Arno – Medicine, Monash University, Australia – (August, 2016)
We spoke with Arno regarding his home stay experience in Trujillo.
What were expectations of the living arrangements prior to arriving to Trujillo?
To be honest, I had just come from living in Bolivia in a homestay my expectations were quite low.
Briefly describe the setup of your specific living environment.
I had a private room with a single bed. Single bathroom. Full cupboard. Clean and tidy area.
Were you physically comfortable at home?
Yes, very much so.
Did you feel safe at home?
Yes, very safe. I never had any concerns.
Were there any restrictions or lacking resources that you wished you had available to you?
Nope. Literally, everything you needed was available. Even hot showers.
How many members were there in the host family?
Two, the host mother and father. There was also the housemaid/cook at this house. She would arrive each morning and stay until afternoon. At times, their son would also visit.
Did you feel comfortable communicating with the family members?
Yes. There weren’t great expectations of us to speak great Spanish, so there was no pressure in that regard. Prior to coming, I had a month of Spanish training which really helped with basic communication. The host father knew a bit of English, also.
Were there any pets in the home? If so, how did this affect your experience, if at all?
Yes, one amazing dog, named Ringo. I had a tough day at the hospital one day and when I returned and saw him it truly brightened my day. He is a very happy and outgoing dog.
Were there other students who stayed with you host family while you were there?
Yes, two other students at all times while I was there. They all had their own private rooms and bathroom, as well.
Where did you spend most of your time in the home?
Not counting my room, I spent a good amount of time around the breakfast and lunch table. I also spent time in the common area where you could relax and watch TV. But I was not home an awful lot because I attended the hospital in the mornings and Spanish classes in the afternoons.
What were your meal times?
Breakfast was around 7am before leaving to the hospital. Lunch was usually around one o’clock.
Did you have access to washing and drying clothes?
Yep! There was a washer machine available at all times. I used clotheslines on the terrace of the home to air dry them.
How did the location of the home impact your stay?
It was ideally located in a neighborhood that was walking range to grocery stores, restaurants, the gymnasium, and the school for our medical Spanish classes.