Perth is the capital of Western Australia, with a population of about 1.5 million. Perth is a multicultural, cosmopolitan city, full of opportunities to experience the arts, theatre, music, food and outdoor activities. Western Australia’s famous beaches with clear water and white sand are just 15 minutes from the center of Perth. Local attractions include whale-watching, botanical gardens, and the charming 19th century port town of Fremantle.
HWS offers an exchange program at Curtin University of Technology, a large research university of 40,000 students, ranked among the best in Australia. With over 9,700 international students studying at Curtin University, you will experience a unique international and cross-cultural learning environment, sharing the campus with students from more than 105 countries. Perth is ideally situated for those who want to experience the unique opportunities of Western Australia, from hiking or horse riding in the Karri and Marri forests, diving at Ningaloo Reef and Rottnest Island, surfing at Margaret River, or joining Curtin Volunteers! in one of their programs serving a remote Aboriginal community. Note: this program runs on a “southern hemisphere” calendar, meaning July—November for fall and February—July for spring.
HWS students will take four courses at Curtin University, chosen from an extensive range of subject areas. As a major research university, the curriculum serves most HWS majors and minors but areas of particular strength include the physical and natural sciences, architecture, mathematics, anthropology, and environmental studies. Note, this is a large university and students will often enroll in classes that have 100-200 students. The faculty assume that students are independent learners and while they are accessible to students needing assistance, the onus is on the student to seek help when appropriate. Grading standards are rigorous and tend to weigh heavily on one or two exams rather than being distributed over a larger number of small assignments. Click here for more information.
Due to the wide range of courses offered at Curtain University, this program can accommodate students from almost all disciplines. The program is particularly recommended to students interested in the following areas: anthropology, architecture, art (studio), Australian and Aboriginal studies, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental studies, geoscience, mathematics, psychology and physics.
This program is open to all juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Exchange opportunities depend on the availability of slots at the host institution and often are limited to just one or two per semester. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students live in residence halls on campus, usually with other international students. In most residences, students have their own bedroom in a 6 or 8-bedroom self-contained apartment. Students cook for themselves in the shared kitchen and/or eat at one of the many campus cafeterias. Just across the road from the campus, students can buy groceries or visit restaurants and fast food venues. Campus residences (except for one residence hall) have phones and internet access (although there is a fee). Check out the different residence hall options.
The Perth program is not a “study abroad program” in the traditional sense. While there will not be excursions throughout the semester designed specifically for HWS students, there will be a two-week orientation for arriving students. A wide range of activities and tours will be included where you will get to know fellow students and become familiar with the campus and with the region. The university also offers an “e-mate program” that matches incoming exchange students with Curtin University students by email so that you can ask questions of current students before you arrive, then you can meet your “e-mate” when you get to Perth. Students are encouraged to seek out opportunities to immerse themselves in campus life and the local culture, including campus clubs (Curtin has over 80 international, religious, academic, sporting and special interest clubs and societies), taking part in community service activities through Curtin Volunteers! and participating in campus events and activities.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees and a $550 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a fourcourse semester, health insurance and the orientation program. Note that no room or board charge is included. Students will pay room fees directly to Curtin University and should plan to bring their board fee to cover meal expenses. Room fees will depend on the residence hall students choose, but most residences will cost from $2700-$3100 for the semester. While food expenses will vary according to individual tastes, we estimate that about $2200-$2500 should be sufficient for students who prepare their own meals. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books, visa, a local transit pass and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $2000-$2300 from the East Coast, books at $300 and visa at $600. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1500 above and beyond room and board expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less and part-time employment is an option for those who would like to work. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
NOTE: This information is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.