Living in Australia – Perth

  • Relaxed outdoor lifestyle
  • Unique Western Australian experience


  • Multi-cultural population of 2 million people
  • People from more than 30 countries
  • A popular choice for international students
  • Local communities from many cultural backgrounds
  • Ethnic food, grocery stores, restaurants, and community newspapers and magazines in many languages


  • Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Cottesloe Beach, Perth Bell Tower, Aviation Heritage Museum, Swan River, Lotterywest Federation Walkway, Scarborough Beach, Queens Gardens, The Perth Mint, Swan Valley Perth’s Valley of Taste, Penguin Island, and many more.


  • Perth has a mixture of Californian and Mediterranean climates, The winters are mild and summers are hot and dry.
  • Perth is the sunniest capital in Australia with an average of eight hours sunshine a day.

Please note: The seasons in Australia are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. Summer occurs at the start and end of the year, and winter is in the middle of the year.


You have different accommodation choices.

Homestay is a very popular accommodation option to international students in Perth. It is a way of providing good quality, safe accommodation. Homestay providers may be families, couples, single people or single mothers with children. All are selected to provide good quality facilities and are matched with students depending on the levels of service offered or requested.

Host families will speak English, this will help International Students improve their English. They will also try to help students with their day-to-day problems such as transport, banking and shopping.

Homestay costs range from A$150-A$265 per week.

We are not taking under 18 years students.

Hostels provide a friendly, safe, supervised environment. You get your own room or a shared room. Dining room, games room and television room are communal. Many hostels also provide meals.

Hostel rooms cost about A$100-A$150 per week.

When you share a house or apartment with one or more other people, you are more independent than if you are living in homestay or hostel accommodation.

You need to supply your own furniture if the house/apartment is unfurnished. You also have to supply your own towels, pillows, sheets and blankets.

You share the cost of rent, telephone, electricity and gas. You need to buy your own food and do your own laundry and cooking, although many sharing arrangements include sharing the cooking.

Shared Apartment ranges from $100 – $250.

If you want to be completely independent, you can rent a property and share living expenses with other students or friends.

You need to provide your own furniture if the house or apartment is unfurnished. You also need to supply your own pillows, sheets and blankets, and pay for expenses such as electricity, gas, and telephone. You also need to clean your apartment, do your own laundry, buy your own food and do your own cooking.

Costs depend on the size and location of the apartment or house.

Renting by yourself ranges from $280 – $450.

Estimated costs in Perth

Accommodation Weekly Cost Estimate*

A$100-A$400 per week

Please note: Accommodation is cheaper outside Perth CBD.

Australia has one of the world’s best health systems.

Modern, well-equipped hospitals, medical centres and doctors’ surgeries are located throughout Perth and regions throughout Western Australia.

What is the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

OSHC is health insurance.

OSHC is compulsory for international students studying in Australia.

What does OHSC provide?

  • OSHC covers international students for certain medical costs if you need to visit a doctor or go to a hospital
  • Check the policy carefully, including the details of what is covered
  • Extra cover is available for an additional fee
  • Serious medical problems should be treated before you come to Australia, as standard OSHC generally does not cover pre-existing medical conditions

How do I arrange OHSC?

  • You can arrange OSHC yourself, or
  • Skills Australia Institute can arrange standard OSHC cover for you with the medical fund insurer, BUPA.

The Australian Government estimates that the average living costs for an international student is A$20000 – A$22,000 per year ($A350 – A$450 per week). This pays for food, accommodation, telephone, gas, electricity, transport and entertainment.

Your living costs could be higher or lower than this, depending on where you study and the lifestyle that you live. 


Item Weekly Cost Range (Australian dollars)

  • Accommodation (house or apartment shared with others): A$70 – A$250
  • Food: A$80 – A$200
  • Utilities: telephone, electricity, gas (shared costs with others) A$80 – A$150
  • Public transport: A$10 – A$60
  • Entertainment: A$50 – A$100
  • TOTAL: A$290 – A$760



There are many local and foreign banks and other financial institutions in Australia.

Banks are usually open between 9:30am and 4:00pm Mondays to Thursdays, and between 9:30am and 5:00pm on Fridays. Some banks open on Saturday mornings in suburban shopping centres. Selected Banks in Perth offer ‘Student Accounts’ with NO monthly fees

You can withdraw cash at any time (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).

Most banks also provide:

  • Telephone and internet banking
  • Savings and cheque accounts
  • Credit cards and debit cards
  • Foreign currency exchange and travellers cheques
  • Other financial services such as loans, bank drafts and transfer of funds

Perth uses a variety of transport methods, including trains, buses and ferries. Perth has a modern public transport system that combines the use of trains, buses, ferries and CATS, to reach from one end of the city to the other. Perth has FREE inner city transport via CAT buses and also most buses within the CBD will allow free travel within the CBD zone.

Taxis are also easy to find, although they cost more than trains, buses or ferries.

You can buy tickets for most train, bus and ferry services at the railway station or ferry station. The purchase of a SMARTRIDER card is preferred to access the Perth Transport Systems. The cost to purchase the card is $5 and offers discounted fares by using the card. In Perth a 40% discount is offered to International students providing they are studying in a full-time course for 6 weeks or more.

It is cheaper to pre-purchase a weekly or monthly ticket if you use public transport every day.

Please note: International students are not entitled to concession fares, so you must pay the full adult fare. The pre-paid ticket is a way of saving money.

Get free printed timetables from train stations, bus depots and ferry terminals.


Visit Perth Transport infoLine train, bus and ferry timetables, fares and online trip-planning

Please note: International students are not entitled to concession fares, so you must pay the full adult fare. The pre-paid ticket is a way of saving money.

