Settling In

Before you buy, rent or open a bank account

After your arrival in Western Australia, you’ll need to consider some important things that will help you to settle in. These include:

  • General shopping – buying food, furniture and other goods and services
  • Buying a car or motorcycle
  • Finding accommodation (e.g. renting a flat)
  • Opening a bank account, using credit and signing contracts

When you buy goods and services in Western Australia, you’re protected by State and Commonwealth laws.

Consumer Protection can help you make better choices and understand your rights when buying goods and services in Western Australia by providing free information and advice.

They can also help you with:

  • Resolving complaints with traders in Western Australia
  • Identifying scams and consumer fraud
  • Product safety issues

You can find more information on the Consumer Protection website or you can call their advice line on 1300 30 40 54.

Trading Hours

For information on retail trading hours in Western Australia see the Consumer Protection website.

When you first arrive

Directory of Services for New Arrivals in Western Australia

If you're new to Western Australia, it can be a challenge to find your way around the many services available from government and non-government agencies. A Directory of Services for New Arrivals in Western Australia has been produced to help you access the services you need.

The Directory provides essential information and contact details in the important areas of housing, employment, education, health, transport, childcare and legal services, as well as background information on the Commonwealth, State and Local Governments.

The Directory is available in hard copy from settlement services providers and government agencies, and as an online version on the Office of Multicultural Interests website.

The online version contains a fully searchable database of over 600 government and non-government organisations, including service descriptions and contact details.

Culture shock and adjustment

When you arrive in a new country, it’s normal to feel unsettled in your new environment, especially if you’ve never been overseas before. This is called culture shock.

Anyone can experience culture shock. For some people it’s more difficult and lasts longer, while others never experience it at all.

Generally, culture shock involves feeling like you’re out of place. It can also include feelings of disorientation, stress, fatigue, frustration or loneliness.

If you feel this way when you arrive in Western Australia, remember that it’s normal and should get better with time. Give yourself time to settle in – as you start to get used to your new surroundings and meet people, your feelings will change.

If you find it difficult to adjust or you feel very unhappy, there is help.

Many universities and colleges offer some form of support through staff who have experience and understanding of cross-cultural adjustment. Often, these staff are counsellors, advisors, teachers, lecturers, health centre staff and chaplains. We encourage you to use the support offered by your education or training provider before you make a decision about your stay.

You can also access general mental health support services offered by the Western Australian Government. You'll find more information on these services on the Mental Health Commission website.


For more information on Living in Western Australia

Visit the Perth Education City website.