Australia is a beautiful country to study in. There are some incredible cities and coastal communities across the country, but if you’re thinking of living here you might be wondering which state or city would best suit you.
Phoebe Long faced this dilemma back in 2016, before she finally settled on Perth, Western Australia, so she could study a Master of Business Information and Logistics Management at the The University of Western Australia (UWA). Originally from China, Phoebe came to Perth on a working holiday for her gap year. Her travels took her to many of Australia’s major cities, but when it came to where she could see herself starting her international student journey, Perth was the perfect place.
We had a chat with Phoebe about her time in Perth and asked her what made the world’s 6th most liveable city really stand out for her.
1. Unique, natural beauty
Western Australia (WA) has some of the most unique natural beauty the world has to offer. The South West is classified as a biodiversity hotspot, meaning it’s home to plant and animal life that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Living amongst all this natural beauty means there is lots to see and do during your weekends. Phoebe tells us that one of her favourite places is Kings Park. It has an ample amount of native plant life and is one of the largest inner-city parks in the world.
2. A thriving university community
Perth is a known student city, which means there are plenty of opportunities for students to connect. University is a great place to meet people.
As Phoebe says, “I’ve met many other international students on campus.”
Perth’s event calendar is packed, and there are plenty of things to look forward to specifically for students. For example, UWA offers a common lunch hour at 1pm where no classes are scheduled, and there are stalls and activities running on the central Oak Lawn. Open to everyone, the hour often features live music, and mingling crowds grab baked goods or vintage clothes.
Alternatively, you can check out StudyPerth’s event calendar to find opportunities to meet fellow international students.
3. Coastal serenity
Some of the world’s best sunsets can be found on Perth beaches. Phoebe tells us she loves visiting the beaches near her home, particularly Cottesloe Beach, located just 6km from her UWA campus. The clear blue water and endless white sand is hard to turn down, making Perth one of the most beautiful places to live in Australia.
4. A peaceful hideaway
One of the things that really makes this city stand out for Phoebe is its calm, relaxing atmosphere. She tells us that after studying, there are many great walks and peaceful places near campus where she can wind down. Because UWA sits on the foreshore of the Swan River, it’s a short walk from class to the grassy riverbank, where you can watch the native black swans drift by. If you’re lucky, local dolphins can sometimes be spotted swimming metres from shore.
Alternatively, head to any of the city’s gorgeous green spaces during study breaks – there’s always one nearby, which is a unique highlight of Perth. Do your readings in the sunshine, or relax and recharge before your next class.
5. A bustling city
While Perth is a very relaxing place to live, Phoebe explains that she still loves the active city nightlife on offer. In the heart of the city centre, you’ll find busy bars, restaurants and clubs. Phoebe particularly loves checking out the shopping spots in Perth and looks forward to the return of the Royal Show each year in September.
6. Café culture
Perth loves coffee, and there are endless cafés offering delicious brunch options. Some of the finest coffee spots in Perth include Howards Grove in the city or Il Lido by Cottesloe Beach. If you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter with free Wi-Fi and access to powerpoints so you can do some work, check out our list of the best cafés to study in around Perth.
Phoebe tells us that Bay Side Kitchen, just off campus on the Matilda Bay foreshore, is one of her personal favourite spots.
“There is a really nice view,” says Phoebe. “I enjoy eating brunch there on the weekends with my friends.”
7. Road trips
On study break, one of the best things you can do is grab some friends, hire a car, and explore Western Australia. Perth is perfectly located as the starting point for all your travels.
As Australia’s largest state, there are so many incredible landscapes to explore in WA, from adventuring through the canyons of The Kimberley to a weekend away enjoying the lush greenery of Margaret River, or whale-spotting in Bussleton.
One of Phoebe’s favourite places to visit is Exmouth, in WA’s North-West (a 13-hour drive from Perth!), where you can find some of the most pristine and beautiful reefs in the world.
8. The sunshine
One fun fact that you need to know about Perth is that it’s Australia’s sunniest capital city. This means that, in Perth, you have more opportunities to enjoy the best of Australia’s outdoor lifestyle. From heading to the beach, cooking up a barbeque dinner, enjoying trips away with friends, and discovering Australian wildlife, you won’t need to worry about the rain and cold weather keeping you indoors.