Money and Finance

The currency used in Western Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD). When you arrive in Perth, one of the first things you should do is change your foreign currency or travelers’ cheques into Australian dollars. You can do this at the airport, at currency exchange points in the city centre and at most banks.

If you have a bank card from your country, you should be able to use it to withdraw Australian dollars at most automatic teller machines (ATMs).

Opening a bank account in Perth

If you study in Perth for several months or years, or you plan to get a part-time job, it’s a good idea to open a bank account. Keeping your money in a bank account is a much safer alternative to carrying a lot of cash with you or keeping it in your room.

Many banks offer special accounts for students. To open a bank account, you’ll need your passport and other forms of identification such as your student card, driver’s licence or letter from your education provider. You can go to any bank in Perth or at your university campus to open an account.

Using your bank card

After you open a bank account, the bank will send you a plastic bank card and a secret personal identification number (PIN) to use with your card.

You can use your bank card to take out cash at most ATMs in Australia and to pay for things at shops. You should memorise your PIN and never carry it with you or keep in your room.

If you lose your bank card or have it stolen, you should call the bank or go to their office straight away to report the loss. Usually, the bank will send you a new card.

Receiving money from home

Your family can send you money using an electronic bank transfer or a Western Union money transfer. A direct transfer from an overseas bank account to your Australian bank account is the preferred option for many students.

To have money transferred to your bank account, you’ll need your account details and the bank’s international transfer code (Swift code) – you can get this information from your bank.

You should ask your family not to send cash by post as this isn’t safe.


For more information on Living in Western Australia

Visit the Perth Education City website.