The City of Perth International Student Festival
The City of Perth International Student Festival

The City of Perth International Student Festival happens on Saturday, May 9, from 11am-3pm at the Perth Cultural Centre (James St Amphitheatre & Central Square) and is entry is free. We spoke to Charlene Ellison from StudyPerth about the event.

What is the thinking/ethos behind the Perth International Student Festival?

The City of Perth International Student Festival 2015 is a free non-profit event that brings together newly arrived and established international students studying at university, college and school in Perth. Beyond this, local students and community members are invited along in what is a recognition and celebration of harmony, and the contribution of international students to the cultural diversity of Perth.

The festival sets out to be a major calendar event, presenting an opportunity for international students to meet others, be acknowledged by the city, through the Rt Honourable Lisa Scaffidi, Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, enjoy a day of entertainment, good food and fun in a festival atmosphere, and to receive information on Perth’s lifestyle and attractions.

In previous years what have been the big highlights of the festival?

Great local bands and dance troupes, setting up the City Challenge and having strong support from our major festival sponsors and international student volunteers to make the day a great success.

Also having the Lord Mayor as VIP for the past three years makes the festival a standout event for the City of Perth and our unis, colleges and schools.


The entertainment looks to have been programmed to reflect the diversity of contemporary student life in Perth…

We try and recruit bands and dance troupes for the festival to reflect on the cultural diversity of international students and families in Perth. It’s a taste of home for some and also a great way to introduce the Perth community to cultures and styles of art and performances that they may not have experienced before.

This year, we have a Reunion Island dance group, Bollywood, Brazilian/African samba as well as local favourites Boom Bap Pow, Odette Mercy & Her Soul Atomics and The Brow to attract ‘Perth-ites’.


Some people believe it’s only the international students who gain something from coming here, but of course there’s many benefits for the institutions and their fellow (local) students. It’s certainly a two-way street isn’t it?

While the festival is aimed at celebrating international students here in Perth, it is definitely a fun free day out for everyone!

Over the past few years we have noticed many Perth families from all walks of life join in the festival. The festival is held in the Perth Cultural Centre, a hub for many families on the weekends who visit the Art Gallery, Museum and Library and use the Perth Train Station.

We estimate more than 5,000 people will attend the festival.


What do you hope that students and other attendees of the Perth International Student Festival take from the experience?

We hold the festival to celebrate the cultural diversity international students bring to Perth, so for us we really want attendees to have fun and recognise the significance of international students and the importance of multiculturalism in Perth.

We also hope our volunteers and city challenge participants learn more about Perth on the day, get to meet other international students and Australians, as well as receive info from our exhibitors on the day about Perth’s lifestyle and attractions.



Forming the first part of the day’s activities, will be the Perth City Challenge. This exciting and educative city adventure, invites teams of students to search the streets of the Perth CBD to solve clues and take photos of their findings, while in the process developing an intimate knowledge about different facets of local life. The teams who collect the most points and receive the highest scores will win one of the many exciting prizes on offer. There is also a ‘Best Dressed’ category to the Challenge, which will add a multitude of colour and vibrancy to the day.

International students interested in the scavenger hunt are able to register online through the Perth Education City website ( Registrations must be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday, March 11. Participants in the City Challenge are required to be international students and aged 16 and above on the day of the festival.

Some great prizes on offer this year include a trip for two to Exmouth, Perth Glory season passes, surfing lessons, cruises to Penguin Island, daytrip to the Pinnacles and more. Prizes are sourced that promote the Perth lifestyle and activities international students can enjoy during their time In Perth.



The Perth Cultural Centre precinct is set to tempt and tantalise tastebuds with the return of the popular Global Feastival Food Market. A wide range of specially selected food vendors will present a diverse international selection of cuisines open to the public for the duration of the festival including:

Top Rice BBQ: Filipino BBQ

Ragin Cajun: Louisiana Style ribs

Hummingbird Pantry: Mexican Snacks/drinks

The Juicist – drinks truck: Fresh pressed juice and coffee

Baguette Me Not: Vietnamese Food

Bangkok Jump Street: Thai Food

3 Little Pigs: Pork rolls/sliders

Las Empanadas: Baked Empanadas and alfajores

Delish Ice: Hand made icy poles

Sweetly Baked: Cup Cakes

Tapasman: Spanish tapas platters



Exhibitors at the festival include; City of Perth, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, The University of Western Australia, Aussie Wanderer, Department of Health, Perth Heat, WA Police, Student Uni Travel, the DESI Student Society, Perth Glory and Surfing WA.

Each of these exhibitors will have loads of giveaways and activities on the day. There’s also an Aussie animal petting zoo, so international students and families can meet a dingo, koalas and native reptiles.


Please note this is the new date of the rescheduled Festival which was postponed in March due to severe weather warnings.