Living in Western Australia

Perth and Kalgoorlie are both vibrant, modern places with plenty of facilities, services and transport options.

Accommodation and housing

  • Perth: There are many on-campus housing options on the Perth Campus, which means you’ll be a short walk from your classes and have plenty of chances to make new friends. There are also options for off-campus housing.
  • Kalgoorlie: Curtin has a residential college a few minutes walk from the Kalgoorlie campus.

Getting around Perth and Kalgoorlie

Public transport in Perth

Buses, trains and ferries in Perth are operated by Transperth, the Western Australian Government’s transport system. Full-time students are eligible for concessions on bus and train fares. The cost will vary depending on the number of travel zones covered. More about Transperth Services. 

SmartRider cards

The Transperth SmartRider card is a multiple-use electronic ticket you can use on all forms of public transport in Perth. If you’re a full-time Curtin student, you are entitled to Transperth concession fares.

More about how to purchase a SmartRider card and activate your concession fare. 

Getting to and from Curtin’s Perth Campus

There is a range of travel options to get you to and around Curtin’s Perth Campus. Your travel options including public transport, cycling, campus buses, driving and carpooling.

More about your travel options to the Perth Campus.

Public transport in Kalgoorlie

Kalgoorlie has a regular bus service that covers most of the town, including streets just a few minutes walk from the Curtin campus and student accommodation. Visit the TransRegional website and download the Kalgoorlie timetables and fare guides for more information.

SmartRider cards

The Transperth SmartRider card is a multiple-use electronic ticket you can use for the TransGoldfields buses in Kalgoorlie as well as on all forms of public transport in Perth. If you’re a full-time Curtin student, you are entitled to concession fares.

More about how to purchase a SmartRider card and activate your concession fare. 

Driving in Western Australia

You can drive in Western Australia with an overseas or interstate driver’s licence for as long as it remains valid in the country or state of issue. If your licence ceases to be valid or expires, you must apply for a Western
Australian licence to continue driving.

More on driving in Western Australia. 

Internet, computers, wi-fi and mobile phones

On campus computers and wifi

Both the Perth and Kalgoorlie campuses have computer labs where you can study and use the internet, plus there’s free wireless internet on campus if you want to use your own laptop or device.

Printing and photocopy facilities are also available on campus.

Internet access at home

Internet service providers can offer longer-term contracts, but you can also find month-to-month options. Many providers also offer mobile phone service and you can get both services bundled together.

Free wifi in Perth

Free wi-fi is available in a number of cafés, restaurants and public spaces around Perth:

Mobile phones

If you’re an international student, you can get an Australian mobile number by purchasing a SIM card after your arrival. There are a number of carriers and a variety of prepaid and postpaid payment plans to choose from. While it may be possible for you to use your mobile handset from home, switching to an Australian mobile plan will provide you with a local number.

Choosing a mobile phone plan

In Australia, you can choose a prepaid or postpaid mobile phone plan.


With a prepaid plan, there is no lock-in contract; you pay in advance by purchasing phone credit. You pay a ‘top-up’ fee each month or when your credit expires. Service and pricing options vary in terms of call, text and data allowance, and days to expiry. If you opt for a prepaid plan, you can buy mobile phone credit using your credit card, by internet banking transfer, PayPal or with vouchers.


With a postpaid plan, you agree to a fixed-term contract with a mobile phone carrier and pay your phone usage bill monthly for the duration of your contract.

Choosing a carrier

There are a number of mobile phone carriers to choose from in Australia. Not all mobile carriers have physical locations around Perth or Kalgoorlie, so consider whether you’re comfortable with an online-only provider or if you would prefer a face-to-face service. Many mobile carriers provide broadband and it can be cost-effective to get both services bundled together.

Working while you study

Where to find work

You may be able to find work that fits around study in restaurants, retail outlets and most service industries, although competition for jobs is strong.

  • Curtin UniHub lists part-time and casual job vacancies for Curtin students.
  • Search for advertised positions both online and in print media.
  • Access your personal networks and social media to find employment opportunities.
  • Join a recruitment agency that focuses on part-time and casual jobs that may suit your working hours.

Volunteering opportunities

Join Australia’s largest student-led voluntary work organisation, Curtin Volunteers!, where you can help the community and the environment, meet new people, learn valuable leadership skills and practise your English.

Careers and employment services at Curtin

Curtin Careers, Employment & Leadership provide services that include career counselling, an online jobs board, a mentoring program, employer events, and workshops and presentations to help you in areas such as writing your résumé and practising for job interviews.

Work information for international students

See our part-time work guide for information about working while on a student visa.

Medical services

Both Perth and Kalgoorlie have a range of medical centres where you can visit doctors, receive prescriptions and get vaccinations and other medical services. The Perth Campus has a medical centre located in Building 109.

Medical information for international students

You have access to high-quality medical services and facilities while you live in Australia, and will receive
a rebate from your Overseas Student Health Cover for the services covered under your policy.

If you’re sick, you should make an appointment to visit a general practitioner (GP). You will need to book
an appointment in advance; however, last-minute appointments may be available if you ring early in the morning.


Pharmaceutical products in Australia may be more expensive than those in your home country. Some medications will also require you to visit a doctor to obtain a prescription.

You can purchase some medications, such as paracetamol or aspirin without a prescription from supermarkets or over the counter at a pharmacy.