Perth is the state capital of Western Australia. With a population of 1.8 million people, its many contrasts range from skyscrapers to more than 30 miles of white sandy beaches. It is ranked as Australia’s most environmentally attractive city, has more hours of sunshine than any other Australian city, and was ranked in a 2010 survey as one of the world’s top 10 lifestyle destinations. The local population enjoys a cosmopolitan outdoor lifestyle, first-class cultural, social, and recreational amenities, and excellent proximity to the major cities of Asia.
The University of Western Australia was established in 1911 as the state's first university. The Academic Ranking of World Universities placed the University of Western Australia as 24th in the world - the highest ranking in Australia. Psychology, education and earth and marine sciences have been ranked in the world's top 40 institutions in 2014 according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject.
The University of Western Australia is located about five kilometers from Perth city center. From your home in Perth, you'll have access to both the Swan River as well as the ocean which is located about seven kilometers from campus. Learn more about the University of Western Australia by visiting their incoming student facebook page.
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.
This institution offers a large selection of courses, with strengths in agriculture, natural sciences, liberal arts, earth and mineral sciences, exercise science, visual arts and engineering. Use the on-site course catalog to find more information about specific courses. Agriculture students may be interested in the University of Western Australia Future Farm 2050, which aims to build an interactive, community best-practice farm for 2050 now.
You will take regular courses with local students at this institution. Course registration takes place during your on-site orientation period, so enrollment in particular courses cannot be guaranteed in advance of arrival. You may enroll in any courses for which space is available and for which you meet the host institution's requirements or prerequisites. You must take what the host institution considers to be a full-time load (generally, the equivalent of 12-15 Penn State credits).
Faculty-Led Field Courses
Exchange students are now encouraged to participate in faculty-led field courses at the University of Western Australia. Most field courses take place just before or just after your regular semester in Perth and last about two weeks. You will enroll in the field course in the same manner as an Australian student.
For 2016-2017, the University of Western Australia is offering students the opportunity to partake in a field course titled "Bali International Studio for Art and Culture." On this field course, you will travel to Bali to explore the impact of tourism on Bali as well as be introduced to the Balinese Hindu religion, art and culture. Final assessment will be of your written journal assignments and visual literature including photographs and/or drawings.
When viewing the on-site course catalog, please note that the Australian academic terms are different than what is used in the United States.
Academic Terms Used in the United States and Australia
United States Term
School or College
Subject, Unit or Paper
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Perth UWA Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program.
Housing and Meals
Student can apply to live in a residential college (the Australian version of a dormitory). Two-three meals a day are included in the housing cost depending on the residential college. To learn more about the different cost of housing, visit the University of Western Australia housing website.
On-campus housing is competitive, so it is recommended to submit the housing application as early as possible. The application process varies for each residential college so review the housing information. Students who are unable to live in on-campus residential colleges may contact the University of Western Australia Housing Service Office to request assistance in finding private housing.
Housing costs in Australia can vary significantly between the different residential colleges and off-campus options. Students are responsible for researching the different housing opportunities in order to choose their best option. See the notes section of the Budget Sheet for more details on the varying costs. Also, learn more about the cost of living in Perth.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the fall budget sheet and spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.
University of Western Australia Scholarship
The University of Western Australia has graciously offered two scholarships to Penn State students. Scholarships are in the amount of AUD$2,500 (approximately USD$2,000) and will be distributed to scholarship recipients when they are enrolled and arrive in Perth. More information about this scholarship opportunity will be provided after acceptance to the program.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Education Abroad Questionnaire
One academic recommendation
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.
NOTE: Start date marks first day of on-site orientation. Arrival date depends on when your selected housing become available. Please confirm with the University of Western Australia. End date marks the last day of the final examination period.
NOTE: Start date marks beginning of orientation week. Arrival date may depend on your housing arrangements. End date marks departure from program housing.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Indicates that deadline has passed
University Office of Global Programs | The Pennsylvania State University |
410 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802 Phone: 814-865-7681 - Fax: 814-865-3336