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Living in Perth

Australia’s west coast city of Perth is friendly, welcoming and offers students an unbeatable lifestyle and one of the world’s best universities: The University of Western Australia (UWA).  

With its unspoiled natural beauty and vibrant city life, sunny Perth will exceed your expectations as the perfect destination to study, live and launch your future career. 

Being one of Australia's most affordable capital cities to live in (Comparative analysis of cost of living, Deloitte Access Economics, July 2022), you can experience more from this multicultural city for less. 

Why students love Perth 

Exploring Perth and beyond

Kings Park and Botanic Garden

One of the world’s largest inner-city parks. Wander around its Botanic Garden or climb to the top of Jacob's Ladder for breathtaking views of the city.

Elizabeth Quay
Swan River

When it comes to launching your graduate career, Perth is a place of opportunity – 1/3 of ASX-listed companies and 8 of the world’s top 14 energy companies have headquarters in Perth (Think Perth, City of Perth and WA State Government).  

Other growing sectors in Western Australia include construction, services, tourism and agriculture, providing qualified graduates with a range of industries to work in.  

Thanks to the city’s strong economy, employees in Perth are well rewarded: average weekly incomes here are 9% above the national average (Australia Bureau of Statistics).  

Rising as a top foodie destination in Australia, Perth offers countless eating options from local to international cuisines. Close to the Indian Ocean, you'll find a wealth of restaurants serving fresh seafood. Perth is also a top producer of wheat, which means you’ll see pastas, breads and pies everywhere!  

Perth has a lower cost of living than Sydney and Melbourne (Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2022, Economist Intelligence Unit), so you can enjoy a good quality of life for less.    

Here’s an estimate of some weekly expenses to help you budget (for illustrative purposes only, actual costs may vary): 

Public transport (based on a prepaid Tertiary SmartRider card with 40% international student discount) 

AUD $30–$60 

Food (groceries and eating out) 

AUD $140–$280 


AUD $80–$150 

University accommodation 

AUD $200–$690 

Figures from Cost of Living Calculator, 

Tip: Don't forget, students can get discounts on many things from streaming services to travel.  

It’s easy to get around Perth via public transport – and affordable, with 40% discount on journeys for international students or free with the Purple CAT, linking the UWA campus to Perth City. Thanks to the city’s great weather, walking and biking are options all year round too.  

If you're planning to travel beyond the city, Perth Airport is easily reachable with regular bus services from Elizabeth Quay. You can fly directly to several Australian cities such as: 

  • Adelaide (2 hours 45 mins)  

  • Brisbane (4 hours 20 mins)  

  • Cairns (4 hours 10) 

  • Melbourne (3 hours 30 mins)  

  • Sydney (4 hours). 

Perth is also the closest Australian major capital city to Asia, sharing a time zone with 60% of the world’s population (+/- 2.5 hours). You can get direct flights to places such as: 

  • Bangkok (7 hours)  

  • Hong Kong (7 hours 30 mins) 

  • Jakarta (4 hours 50 mins) 

  • Singapore (5 hours 20 mins) 

  • Tokyo (9 hours 30 mins). 

Home of the world’s oldest living culture, Western Australia will inspire you with its art scene and authentic culture. Whatever you enjoy, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in Perth.  

  • Museums and art galleries – visit the Art Gallery of Western Australia and Western Australian Museum, both located in Perth Cultural Centre, to see the state’s finest art collections and history. Admire the beautiful artwork of local Aboriginal artists at Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery – which also offers cultural activities and performances.  

  • Theater and film – watch live theater performances at the world-class State Theatre Centre of WA. Or catch the latest blockbuster or independent films at HOYTS Cinemas, Palace Raine Square or Luna Palace Cinemas. 

  • Live music enjoy live music concerts at Perth Concert Hall and Crown Theatre Perth or discover local acts in one of the many small music venues across the city. 

  • Festivals – Perth is home to several diverse annual festivals and events all year round. You can participate in The Perth Festival, a celebration of art and the longest running festival in Australia; Fringe World, which offers a variety of entertainment from comedy and musicals to circus; and Sculpture by the Sea, the largest free public sculpture exhibition in the world. 

  • Shopping – Perth offers a diverse shopping experience, from massive malls to Art Deco shopping arcades and open-air street markets. Explore Murray Street Mall for high street brands or Raine Square for high-end fashion. If you’d like to pick up some classic Australian gift items such as Aboriginal art and Ugg boots, then head to London Court where quaint walkways are inspired by Tudor England.  

Discover more things to do in Perth on the Visit Perth website

Although you'll have access to UWA’s sports facilities and clubs on campus, there are also plenty of sports activities to do around the city. 

  • The WACA Ground – the home of cricket in Western Australia since 1890, this iconic ground in East Perth also hosts a cricket museum where you can learn about the history of the game. 

  • The Optus Stadium – this 60,000 capacity stadium hosts AFL, soccer and rugby league, as well as live music concerts. 

  • Beatty Park – this aquatic center was built for the 1962 Commonwealth Games. Today it houses indoor and outdoor pools alongside other state-of-the-art fitness equipment. 

  • About Bike Hire Perth – cycle, skate or kayak your way around Perth with this extensive bike rental service. 

Ready to start your study abroad journey in Perth?