Living in Perth

With the magnificent Swan River gently meandering its way from rolling eucalypt covered hills to the sparkling Indian Ocean, the city is blessed with enormous natural beauty.  All this, and a lifestyle that is often named as one of the best in the world, makes Perth the preferred place of study for thousands of overseas students every year.

For the outdoor types Perth is close to paradise!  From walks and picnics in stunning parklands to a casual round of golf at any one of a number of championship courses, from sailing on the Swan to swimming in the clear azure ocean; to water skiing to windsurfing or just plain relaxing, Perth is perfect.  Everything is so close to hand.  Even Margaret River, one of the world’s finest wine districts, is only a leisurely few hours drive south.

On the other hand, Perth is a whole lot more than just one of the world’s beautiful cities; it’s also a thriving business centre and Australia’s principal window to South-East Asia.
Right in the very heart of Perth’s Central Business district is the Australian College of Applied Education.  It’s just a hop, step and jump to the central bus and railway stations and city shopping.

Just five minutes away is Northbridge, the jewel of Perth’s night life.  With numerous sidewalk cafes, restaurants, live music venues, late night bars and nightclubs, not to mention the museum, art galleries and cinemas, Northbridge is a never ending play where the acts change everyday.
There can be no better place than Perth to study and at the same time enjoy such natural beauty combined with the rewards of the city’s relaxed lifestyle.


It is advisable to arrive in Perth at least one week before Orientation.  This provides students with enough time to settle into their accommodation and relax before the new Semester commences.


Arrangements for student hostel accommodation (off campus) are available on request. Students requiring accommodation should advise the Student Services Department at least 4 weeks before arrival.


We highly recommend this type of accommodation that enables you to live with a family in their home. 

Choosing to live with a host family means you speak English all the time and they are trained to assist international students with:

  • Being shown around the community
  • The basics of Australian culture
  • Learning how to buy transport tickets
  • Accessing banking
  • Mobile phones
  • Personal safety tips

ACAE is contracted with the Australian Homestay Network who will arrange everything for you, including airport pickup.


Hostel (off campus)

ACAE can book Hostel accomodation with Townsend Lodge, less than 5 minutes walk from campus.  This is basic “budget” style accommodation, however rooms are clean and comfortable and staff are friendly and welcoming.  Prices are available on request for Hostel Accommodation, please note that prices may vary. No meals are included however there is a Dining Room at the Hostel. The Hostel is located in the city and close to cafes, shops and our campus.

Bathroom facilities are communal: shared with alternate male and female floors. Guest services include 24 hour reception, TV lounge, phone room and laundry facilities.

The procedure to book a hostel accommodation is:-

  • Advise the Student Recruitment Department no later than 2 weeks prior to course commencement that you would like to book.
  • Ensure your identify the type of room required
  • Forward payment of Accommodation Booking Fee 

Students pay the hostel direct on arrival. Students may also need to pay a key or security deposit.

Climate and Clothing

Perth enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, with warm dry summers and cool, rainy winters. There are four distinct seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. You will need to bring different types of clothing for the year.

Spring/Summer: Light cotton clothing. You will also need to protect yourself against the sun by wearing sunscreen and a hat.
Autumn/Winter: Warm clothing such as woollen sweaters and a raincoat and/or overcoat. Warmer clothing may be more readily available. In Australia than your own country.

Cultural adjustment

Moving from one country to another often results in a sense of dislocation, however most students find that, having made the adjustment, what felt like a burden has become a bonus in terms of enrichment of life experience.

When the cultures of two countries are very different the change of situation can be something of a “culture shock” - a sense of loss of the familiar and loved environment of home and the support network it provided. The things that were once familiar such as language, food, climate and people’s behaviour can be very different in your new country.

Adjusting to a new environment can be frustrating at first, however most students find that after they have made the adjustment, the differences that were difficult initially have become the most important aspects of their new life in Australia.

Staff at ACAE understand the difficulties international students can have trying to study and adapt to a new country and our Student Services staff are available to help you throughout the year.


One problem often faced by students new to Australia is the use of slang. Slang is used by many Australians in their every day conversation and can seem like a completely new language. Here are some common examples:
G’Day - Good Day/Hello
See ya later - Goodbye
Mate - Friend
Good on ya! - Well Done!

Arrival on Campus

Your first point of contact will be a member of staff from the Student Services Department. This person will continue to provide you with support during your studies. There is also a special student support system made up of senior international students who have volunteered to help you settle in. They understand your immediate needs and will help you settle in to Australia.


Held in the week before commencement for vocational course students*, attendance at which is compulsory. Upon arrival you will receive a "Welcome Pack" which contains information about Perth and the institution. The Orientation programme includes:-

  • A formal welcome by the Managing Director
  • A tour of the school and its facilities
  • Morning tea during which you will be introduced to staff and your new classmates
  • Details about what is expected of you as a student, and the rules and regulations by which you must abide.
  • The issue of your Student ID card, a Transperth Pass which entitles you to discounted public transport and your class timetable for the Semester.


* Australian English Language Centre students - Please see the section on the AELC homepage regarding Orientation for English language students

Counselling and Pastoral Care

This is a confidential, professional and free service for students. Counselling focuses on student needs to maximise their tertiary educational experience. Counselling assists students to solve problems, develop new skills in personal and educational contexts and resolve developmental issues. Counselling can assist with interpersonal relationships and family and social problems, where these impinge on the person's educational effectiveness.

