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.
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
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.
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.
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.
|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|
|Gas, electricity, water||$5-$10|
|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.
You should read this section carefully, and discuss the issues raised in this section with the bank or financial institution in your home country before you leave. All banks operate differently and you should be aware of all fees, charges, ease of access to your funds, and safety of the way in which you will access those funds.
Only Australian currency can be used in Australia. If you have not brought some with you, you can change money at the airport. Once you have arrived in Perth, you can also change money at any bank or at currency exchanges.
You should prepare a folder of official documents to bring with you to Australia, including:
If you are travelling with your family you will need to include their documents as well. Keep all documents in your carry-on luggage. In case you lose the originals, make copies that can be left behind with family and sent to you.
When you first arrive in Australia you will be required to make your way through Australian Immigration (follow the signs for Arriving Passengers as you leave the plane). An Immigration Officer will ask to see your completed Incoming Passenger Card (given to you on the plane) along with your passport and student visa evidence. The Immigration Officer will check your documents and may ask you a few questions about your plans for your stay in Australia
Once you have passed through the immigration checks you will move to baggage claim (follow the signs) and collect your luggage. Check that nothing is missing or damaged. If something is missing or damaged go to the Baggage Counter and advise them of your problem. Staff at the Baggage Counter will help you to find your belongings or lodge a claim for damage.
Students are often surprised by how strict Australian Customs Services and quarantine can be. If you’re in doubt about whether your goods are prohibited or not, declare it anyway on the Incoming Passenger Card which you will receive on the plane. Students have received on the spot fines for not declaring items.
Baggage allowances flying into Australia will vary according to your carrier, flight class and country of origin. Please check with your carrier prior to departure. International economy passengers are generally permitted 1 x checked luggage (30kg) and 1 x carry-on (7kg). Within Australia you are generally allowed only 20kg of checked luggage. This will significantly limit the amount of things you can bring, especially if you will fly within Australia to get to your final destination. It is essential to think the packing process through very carefully. You will be able to purchase most things upon arrival in Australia but the price may be higher than in your own country.
Once you have your luggage you will go through Customs. Be careful about what you bring into Australia. Some items you might bring from overseas can carry pests and diseases that Australia doesn’t have. You must declare ALL food, meat, fruit, plants, seeds, wooden souvenirs, animal or plant materials or their derivatives.
Australia has strict quarantine laws and tough on-the-spot fines. Every piece of luggage is now screened or x-rayed by quarantine officers, detector dog teams and x-ray machines. If you fail to declare or dispose of any quarantine items, or make a false declaration, you will get caught. In addition to on-the-spot fines, you could be prosecuted and fined more than AU$60,000 and risk 10 years in prison.
All international mail is also screened. Some products may require treatment to make them safe. Items that are restricted because of the risk of pests and disease will be seized and destroyed by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS).
For more detailed information about bringing in food, animals, plants, animal or plant materials or their derivatives visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity
KCBT can organise for you to be picked up from the Airport and taken to your accommodation. You need to let us know 2 weeks in advance if you would like this service. The cost of airport pickup is $80 per person.
Perth has a free bus service that operates around the central business district. There are the CAT buses and the normal buses travelling through the city. Check the free transit zone (FTZ). There are three CAT routes, red, blue and yellow. For information contact Transperth:
P: 13 62 13. Or visit www.transperth.wa.gov.au
A shuttle bus service runs between the international and domestic terminals to the city centre. The bus service stops at the major hotels in Perth CBD.
For information on the Shuttle bus
P :(08) 9277 7958 Or visit www.perthshuttle.com.au
Taxis are available from the ground floor level of Perth International Airport and the Perth Domestic Airport. The Domestic Airport is 11 kilometres from the city, approximately 20 minutes. The cost is approximately $25 by taxi. The International Terminal is 17 kilometres from the city, approximately 30 minutes. The cost is approximately $35 by taxi.
A $2.00 taxi parking fee applies at Perth International Airport. This $2.00 per vehicle fee only applies to passengers leaving Perth International Airport from a taxi rank.
