australia’s best student cities. There is plenty to experience and explore, Perth is waiting for you.