Information and help is available for such matters as emotional aspects of learning, including anxiety, writing blocks, difficulty with concentration and procrastination; dealing with work/study/relationship conflicts; identifying and using one's own best learning style; course concerns such as special consideration, deferment and appeals; personal problems; trauma debriefing.


The Student Services Department will provide you with banking information during orientation. The campus is convenient to all major banks and you will be able to open an account and deposit a bank draft if you have brought one from home.


Living expenses

The Cost of Living

The cost of living in Perth varies hugely depending on lifestyle, Study in Australia have compiled a rough outline of the costs of living in Perth.

Accommodation: $70 (sharehome) to $400 (private rental) per week 
Groceries: $80 to $200 per week
Gas and Electricity: $60 to $100 per week
Phone and Internet: $20 to $50 per week
Public Transport: $10 to $60 per week
Car (after purchase): $150 to $250 per week
Entertainment: $50 to $100 per week 

These costs are based on information available on the Study in Australia website.  All costs are in Australian dollars, to convert to your own currency, visit http://www.xe.com/

Electricity and Gas

If you are renting an apartment a connection fee is payable as soon as you move in. Every two months, a bill will be sent by Western Power (electricity) and every three months by Alinta Gas. You will only receive a gas bill if your apartment has appliances operated by gas. If you do not pay your bill by the due date the electricity and gas may be disconnected by the suppliers.


To connect a telephone to a house or apartment, first check if there is already a line available at that address. If a connection is available, you only pay a re-connection fee of $59.00. If there is not line installed, there will be a New Line Connection Fee of $299.00. 

If you would like you phone to have an international access (IDD) a $500 bond may be required or presentation of a Visacard. The bond is held by Telstra/Optus and refunded to you after 12 months of satisfactory payment of your accounts.
A passport and one other form of ID needs to be presented when completing an application. If you do not pay your bill by the due date the telephone service will be disconnected by Telstra/Optus. 

Your Responsibilities as a Tenant

In Australia, all persons must meet their financial commitments and it is a offence to avoid payment of your debts. Changing your address does not release you from any financial debt incurred at your previous address. If you find you are experiencing difficulties in keeping to a budget please see your Student Services Adviser who will offer assistance.

Getting around Perth


If you have a Driver’s Licence from your own country you may use it to drive in Australia for three months only, after which you will be required to apply for a Western Australian licence. If you have an international driving permit you can use it with your licence from home until one or the other expires.  Please note, you may be required to take an Australian driving test, finr out more about transferring an overseas licence.

Driving is on the left side of the road in Australia and wearing of seat belts is compulsory. Strict drink-driving laws apply as do heavy fines for speeding.

If you are considering purchasing a car please see your Student Services Adviser who will advise and assist you to ensure you fully understand all costs involved.

Public Transport

Perth has a very efficient transport system that includes trains, buses and ferries. At Orientation you will be issued with a form which will enable you to apply for a Transperth Smartrider Card which will entitle you to a discount when travelling on public transport in Perth.

The public transport system in Perthis in the process of being upgraded.  Watch the video below for more information on the bus port system opening mid 2016.


Health matters

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

The Australian Government requires all international students and their dependants have medical insurance cover for the duration of their visa in Australia.

You are required to have OSHC before your arrival in Australia, our Student Recruitent Department can arrange it with Bupa for your first year of study. It is the students responsibilty to ensure their OSHC is current at all times. A Overseas Student Health Cover Brochure detailing fees and the medical services available is contained in your “Welcome Pack”.

It is important that you do not let your OSHC lapse or you will be breaching visa regulations.

Looking After Yourself

When you live away from home, you may experience problems such as:-

  • financial concerns
  • where to live and with whom
  • homesickness
  • loneliness
  • pressure to achieve good results with your studies

Some suggestions to help you avoid or reduce stress are:-

  • exercise regularly
  • maintain a balance of study and free time
  • maintain a healthy diet
  • avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • ensure you get at least 8 hours sleep each night

The Staff and Students of the Australian College of Applied Education look forward to welcoming you to Perth.

We wish you every success in your studies and in your future career in the world of hospitality.

Assistance & Essential Services

Ambulance, Fire and Police   000


Central City Medical Centre
14/378 Wellington Street (upper Concourse Perth Train Station)
Ph: 9225 1188
Open every day 8am – 7pm

Perth Medical Centre
713 Hay Street
Ph: 9481 4342
(Students can see a doctor without an appt if they wait an hour)

Royal Perth Hospital
Wellington Street
Ph: 9224 2244


Perth Dental Emergencies
Upper Walkway Level
Forrest Chase
419 Wellington Street
Ph: 9221-2777
Open 7 days 8am-8pm

Help & Support Services

Alcohol & Drug Information Services 9442-5000
(Confidential counseling and information) 

Lifeline 13 11 14
(Suicide Counselling) 

Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline 9223-1199 

Sexual Assault Resource Centre
Crisis Line 9340-1828
Or FREECALL 1800-199-888

Legal Aid

Legal Advice

Citizens Advice Bureau
22 Barrack Street
Ph: 9221-5711

Law Society of WA
Ph: 9322-7877 

Legal Aid Commission of WA
55 St. Georges Tce Perth
Info line 1300-650-579

Multicultural Services Centre WA
20 View Street
North Perth
Ph: 9328-2699
Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm (by apt)

Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions to the above.