Spotlight

The cost of living in Perth

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Perth is a vibrant, creative and diverse city with a lot to offer international students. It's well connected to many parts of Asia and even shares a time zone with Singapore. Perth is also an affordable place to live. 

Are you thinking about moving to Perth? If so, you might be curious about exactly how affordable it is. We've put together a guide to the cost of living in Perth so you know what to expect as a student at TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA).

Accommodation
The cost of your accommodation is likely to be one of your biggest outgoings. In Perth, you can choose between living in a sharehouse, private rental, homestay or in student accommodation.

You can expect to pay around $150—200 per week for a room in a share house, and between $350—500 for a private studio or one-bedroom rental. These prices may decrease in areas further away from the city centre.

As an international student, you also have the option of living in a homestay arrangement. This involves living with local families and often includes some or all of your meals. A homestay can cost between $290—325 per week.

Student accommodation may also be attached to an educational institution, or it may be privately owned (this is commonly known as 'managed student accommodation'). Depending on whether you're sharing a room, the price of student accommodation can range from $170 to over $400 per week.

More information on the accommodation options for international students at TIWA is available here on our website.

Education
TAFE is one of the most affordable education pathways in Western Australia (WA). Tuition fees for TAFE courses start from around $6,240 AUD per semester. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) fees are $300 AUD per week.  

Transport
There are lots of ways to get around Perth. The city's public transport system is called Transperth and provides a network of bus, train and ferry routes around the CBD and suburbs.

Tertiary students are entitled to a significant discount on public transport fares through a tertiary SmartRider card. A SmartRider is a prepaid card that you use to board public transport. While you can still purchase tickets on board a bus and at the train station, a SmartRider card offers better discounts for students. Using a SmartRider card; a short ride is just 80 cents, while a full day fare may only cost up to $4.50.

All of the TAFE campuses in Perth are easily accessible by public transport. You can even walk and cycle to campus if you live nearby!

Perth is also filled with several rideshare options, including Uber, Ola, Didi and Shebah. These rideshare apps usually offer weekly discounts, special fares and the option to split a ride with a friend. A 15 to 20-minute journey will usually cost around $15. You can also choose to order a taxi and expect to pay around $25—30 for the same journey.

If you decide to purchase a car in Perth, your biggest regular cost will be petrol. Generally, petrol is around $1.30—$1.50 per litre, but this can change on a daily basis.

Groceries
The cost of groceries can vary depending on where you're shopping and what you're buying. The most affordable places to buy groceries are the major supermarket chains like ALDI, Woolworths and Coles. At most major supermarkets, you can usually pick up a litre of milk for around $1.50, a loaf of bread for $2.50 and a carton of eggs for $4.50.

There are also independent supermarkets to choose from with some stores opening 24 hours for your convenience.

The cheapest way to shop is to look for homebrand products. These groceries are typically produced by the supermarket itself and are often much cheaper than branded products.

You can also visit farmers markets to pick up some cheap fruits and vegetables. Freo Farmers Market, Stirling Farmers Market and Farmers Market on Manning are full of organic and affordable produce.

Eating out
While Perth is home to some high end restaurants and cafés, there are many affordable places on offer, too.

If you're ordering breakfast, you can expect to pay anywhere from $12—20 dollars for a meal. If you add coffee or a breakfast juice, then you will need to budget a little higher.

Lunch tends to be relatively cheap. Most cafes and small eateries will sell takeaway wraps, sandwiches and rolls for around $5—10. If you are dining in for lunch, you can expect this price to rise to around $10—20 for your meal.

Likewise, if you eat dinner at a nice restaurant you might pay $25 or more. However, you can always find more affordable options at casual restaurants and cafés.

Remember that you don't have to tip in Australia. Hospitality workers make a liveable wage and do not rely on tips from customers. This means your food may be slightly more expensive than you're used to, but it also means that the price on the menu is the only price you have to pay.

Activities and entertainment
In Perth, there are lots of affordable things to do for fun. Many venues even offer student discounts and weekly specials.

Bars are usually free to enter, unless they are hosting live music or some form of entertainment. If so, you can expect to pay about $10 for entry. If you're attending a concert or performance, smaller venues may charge around $30 for a ticket. Meanwhile, larger venues or arenas can charge over $100 for a concert.

If you enjoy working out, gym memberships cost around $20 a week. Casual social sports cost around $10 per game.

If you want to save money, there are also several free things to do in Perth. For example; going to the beach, hiking, and visiting museums and art galleries.


To develop strong links with industry to succeed in the future employment market, choose TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) for globally recognised courses delivered by dedicated lecturers with industry experience and connections. Check out the wide range of courses that TIWA has to offer and detailed information on the application process. You can apply to study with TIWA by completing an online application.

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