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The best things I did while studying in Perth, Australia

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If you’re a university student, or you soon will be, you’ve probably thought about the benefits of studying abroad. Perth, in Western Australia, is a favourite destination of international students … here’s why.

1.   Study in the perfect place

The first reason that students look to study here is Australia’s international reputation for university education – you want an exceptional learning experience and a globally recognised degree. But while you’re away from home, you also want a once-in-a-lifetime tourist experience – which Australia is famous for. Few places in the world give you the ability to explore such distinctive natural beauty and biodiversity – from deep green forests to sculptured deserts to pristine beaches – and the unique Australian wildlife they’re home to. Here in Australia’s largest state, Western Australia, we have it all.

Northwest corner of Curtin University
View of the northwest corner of Curtin Perth, close to the Canning River

2.   Live in a beautiful, safe city

WA’s capital city of Perth is the perfect place to settle in for a while. Perth is known as a safe, clean and picturesque metropolis with idyllic weather. And, fortunately, Perth hosts a large global university known for its vibrant, multicultural campus and extensive range of future-focused courses: Curtin University.

Jarod Ward, an international student from the US, is studying at Curtin University in Perth. He’s relishing the six-month student exchange he obtained through Curtin’s Go Greater study abroad program. “The weather is gorgeous most of the time – not too hot, not too humid,” he explains.

Commerce student Anya Davaadorj agrees. “I really like the weather, food and culture, and living in Perth is very peaceful,” she says.

And Calvin Lim, who chose Curtin for his master degree in Supply Chain Management, adds his vote for Perth as a great destination for international students: Perth’s inclusive community environment made me feel safe and welcomed, especially as an international student. Maintaining a work-life balance in Perth was effortless, enabling me to nurture both my mental and physical wellbeing during my journey,” he says.

“Moreover, Curtin boasts a high employment rate for its graduates, which further convinced me it was the right choice.”

View of Perth city from Kings Park

3. Exploit our perfect weather for outdoor adventures

Perth is a peaceful city, but it has plenty of adventure whenever you want it. How about jet-skiing, kiteboarding, parasailing or surf-catting on the Swan River or along the shores of the Indian Ocean?

Just half an hour from Perth, you can visit Penguin Island and watch the sea lions play on Seal Island and snorkel with dolphins. And then there’s a short ferry trip to Rottnest Island, or Wadjemup, famous for the friendly quokka, and – thanks to the island being in the pathway of the warm Leeuwin Current – for the tropical fish that provide an unforgettable snorkelling experience. According to Jarod, Rottnest is beautiful and a must-see for Curtin’s international students visiting the region. Want to know how many quokkas live on Rottnest? About 10,000 – so you’re sure to see many of the world’s cutest marsupial!

Students snorkel with dolphins at Penguin Island, Perth
Snorkeling with dolphins at Penguin Island

4. Live it up in the city nightlife

The best way to meet other students is to get out and get involved. Curtin has two major public bus stations that make it easy to catch a short bus trip to Perth’s fantastic venues. Perth city, Elizabeth Quay and Northbridge offer a diversity of restaurants, live music and dance venues, and you can catch concerts and sporting events at the spectacular Optus stadium.

For Jarod, making new connections has been one of the highlights of his study abroad experience. He says that meeting people on nights out in Perth is one of the many ways to make new friends when you study abroad. “I hang out with friends and go out. [I’ve been] meeting plenty of people that way,” he explains.

Elizabeth Quay and Perth city, on the beautiful Swan River

Our Exchange Precinct is also a great place to socialise, offering a range of casual restaurants and cafes, close to Curtin’s on-campus accommodation. And, if you’re keen to live on campus and make the most of the Australian uni experience, you’ll find it easy to meet fellow international students and make new friends for life!

“I felt that living on campus would be convenient for me. At St Catherine’s College, I’m a five-minute walk from home to classes. We have a lot of activities that run throughout the week – sporting activities, art classes … a great way to get to know other residents here,” explains Kar Yi Lam, an international student who is loving her Curtin experience.

5. Immerse yourself in Curtin life!

At Curtin, you’ll enjoy being a part of small, discussion-based tutorials while you’re studying, and you’ll love the student events in local venues, volunteering opportunities, social sporting teams and student club events when you’re relaxing.

Australian universities typically offer tutorials, which are small, discussion-based learning groups that enable students to collaborate and learn from one another. During his time at Curtin, Jarod has found them incredibly beneficial.

“Tutorials are nice because they have smaller class sizes and thus are nice to have discussions in,” he explains.

Calvin, on the other hand, relished the Curtin life outside of the classroom.

“What I enjoyed most about the Curtin campus was the vibrant and inclusive community. I always looked forward to orientation week as it provided an opportunity to join different clubs and make new friends. I had the privilege of being part of the volunteer team during orientation, which turned out to be an enriching experience during my academic journey. It allowed me to build my confidence and leadership skills while supporting and guiding new students on their first day.”

Students relax in hammocks at Curtin Perth

He also pointed out how Curtin prioritises student safety and wellbeing: “I always felt safe and supported on campus, thanks to Curtin’s comprehensive support services. There’s also healthcare and academic support for students. I found these support services to be exceptional, with service staff always willing to assist.”

But most importantly, he appreciated Curtin’s practical approach to learning, particularly the extensive industry networks and partnerships and that provide opportunities for students to gain real-world experience.

“I had the privilege of embarking on a four-month internship, applying my knowledge and skills in a real-world context. One of the most significant advantages was the opportunity to establish a robust professional network.”

6. Explore Cottesloe and the historic port city of Fremantle

From Curtin, it’s easy to take a short bus and train journey to the historic port city of Fremantle, known locally as ‘Freo’, where the Swan River meets the Indian Ocean. Freo is famous for its historic Fremantle Markets, bustling café strip and beautiful beaches. Freo also has two ferry terminals where you can catch a ferry for a trip to Rottnest.

Historic building of the Fremantle Markets
Buy souvenirs and handicrafts and enjoy a diversity of cuisine at the historic Fremantle Markets

7. Take some unique road trips

Get together with some of your Curtin friends for a road trip that is not to be missed! WA’s southwest region is famous for many beautiful features – including the forests of Pemberton with a tree-top walk, and the surf and vineyards of Margaret River, and many picturesque coastal bays.

North of Perth, WA also has scenic deserts with beautiful coastal towns. Rent a car with friends and visit world-famous tourist destinations like the Pinnacles, Kalbarri and Exmouth. You’ll never forget the wandering the majestic gorges of Kalbarri or feeding the legendary Monkey Mia dolphins.

Sunrise at Kalbarri National Park

8.    Don your graduation regalia!

Of course, the best thing you’ll do in Perth is celebrate your Curtin degree with your family and your Curtin friends. When Curtin graduates Sarah Bairstow and Holly Barbas first met outside the lecture theatre before their very first class, they forged a bond that would last to their graduation ceremony and beyond.

“We got through out studies together from start to end, and we sat side by side during the ceremony and walked across the stage one after the other too,” Holly said. “It was such a proud moment for us, and the fireworks and photos topped off the night.”

So, start your journey to Perth! Visit the Curtin experience website to find out more about the amazing experience you’ll have studying as an international student at Curtin Perth.

Curtin students on graduation day
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