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International students in Australia reveal 8 top tips for settling in

Moving to another country to study isn’t always easy for international students in Australia. Everything can seem strange at times, from the food to the way people talk, and it can be confusing to figure out how to get around.

But, before you start thinking, ‘why would I put myself through that?’ remember that the rewards outweigh the challenges. Studying abroad is linked to all sorts of fantastic outcomes like personal growth, confidence and learning essential ‘soft skills’. It’s also an unforgettable experience that will shape your life and change how you see the world!

And remember – you’re not alone. Your new school will have support services in place to help. At MIT, dedicated Student Support Officers are on hand to meet and discuss anything, from academic issues to helping you feel comfortable in your new environment. There’s also a special program for those under 18 years old, with staff mentoring and regular meetups to help students adjust and thrive.

The good news is that it doesn’t actually take so long to adjust. You just need a little time and some good advice to settle into your new home.

Where better to find advice than from the students who’ve already done it!


Here are the top 8 practical tips from MIT international students in Australia, on how to settle into your new life in Perth.


1. Get an Australian bank account ASAP so you can stop paying for international fees (and link your phone account and transport card to it).

“Open an Australian bank account here as everyone uses PayPass, and the bank charges are better than international bank accounts.” – Shamiso Gambe (Zimbabwe)


2. Go and visit student services at your school as soon as possible, because they can tell you everything you need to know about life in Perth.

“Once you arrive, go visit the Murdoch Student Guild as they have heaps of benefits for MIT students.” – Bruno (Brazil)



3. If you’re used to a tropical climate remember Perth has different seasons (but it’s mostly warm!)

“Pick clothes for all four seasons because in Perth they have different climates during the year.” – El (Indonesia)

“I like the weather in Perth because it’s not hot for the whole year. I think students will enjoy the climate in Perth.” – Quah Aun Thye (Malaysia)



4. Arrive a week early and get to know your way around the city.

“Come a week before your course begins, so you can start your routine, settle down and become familiar with places and public transportation. Try to sort yourself out before classes start.” – Shaman Suthesh (Singapore)


5. Get into the music scene to meet locals and experience some serious Aussie local culture (rock is our national music!)




“Perth is a great place for people who like music, especially rock and heavy metal, as there are a lot of local bands, gigs and concerts. Come to Perth and rock on!” – Dexter (Malaysia)

“There are a lot of good concerts in Perth, but you need to buy tickets in advance. Make sure you get organised, so you don’t miss it!” – El (Indonesia)


6. Sort out your SmartRider public transport card before classes start. 

“I would suggest new students get a SmartRider card on the first day of school and link it to their bank account to receive discounts on public transportation. It also makes it easier to recharge.” – Bruno (Brazil)


7. Get a local phone card ASAP.

“Get a sim card as soon as you arrive and familiarise yourself with the campus, so you don’t arrive late for your first classes.” – Shamiso Gambe (Zimbabwe)


8. Start shaping your social life around parks, BBQs and beaches (and maybe learn to surf!)




“Fremantle is a great place to go because there are beaches and parks that you can visit and relax. It’s nice and quiet, and there’s lots of space. It’s like you have the whole world in your hands.” – Teagan and Clarisse (Malaysia and Singapore)




See here for more useful information from MIT on the support services available to new students in Australia and read more about living in Perth here.


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