City Discovery: Perth, the “City of Light”

Perth, Australia is sometimes referred to as the “City of Light” due to the fact that an astronaut could identify Perth during a 1962 orbit from space.

Western Australia Day occurs on June 1st each year and the capital of Western Australia is Perth. It’s known as the most isolated capital in the world and is almost the sunniest capital, averaging 8 hours of sunshine a day.


Intercultural experiences highlight exposure with the local culture, promoting a multilateral exchange of ideas, language and opinions.

Take the time to experience the Perth Cultural Centre. This area of the city is home to a variety of the state cultural institutions including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Western Australian Museum, the State Library of Western Australia, the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Visit the Aboriginal Art Gallery in Kings Park. The gallery provides guided Indigenous tours, where you can view the ancient land from the eyes of its traditional owners, the Nyoongar people.


ISA excursions and cultural activities highlight historical parts of the local culture to help students better understand their new environment.

Visit the Freemantle Prison. This prison is a recognized heritage site and is Australia’s largest, still intact, convict prison. Visitors can participate in guided tours that bring the rich folklore of the prison to life.

Enjoy a show at His Majesty’s Theatre, or the Maj as it is locally known.  This Edwardian Baroque Theatre constructed in 1904, was at the time, the largest theater in Australia and the first reinforced concrete building in the city. Visitors to the theater can catch a first class show ranging from comedy, drama, dance or opera.


Sociopolitical discovery highlights social and political activities or experiences.

Take a trip to discover the Government House in Perth. Perth, after all, is Western Australia’s capital and home to the state Governor. The buildings and gardens are listed on the Western Australian Register of Heritage Places and are open to the public for viewings and tours.

Learn about Aborginal culture with Urban Indigenous. This group is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Aboriginal culture and identity, offering experiences such as educational workshops, tours and charters to visitors that guarantee interactive and engaging experiences that encompass a direct, authentic connection with Aboriginal Australia.


Professional experiences provide exposure to professional development opportunities during an ISA program.

Gain skills by joining an on-campus student organization. The Murdoch Student Emerging Leaders organization allows all students who attend the university the opportunity to engage with local businesses, specifically not-for-profit organizations, to experience first-hand the challenges and rewards of working in the sector.


Environmental experiences expose students to different environmental aspects of the host country.

Discover the Marmion Marine Park. Located off the coast of Northern Perth, this was the first marine park in Western Australia. It offers visitors a chance to explore magnificent caves, lagoons and reef formations while diving, swimming, snorkeling or boating the protected waters that an array of fish and invertebrate species call home.

Visit the Yanchep National Park. Located 26 miles north of Perth, this park is renown for its incredible caves, native bush, and koala colonies.

Explore Perth and Western Australia for yourself


Get more information

The 2015 City Discovery Series aims to showcase one of ISA’s program locations each week. Facts about each location and Discovery Compass activity examples are given, highlighting the areas of Intercultural, Historical, Sociopolitical, Professional and Environmental discovery. The Discovery Compass aims to help students have the best possible study abroad experience by helping them to gain a better understanding of the local environment, customs and people through a variety of experiences.

Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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