Meet a Cohabs member: Damien, 21, French-Swiss living in Brussels

By Laure Bommart Published 07/06/2018

Could you give us a little brief about yourself? (background, main passions, activities…)

I’m 21 years old and I come from Lyon, France but I’m also half Swiss. I studied entrepreneurship in a business school in  Lyon and now I am doing an internship in growth marketing, hacking and business development in a start-up named Ayomi. I love travelling, I already lived 6 months in Netherlands and did a 6 months study abroad in USA and now I’m in Brussels. I also love doing some sports, I was in a basketball team in France and a rowing team in the USA.

Why did you choose brussels?

I think it is a family thing, my father is belgian and my brother lives in Brussels since 10 years so I have been to Brussels several times before living there. I really like this city, people are welcoming, nice and it is also very international. It is a capital but with all the  advantages of a little city, you can do many things by walk or by bike. Another good point is that it’s really close to the Netherlands where there are many very good festivals. So when a good internship opportunity in Brussels appeared, I did not hesitate a second, I decided to move away from my comfort zone and I signed.

What kind of accommodation were you looking for before your arrival?

Before arriving in Brussels I didn’t search a place to live. So when I arrived I lived in my brother’s place during a few days to have the time to visit and find the perfect place to live. When I was in the Netherlands I was living alone and it was a really bad experience because I did not meet many people so I spent a lot of time alone during working days. I think that it is important to meet new people when you arrive in a new city, therefore I was searching for a place in a shared flat by looking on facebook groups and specialised shared flats websites.

How and why did you choose Cohabs?

It is my boss who told me about Cohabs during my first day at work. He knew that I was searching for a place to live and as he is from Brussels and also in the start-up area he heard about it and found the concept interesting so he advise me to check the website.  The same day I applied on the website and the day after I visited a room in Ma Campagne and I decided to take it. 48h after my application I moved-in the house. Pretty fast huh (laugh). I really liked this dynamic atmosphere, all the members were really cool, we talked about the life in the house and they answered all my questions. The house and the room were nice, I had a good feeling with the flatmates and everything was completely furnished and included so I didn’t hesitate long.

How would you describe your roommates?

All really different but complementary. Some of them are doctors, workers in big companies or in startup, others are interns or lawyers… we have some musicians, dancers, travelers… Many different interest and passions but we always find something new to do or to discover to go out our comfort zone. There are people from many nationalities in the house: French, Dutch, German, Venezuelan, Danish… and with many different backgrounds which allows us to talk about various topics and discover new cultures through them.


What’s the most unexpected thing about coliving?

The first thing is the way of life. We all have our personal life, we are not spending all our time together. For example, we are not having dinner together every days, most of the time we are cooking our own meal but at the same time we are talking and we take some drinks together. We are eleven to live in the house, it can be scary but in the end we have so much space that we are never one over the others. The second thing is the monthly brunch which is delivered once a month in the house. It is really cool, the products are good and it allow us to spend a good time together the sunday morning. Finally I didn’t expect a strong community aspect like that with the events organized each month to meet the cohabitants of the others houses.

Could you tell us a funny story which occurred in your house so far?

I have a pretty fun story for you but not for me (laugh). I was coming back from a party and I have the (bad) habit to eat big pasta dishes before going to bed. But this time it didn’t happens like the other times and it turns out that I fell asleep in the dining room while I was eating my pasta… And one of my flatmates found me at 5am sleeping in the dining room with a big pasta bol just in front of me. I do not remember it but in the morning she told me that she laughed a lot. it’s a good anecdote about the coliving life: when you come back home you do not know who you can find or in what position (laugh).

Would you recommend Cohabs to a friend? Why?

Yes, and I already did it! All the persons who ask me where they can live in Brussels I recommend them Cohabs. I know that they will not be disappointed because Cohabs offer many advantages like the flexibility, the community and international aspect, the simplicity of move-in… so for sure I will continue to recommend it!

About the author Community manager at Cohabs