The Western Australian Government urges travellers to be aware of the unlicensed or illegal taxi and chauffeur drivers, also known as touters, operating at the Perth International Airport. If you are approached by someone offering to assist you with transport needs, you should decline the invitation and report the incident to the Department of Transport on:
P: 1300 660 147 please visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/taxis/
Before you leave home, you should provide your family and friends, and your education provider in Australia, with details of your flights to Australia and where you will be staying when you arrive. (Do not change these details without informing them.) Once you have arrived in Australia, you should then let your family and friends know that you have arrived safely. It is important to ALWAYS let someone know where you are and how to contact you by phone or by post.
While living and studying abroad may be an exciting adventure, it can also present a range of challenges. Having decided to study and live in Australia you will be undertaking adjustments in many areas of your life including cultural, social and academic. It is also important to remember that while these changes are occurring you will be embarking upon a new term of study (for many of you in a different language) and be away from your usual supports, networks and resources. Adjustment to a new country and culture is a process that occurs gradually and takes time.
The values, beliefs, traditions and customs of your home country may vary greatly from those in Australia and adapt to the Australian way of life may take some time. This advice may help:
Try to maintain a sense of perspective
Culture shock is the feeling of being out of place in an unfamiliar environment. The initial excitement of moving to a new country often subsides when different cultural expectations challenge you to attend to daily responses and behaviours previously taken for granted. Then potential stress of dealing with these persistent challenges can result in feelings of hostility and frustration with your host country as well as a profound longing for home.
Once you realise you have culture shock, getting over it and moving on to better adjustment with the host culture will depend on you. It is you who must take some positive steps to feel better, and the sooner you take them, the better.
(Source: Rotary International Youth Exchange)
Australians hold certain days each year as special days of national meaning. We may recognise the day with a holiday for everyone or we can celebrate the day as a nation with special events. Most States and Territories observe some of the public holidays on the same date. They have others on different dates or have some days that only their State or Territory celebrates. In larger cities, most shops, restaurants and public transport continue to operate on public holidays. In smaller towns, most shops and restaurants close.
Australians love to celebrate New Year. There are festivals, celebrations and parties all over the country to welcome in the New Year. The fireworks display is considered to be one of the best. January 1 is a public holiday.
Australia Day, January 26, is the day we as a people and place celebrate our nationhood. The day is a public holiday. The day marks the founding of the first settlement in our nation by European people.
Easter commemorates the resurrection (return to life) of Jesus Christ following his death by crucifixion. It is the most significant event of the Christian calendar. In addition to its religious significance, Easter in Australia is enjoyed as a four-day holiday weekend starting on Good Friday and ending on Easter Monday. This extra-long weekend is an opportunity for Australians to take a mini holiday, or get together with family and friends. Easter often coincides with school holidays, so many people with school aged children incorporate Easter into a longer family holiday. Easter is the busiest time for domestic air travel in Australia, and a very popular time for gatherings such as weddings and christenings.
Anzac Day is on April 25 the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915 during World War 1. This day is set apart to hold dear the memory of those who fought for our nation and those who lost their life to war. The day is a public holiday. We remember with ceremonies, wreath laying and military parades. You will find that many towns have an ANZAC Day parade and ceremony culminating in the laying of memorial wreaths at a monument or war memorial. These services can be very moving and a wonderful way of experiencing some Australian National pride, as the memories of our fallen soldiers are commemorated. Many Australians attend the National War Memorial in Canberra, or a War Memorial in one of the Capital Cities around Australia for either the traditional “Dawn Service”, which commemorates the landing of the ANZACS at Gallipoli in the dark and dawning of that day, or another service usually commencing around mid-morning with a parade of returned armed forces representing all Australians who have fought in war. As Australia is such a multi-cultural country, these days it is common to see many other countries also represented in these parades.
