About Western Australia
Western Australia (WA) is the largest state in Australia, located on the western side of the country. Due to its 2.5 million square kilometres of landscape, WA is a very diverse state with white beaches, deserts and forests.
WA’s capital, Perth, is often ranked one of the world’s most liveable cities due to its beautiful weather and cultural heart. On any day, you can visit art galleries, theatres, festivals, restaurants, sporting events, live music and more.
Perth is also very safe, as it has a much lower crime rate than other major cities. Many international students consider WA one of the best places in Australia to study.
Geography & climate
WA makes up one-third of Australia on the western side of the country. It shares its borders with South Australia and Northern Territory, and is bound by the Indian Ocean in the north and Southern Ocean in the south.
Despite its size, WA’s population isn’t much larger than other states because most of WA’s land is infertile and eroded. WA has several large deserts, including the Great Victoria expanses, the Gibson and the Great Sandy. Therefore, most people live in the south-western region where the state’s capital, Perth, is located.
WA’s climate is as diverse as its landscape. The populated south-western region has temperate weather with hot summers and mild winters. Rain tends to fall mainly in this area. The rest of the state is arid or semi-arid due to the deserts. Here you will experience very hot days and cold nights.
Western Australia has a population of 2.67 million people, almost 80% of whom live in Perth. This population is wonderfully diverse, with residents of more than 200 nationalities speaking more than 170 languages. You’ll find 100 different religions being practised here.
WA is a very welcoming and friendly state, which is why so many international students feel comfortable studying here.
In Australia, residents have three types of healthcare available to them:
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
- private health insurance.
Medicare is run by the Australian Government, and is mainly for Australian permanent residents and citizens, as well as New Zealand citizens. The scheme covers 70% of a person’s healthcare costs.
However, international students in Australia can access Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC). This health cover is mandatory to keep students safe while they study in Australia.
Western Australia has a very strong economy, bringing in more than 30% of Australia’s export income.
This has created thousands of well-paid jobs and the lowest unemployment rate in the country. WA workers are also well paid, with the average full-time worker making $67,059 a year – among the highest in the country.
These are some of the major industries in WA that contribute to this economic success:
Agriculture and livestock – This industry produces wheat, wool, beef and lamb for export, and raw materials for processed exports like wine, ice cream, barley malt, noodles and fine leather. WA’s fishing industry exports prawns, pearls and lobsters, while the forestry industry produces hardwood and softwood timbers, and woodchips.
Mineral and energy resources – WA supplies liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan, Taiwan and Korea, while its 270 operating mines supply alumina, diamonds, iron ore and mineral sands to export markets. WA also produces 70% of Australia’s gold, and large quantities of salt, nickel, tantalum and other metals for export.
Shipbuilding – WA’s huge shipbuilding industry has built more than 60% of Australia’s civil craft and 10% the world’s lightweight passenger ferries.
Transport – A major east–west rail line carries freight and passengers to and from other states. Perth’s international airport provides flights between Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
Studying in Western Australia
Western Australia is often called Australia’s ‘Education City’ due to the number of world-class universities, vocational institutions and English language colleges in the state. More than 42,000 international students from 140 countries enrol in WA universities every year.
The science sector is a popular study area, as all five of WA’s universities conduct cutting-edge research projects with leading global institutions. You can be involved in life-changing projects, such as vaccine development, clean water projects, and climate change projects.
As a student, you can work up to 20 hours per week. Perth provides a wide range of part-time job opportunities in communications, hospitality, housekeeping, administration, tourism and retail.
Like all WA students, you can get 40% discounts on public transport within Perth if you have a tertiary smart rider card. Perth also has a free bus service, which operates between Perth, Fremantle and Joondalup.
After you graduate, you can apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa – Subclass 485, which allows you to stay in Australia to work for two to four years.
Universities in Western Australia
- Curtin University
- Murdoch University
- The University of Western Australia
- Edith Cowan University
- University of Notre Dame
- CQ University
Colleges and TAFEs in Western Australia
- Engineering Institute of Technology
- The Polytechnic of Western Australia
- TAFE Western Australia
- South Metropolitan TAFE
- North Metropolitan TAFE
- Central Regional TAFE
- North Regional TAFE