The idea for the “Meet a Member” series is to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the Cohabs community and to get a better sense of what Cohabs is all about.
So, are you curious to learn more about one of our members? Meet Teodora, a Serbian living at Cohabs Peupliers 5 in the 13th Arrondissement of Paris.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
Yes, so I was born in Belgrade, Serbia. One side of my family is from Croatia, the other side is from Serbia. However, I grew up in Belgrade, and I finished my primary school, high school, and bachelor studies in Serbia.
Then I decided to move abroad, so I went to Rome for the first year of my master’s degree. I originally did my bachelor’s degree in economics and finance, and I had a course that was in marketing and advertising. I really liked this class because it’s creative, and you have more freedom to do what you want.
I was in Rome for one year, and it was amazing. Then I got the opportunity to do the study-abroad exchange program, so I applied to Paris. At first, I didn’t know if I was going to be accepted, because they had only two spots open. After two months of waiting, they finally accepted me. I then moved to Paris to finish my master’s degree in Digital Marketing and Communications just over a month and a half ago.
Can you tell us how you found yourself living in a Cohabs house?
I was searching for accommodation for months, and it was really hard because you have so many con artists on the internet. I applied for a few different apartments and studios, and they all required so much paperwork.
I was really questioning if I should live alone, or if I should try coliving?
One day, I was searching online and I found Cohabs. It seemed really cool. The website was amazing, and I could feel the energy. Everyone seemed really happy and like a family, and I thought that could be a safe way to live in a big city because you’d have somebody at home every day with you.
With coliving, it’s also easier to meet new people too, because I didn’t know anybody in Paris.
Overall, the process was really simple. I contacted them by email, and they replied immediately and sent me all the documents that they needed. I also really liked the fact that you can enter the app and see who your future roommates are. My parents also really liked this!
How has your experience been with coliving so far?
Amazing! When I first arrived, most of my roommates were already in the house, so they welcomed me. They showed me the whole house, my room, where we can get groceries, where the gym, cinema, and everything is. In our house, everyone comes from different backgrounds. I love how we can all learn something from each other.
Also, I think that if you apply for coliving, then you’re maybe more of a communicative extrovert, and you want to actually make friends, so everybody is very welcoming. And now that I’m thinking about it, I would always tell others who are searching for accommodation to try coliving, because it’s an amazing experience– especially when you’re young, or when you’re in a new country.
Can you take us through a day in your life?
In the morning we all wake up between seven and nine, depending on when somebody has to go to work or university. Then usually when you go downstairs, somebody’s making breakfast. We all have a morning coffee together, and then everybody goes to work or school.
I’m a master’s student, so during the day I’ll come back after my lessons and it’s really peaceful at the house. I can do my homework while most of my housemates are still working. It was important for me to have part of the day where I can also be alone and work on myself and my schoolwork.
We have a beautiful garden at the house, so you can just sit there and enjoy the nice weather. Then around seven or eight at night, everybody’s coming back, and we start preparing dinner.
In our house, everybody’s so curious about what the other is cooking. We’re all peeking inside of the pans, and we’re all like, “Oh, what are you making? Can you give me that recipe?” And then we all have dinner together.
We usually end the night watching a movie in the cinema room if we all have time.
What activities do you and your housemates enjoy together?
There are events organized by Cohabs and also ones we plan on our own. When I first arrived, we had our first event. We went to play pétanque and that is when I met the whole team for the first time.
Cohabs has a new building, and they recently invited us to come over for a party. We were breaking the walls and stripping paint. It was so much fun! We also got to make personalized t-shirts. I’ve never done anything like that before!
Once a month, we get groceries from Cohabs and we all make brunch together in the morning. It’s usually on Sundays, so somebody’s making pancakes, somebody is making scrambled eggs and all of those things. It’s really fun to cook together. We also like to hang out together once or twice a week after work or school. On the weekends we like to go to museums together or go out for drinks.
What are some of your favourite memories of living in Paris?
One of the amazing things that happened to me was that I became an intern for Paris Fashion Week.
I was backstage helping them organize everything, so I met the teams and the managers. One day, we were doing fittings for one of the bridal couture brands from Israel. I worked with them for maybe two hours. Then, the designer comes up to me and asked me to wear one of the dresses, so I closed the show in a couture bridal gown!
There was so much pressure. I was very nervous that I would slip and fall because it was a huge gown. However, everything turned out great.
Back in Serbia, I used to model when I was 18 years old, and one day I would really love to work in fashion or a marketing agency. That’s also what I love about living in Paris. You’re constantly inspired by how people dress and the art you see everywhere.
Even though I’ve had this crazy experience, I believe life is more about everyday activities. So at the end of the day, what matters most is that you have somebody to talk to, somebody to have a meal with. Amazing things can happen to you, but, to me, life is more about those little things.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to move to Paris?
Well, first I would tell them that they should start looking for accommodation a few months before because the process can take a while.
Also, the city is huge. You should be ready to live in a multicultural environment and be open to all experiences. I would definitely suggest coliving, because it’s good to have somebody living with you, someone looking out for you.
My advice would be that if you have a chance to experience Paris, go for it because it’s going to change something in your life. I truly believe that the best things happen to you when you’re outside your comfort zone. I have a feeling that every time you go to another country, you’ll level up, and become more fulfilled on a personal level.
Do you have any spots in Paris you’d like to share?
Close to our house, there is a restaurant called La Felicità. It’s inside one of the biggest incubators for startups, STATION F.
It’s really amazing because they have many different Italian restaurants where you can try various types of cheese, pasta, pizza, focaccia, and wine. The design of the restaurant is beautiful too!
That’s one of the aspects I love most about Paris.
You can walk on the street, and soon you’ll find a café on the corner with beautiful decorations. Everything is so aesthetic. I’m very passionate about photography and social media, so it’s easy to get great content when you’re just walking through the city.
Also, in the Marais, there are many vintage shops. I would recommend walking around and checking out the second-hand boutiques there.
Of course, there are all of these commercial brands in Paris too, but I prefer to buy clothing that will help the environment and that has a soul, and a story.
One last address I have is a coffee shop called White. I believe it is originally from the UK, but they have this amazing Spanish latté made with caramelized milk. It’s different, but so good!
There is a location here in Paris, so it’s definitely worth a stop.
Is there anything you want to add?
One last thing I’d like to say is that Cohabs is really cohesive as a company. They truly foster a feeling of community and family.
I’ve also noticed how much effort they put into sustainability. Every company today says that they are “sustainable,” but I actually see the action behind their efforts. In our Cohabs house, for example, we have a special shower head that consumes less water. It’s nice to see that they are taking steps to help the planet!
Curious about other members of our community? Check out our other member stories!