ANZAC Day is the only day of the year where it may also be possible to attend an RSL (Returned Servicemen’s League) Club to experience a traditional game of “TWO-UP”. A game of chance played by the ANZACS where money is waged on the toss of three coins for a resulting combination of 2 out of 3 being either heads or tails. RSL clubs are crammed with returned soldiers and their families and friends on this day, the atmosphere are one of “mateship” and friendliness to all and the experience of a game of two-up is a memorable one.
Labour Day is celebrated on different dates throughout Australia. As elsewhere in the world, Labour Day originated in Australia as a means of giving ‘working people’ a day off and recognising the roots of trade unionist movements and workers’ rights.
The Queen’s Birthday holiday celebrates the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II who is not only Queen of the United Kingdom but also Queen of Australia. Having the Queen’s Birthday on a Monday, results in a three-day long weekend.
Christmas is celebrated in Australia on 25 December. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus is ‘the son of God’, the Messiah sent from Heaven to save the world. The heat of early summer in Australia has an impact on the way that Australians celebrate Christmas and our English heritage also has an impact on some northern hemisphere Christmas traditions which are followed.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, houses are decorated; greetings cards sent out; carols sung; Christmas trees installed in homes, schools and public places; and children delight in anticipating a visit from Santa Claus. On Christmas Day family and friends gather to exchange gifts and enjoy special Christmas food. Australians are as likely to eat freshly caught seafood outdoors at a barbeque, as to have a traditional roast dinner around a dining table.
Many Australians spend Christmas out of doors, going to the beach for the day, or heading to camping grounds for a longer break over the Christmas holiday period.
Carols by Candlelight have become a huge Christmas tradition in Australia. Carols by Candlelight events today range from huge gatherings, which are televised live throughout the country, to smaller local community and church events.
You can choose to open an account in any Bank, Credit Union or Building Society in Australia. Do your research to get the best deal.
To open a bank account you will need:
Anyone who wishes to open a bank account in Australia must show several pieces of personal identification which are allotted a points system. 100 points of identification is required to establish your identity as the person who will be named in the account. Your passport and proof of your arrival date in Australia will be acceptable as 100 points IF you open an account within six weeks of arrival in Australia. After this time you will be required to produce additional documentation. As a student you will be able to open an account with special student benefits. Many banks have ‘Student Accounts’ which contain no or minimal fees for transactions that might normally be attached to regular savings accounts. You will also require the student ID card from your institution to prove you are a student and should have access to the benefits offered by a student bank account. For a comparison of accounts in banks throughout Australia see:
Most people in Australia enjoy the convenience of Internet banking and/or Telephone banking, which enables them to manage their money, pay bills etc. from home. At the time you are setting up your account you can request these services from your bank.
BANK WEBSITE LOCAL ADDRESS
|National Australia Bank www.nab.com.au 50 St. Georges Terrace
Perth, Western Australia, Phone: (08) 9441 9362
77 St. Georges Terrace
Perth, Western Australia, Phone: 13 13 14
|Commonwealth Bank www.commbank.com.au Mezzanine Level, 150 St. Georges Terrace
Perth, Western Australia, Phone: 13 22 21
|Westpac Bank www.westpac.com.au 109 St. Georges Terrace Perth, Western Australia, Phone: 13 20 32|
|St George Bank
Level 11, 152-158 St. Georges Terrace
Perth, Western Australia,
Phone: (08) 6226 9100
Please note – this is only a sample list of some financial institutions in Australia with no particular recommendation.
Please visit this website and find Banks & ATMs nearest to you: www.lookatwa.com.au/AboutPerth/banks.html
Most bank branches are open from Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm (except on public holidays). Some branches have extended trading hours during the week and may be open Saturdays (check with your individual bank).
ATMs remain open 24 hours a day. However, you should be aware of your personal safety if accessing cash from an ATM at night in quiet areas where there are not a lot of people around.
Bank fees are the price you pay for the products and services that banks offer. Different banks charge different fees for different products and services, and the best way to find out what fees apply is simply to ask your bank. Any fees that apply to your accounts are fully disclosed in information leaflets and terms and conditions that your bank can provide before you open your account. Some banks waive some fees if you are a full-time student. The way you do your banking may also affect the fees that apply for example: internet banking rather than walking into a branch. If you don’t understand any fee that has been charged, contact your bank.