In Australia, people are free to practise and follow their own beliefs and religion. Cultural and religious diversity is an important part of life in Australia. You will find many churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship in Perth and in other cities and towns in Western Australia.

A number of major religions and their Australian websites are listed below:

Australia is much safer than many other countries. However, it is still wise to:

  • Avoid dangerous situations
  • Keep yourself safe

Here are some safety tips.

  • Always tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return
  • Be careful when you are travelling at night on your own
  • Do not leave personal belongings unattended
  • Always carry a mobile phone, coins for a pay phone, or a phone card
  • Follow any security guidelines provided by your college and your International Student Co-ordinator
  • Avoid giving personal information to strangers
  • Lock doors and windows before you leave your house or apartment
  • Be careful when using automatic teller machines (ATMs) and put your cash away quickly
  • Keep valuables out of sight when travelling

View the the Health and Safety campaign for international students:

You must maintain adequate schooling arrangements for your school-age dependents who joined you in Australia for more than 3 months as part of your student visa application. Additional fees may be payable (source: Department of Home Affairs DHA).

For more information on schooling options, please refer to:

For more information, contact Skills Australia Institute at


Most shops open from 9:00am to 5:00pm Mondays to Saturdays, except on Thursdays, when shops are usually open from 9:00am to 9:00pm.

Late night shopping in the CBD on Fridays until 9pm. Shops in the CBD and major suburban shopping centres also open from 10:00am to 4:00pm on Sundays.


Almost all shops accept major credit cards and debit (EFTPOS) cards.


In Australia, most shops sell items at a fixed, marked price.

However, you might be able to get a lower price on some items (for example, furniture or electrical goods), if:

  • Another store is offering the same item for a lower price
  • Items are second-hand
  • You are shopping at markets
  • You are paying cash


Supermarkets sell fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, frozen foods, canned goods, bread, paper products, stationery, personal needs and some non-prescription medicines.

Many supermarkets are open late at night 5 days a week.


Department stores sell clothing, shoes, furniture, computers, electrical goods, kitchenware, and gifts. Compare price and quality, and look out for discount sales.


Large shopping centres are located in Perth’s Central Business District, in Perth suburbs and in larger regional cities and towns.

Large shopping centres usually contain:

  • Major department stores (David Jones, Myer, Target, Kmart, Big W)
  • Supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, Spudshed, IGA, Aldi)
  • Specialist stores selling books, clothing, computers and software, telephones, sportswear and music
  • Banks
  • Cafes and fast-food outlets
  • Movie theatres


Markets sell new and second-hand goods. There are a number of weekend markets. You can bargain at some stalls.

Some well-known food and clothing markets in Perth are:

  • City Farm Artisan Markets
  • Coventry Square Markets
  • E Shed Markets
  • Fremantle Markets
  • Guildford Heritage Markets
  • Kalamunda Village Markets
  • Old Perth Markets
  • Perth Upmarket


Second-hand goods, from household items to motor vehicles, are advertised on sites such as Trading Post and eBay.

Gumtree is also very popular for on-line and second-hand shopping.


People hold ‘garage sales’ at their homes to sell personal second-hand items. They usually advertise the date and time in local newspapers. They also place signs around the streets near their home.

International students can work part-time while studying in perth.

There is a lot of part-time work available in Perth and surrounding regions.

Many students like to work part time while they are studying. Part-time work:

  • Gives you extra money;
  • Can help you make friends and improve your English.


  • Work should not interfere with your studies or attendance in class
  • You should not rely on income from part-time work to pay your living or tuition expenses.


What is a Tax File Number (TFN)?

An identity number issued to you by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Do I need a TFN?

  • It is not compulsory to have a TFN. However, if you do not have a TFN, you may pay more tax than necessary on your income from your job, or on the interest on savings in your bank account.
  • When you earn money from a part-time job you must pay Australian taxes. At the end of each financial year (30 June), you claim back the income tax from the ATO. This is easy to do. You then receive a tax refund cheque from the ATO.
  • Your employer and your bank (if you open a bank account) will ask you for your Tax File Number.

When should I apply for a TFN?

  • Before you start part-time work
  • You can only apply for a TFN when you arrive in Australia

Australia has a modern communications network and it is easy to contact family and friends locally or in your home country.


Public Payphones

Public payphones that accept coins can be found in airports, post offices, railway stations, shopping centres and in the centre of the city.

Local calls are untimed. They cost 50c from a payphone if you use coins. Long-distance and international calls are charged by the minute.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phone services are available from several mobile service companies which offer a wide range of phones and payment options.

Depending on the network in your home country, you may be able to connect your existing mobile phone to an Australian network by installing a new SIM card. Mobile call costs may be more expensive than fixed line calls.

Many students find it easier to buy prepaid mobile phone packages which also help to budget for telephone costs.

Overseas phone cards are also available. These offer cheap call rates. You can buy overseas phone cards from most newsagencies and convenience stores.


Skills Australia Institute provides their students with free internet and email services.

Internet cafés that provide internet services at low rates are easy to find in city areas.

The internet can also be connected at your Australian house or apartment. To arrange this, contact an internet service provider.


Australia Post is Australia’s national postal service. Australia Post delivers letters and cards to your home.

Explore our range of nationality recognized courses to see how you can enhance your skills.
Inquire Now
Please complete the form for further information on the courses and prices. We are more than happy to assist you with your enquiry.
Our Locations
Feel free to visit our campus.
  • RTO Number 52010
  • CRICOS Code 03548F
ABN : 78 126 274 682
What students have to say about their time with us.