Living in Perth

Living In Perth

Perth is an ideal study destination for international students. The city enjoys a Mediterranean climate with perfect blue skies and a pollution-free environment. Perth also has a relatively low crime rate compared to other major cities, making its campuses, transport and city streets safe and secure

It offers one of the highest standards of living in the world, but is more affordable compared to the UK or USA. All full-time students are entitled to a 40% discount on all public transport, and buses within the central business districts of Perth, Joondalup and Fremantle are free.

There are a number of student accommodation options available for both local and international students

Your particular lifestyle will determine your budget and the type of accommodation you will be happy with, but the following estimates don’t allow for luxuries such as flights to other parts of Australia for a holiday, flights home or buying and running a car.

We recommend that you arrange to arrive in Australia with at least $1,000 and you should also have access to a further $2,000 for your first week in Australia to cover costs relating to obtaining permanent accommodation, such as bond, rent in advance, utility connection and furnishings, etc.

Costs would normally include:

  • Accommodation
  • Clothing
  • Transport
  • Food
  • Entertainment

You will need approximately AU$16,000-20,000 per year ($315-400 per week) to cover your expenses, in addition to your tuition fees.

The cost of textbooks, obtaining a driver’s license and some of the “one off” type expenses when you first arrive need to be accounted for (e.g. bond for accommodation, household items, utility/telephone connection fees.) Use this as a guide only. Textbooks and stationery should be budgeted at approximately A$200 – $400 per semester and some money may be saved by purchasing second-hand books (advertisements are usually placed on the notice-boards around campus).

Full-time students are entitled to cheaper fares on public transport. Bus and train fares vary but are about $2 per one way trip. Special SmartRider cards with student concession can be purchased which allow trips at discounted prices. SmartRider cards will be further explained at Orientation. Students are not able to apply for a SmartRider card until they have attended Orientation.

NOTE: Students are often entitled to discounts on a variety of entertainment and other purchases upon proof of their Student ID card.

Accommodation for international students in Perth is as varied as the requirements of the students themselves. There are many different options to choose from depending on your budget and your needs.Accommodation in Perth

Shared Accommodation

In shared accommodation you will have your own bedroom but will share household responsibilities (cleaning, laundry, cooking etc.) with your flat mate. Generally you will buy your own food and will share the cost for services like electricity, telephone internet etc.

Rental Accommodation

This type of accommodation will provide you complete independence. Rental properties are advertised on the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) website and in Perth’s local newspapers. You will sign a legal contract with the landlord or the real estate agency to rent a house or an apartment.

Most properties are unfurnished; you will need to purchase electrical items, furniture, bedding and kitchen utensils. You will usually need to pay four weeks’ rent upfront (known as bond) as well as cover the costs for connecting the electricity, gas, telephone and internet. Some furnished apartments and houses are also available


Homestay means living with an Australian family for all or part of your study period. Single or shared rooms are available. Meals are usually included, but cheaper self-catering homestay is available. You can use the family home at leisure; however there are rules that you will need to follow. More information on homestay can be accessed through student support.

Youth hostels

Hostels are either privately-owned or run by organisations such as Youth Hostels Australia (YHA) and the YMCA. Single and shared rooms are available, with communal kitchen and bathroom facilities. You can also search for privately-owned youth hostels in Perth.

Accommodation and Living Costs*

Rental Type Weekly Rates
Shared house – Room only $150+
Shared house – One bedroom furnished $200+
Apartment – Two bedroom unfurnished $250+
Apartment – 3 bedroom unfurnished $350+
Other Costs Weekly Rates
Food $60-$70
Gas, electricity, water $5-$10
Laundromat $5
Public transport $20-$25
Telephone (local only NOT overseas calls) $10-$20
Clothing / toiletries / miscellaneous $50-$70

*These costs are an estimate only. They do not include additional costs associated with a more expensive lifestyle.