Most banks will provide regular statements for your accounts (just how regular can depend on the type of account). On request, banks will provide statements on a deposit account at more frequent intervals, but this may attract a fee. Bank statements are your record of everything that has happened in your account over a given period – the withdrawals, deposits and transfers that were made, and any bank fees and government taxes you were charged.
Telephone and Internet banking can make it easy to check your statements, and some banks even offer ‘mini statements’ through their own ATMs.
Check your statements regularly to make sure you’ve got enough money in your account to cover your expenses and keep track of your spending, as well as make sure that all transactions made in your account are legitimate. Refer to your statements to see what fees you are paying on your bank accounts and why, and to see whether a few simple changes to your banking habits could help you to reduce the fees you pay (for example, using your own bank’s ATMs instead of other banks’ ATMs).
(Source: Australian Bankers’ Association Inc.)
You must obtain a Tax File Number to be able to work in Australia. A tax file number (TFN) is your unique reference number to our tax system. When you start work, your employer will ask you to complete a tax file number declaration form. If you do not provide a TFN your employment will be taxed at the highest personal income tax rate, which will mean less money in your wages each week.
You can apply for your TFN online at www.ato.gov.au, or phone 13 28 61, 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. For the ATO translating and interpreter service phone: 13 14 50.
If you pay too much tax you are entitled to a refund. To get a refund you will need to lodge a tax return. You can lodge online using e-tax (free), by mailing a paper tax return, or by paying a registered tax agent to complete and lodge the return for you. If you lodge by e-tax your refund will normally be issued within 14 days.
If your monthly wage is more than AU$450, your employer must contribute an additional sum equal to 9% of your wage into a superannuation (pension) account for you. In most cases, you can access your contributions when you leave Australia permanently, although the contributions will be taxed. Check your eligibility to claim superannuation and to apply for your payment, visit: www.ato.gov.au/departaustralia You will need to provide the details of your superannuation fund.
(Source: Australian Taxation Office)
One of the reasons we have such a wonderful lifestyle in Australia is due to our representative democracy, the separation of powers, and our respect for the rule of law. We have a lot of laws in Australia and as a result, society runs smoothly.
In being granted a visa to study in Australia, you signed a document (Australian Values Statement Temporary) agreeing to respect Australian values and obey the laws of Australia for the duration of your stay. Failure to comply with the laws of this land (including State and Territory laws) could result in a fine or the cancellation of your visa and possible deportation back home. If you are convicted of a serious crime, it could result in imprisonment.
Nobody wants this to happen!
You can find a comprehensive outline of Australian law and the legal system at www.australia.gov.au
(Department for Community Development, now the
Department for Child Protection) http://www.slp.wa.gov.au/statutes/swans.nsf
Children and Community Services Act 2004 (WA)
Other relevant Acts:
Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 (WA)
Family Court Act 1997 (WA) Adoption Act 1994 (WA) Family Law Act 1975 (Cmth)
(Source: Australian Institute of Family Studies)
When you are out and about it is important to be alert and aware of your personal safety. If you are going out at night remember:
(Source: Australian Federal Police)
A person who waves at unknown drivers from the side of the road to request a ride with a driver further along the road is called a Hitchhiker. Some travel companies promote hitchhiking as an inexpensive means of travelling around Australia.
HOWEVER: Many crimes have been committed against innocent hitchhikers including violent personal crimes and abductions. You do not know anything about the person whose car you get into.
Our advice to you is: DON’T HITCHHIKE! It simply is not worth the risk.
Travelling on public transport should be a safe and comfortable experience. Numerous security measures have been adopted to maximise the safety of travellers including: security officers, police, guards, help points, good lighting and security cameras. Most drivers also have two-way radios and can call for assistance.
Waiting for a bus:
Many of the same safety tips when travelling by bus apply for trains. In addition:
Travelling by taxi is generally quite a safe method of public transport. To increase your confidence when travelling by taxi, consider the following suggestions: