Perth, Australia: New Semester, New Country and New Impressions (by Clarissa)

Hi Everyone! If you want to know how good life can be in Perth, Australia at Curtin University it is the right article to read.
From the very beginning I felt welcomed at this place. Even though I arrived in the middle of the night at 3am a very friendly guy waited in the office of my living accommodation “guild house”.

To give you some useful information in between. Either you have to bring your beddings from home or you can buy them for 130$ from the accommodation office.Usually you should decide that before you get here and pay online but in my case, it was also possible to do it very last minute when I was already there. A taxi from the airport to campus costs 50$ so round about 30€. Public transportation can be a little bit confusing in the beginning.

First of all, the traffic drives on the other side of the road in case you didn’t know this already and then some bus stations are so small you don’t even recognize them as stations. Also, you have to give a sign to the bus driver that you want to be picked up otherwise you end up waiting quite a while.

Back to the accommodation. I would definitely recommend living on campus. There are four different places. This might be only my opinion because I live here but “Guild House” should be your choice not only because the people are amazing, they are cool everywhere but more due to lots of activities which you can join.

To give a few examples: Free food nights in the common room every 2 or 3 days a week. Where pizza, hot dogs or simple fried chicken will be served. Round about 2 short trips during the week. For example, a Perth skyline tour by night or a whole day tour of a wineries.

So, there are lots of possibilities to fill your spare time but not mandatory.
Also, great opportunities to get to know new people or build new friendships.
Other residents have comparable trips and food nights but not in this variety. Also, the common room is the only one which is open 24/7 which allows movie nights, pre-drinking or game nights. Again, other accommodations have common rooms as well but this one is the only one which is open all day.

My schedule is eleven hours a week, so not that much of attendance and none of them are mandatory but since it’s not that much of hours I go to every of them. To be fair, there are quite a lot of little things that have to be done during the semester, which are called assessments. These assessments can either be a group project or a single task. In my studies, which are media and communication management, there are every kind of assessments.So, one final exam in one course, then a couple single papers and papers written in a group or small quizzes which are answered online.

I still have time to join the volleyball and tennis team and go surfing on the weekend. From my point of view, the beach gives this place an even more special vibe. You can be at the coast by public transportation in less than an hour or by car. That would be a twenty-minute drive.

Since the weather is getting nicer in the end of August it’s amazing to go there. Even if you don’t surf and just have a fun day with a group of friends at the beach.

There is so much to do around here. Besides going kayaking on the swan river, which are the river foothills from the sea, you can explore downtown Perth. It is a 40-minute drive by public transportation and there is a lot to do. Either shopping or restaurant-/ bar hopping, you will definitely never get bored downtown. The bars mostly close at 12 or 2 am and the nightlife scene closes at 3 or 5am, depending on the location.

The University offers a special service for exchange students called “Curtin Experiences”. They manage special sport acitvities and trips. I’ve been to a day trips to the pinnacles, a landscape which is known for the comparison to the landscape of mars. As well to the “Caversham Wildlife Park”, where you get some must have tourist pictures with kangaroos and koalas. On the “Curtin Coral Coast Adventure Trip” I’m going to see the prettiest beaches of the west coast. I have the possibility to snorkel, see dolphins or swim with whale sharks.

There is one other thing I recommend you. Get a credit card before you get here or do it like me and open a bank account here but it might be a little bit of work to transfer the money from Germany to the Australian bank account and it will take at least a week once the transaction is in progress.

During the semester, there are two times two weeks off, where most of the students either visit their family in Australia or go have a little vacation. I’m excited what comes up next especially because I made some road trip plans with friends I’ve met. Eventually a car hire is another option to have a trip and see some more of the country. Probably it’s cheaper than an organized trip. For the beginning, I think it is fun to join the “Curtin Experience” trips because there so much else to plan in the beginning.

I hope you got a little insight of how life is in Perth, Curtin University. In my next article, I’ll let you know how my trips went and how I manage to turn in my assessments.