Meet a Cohabs member: Matilde, 21, Portuguese living in Brussels

By Youri Published 13/11/2017

Could you give us a little brief about yourself? 

I’m 21 and I’m coming from Madeira Island, Portugal. After my high school, I moved to Lisbon to study law but it wasn’t a huge change because I already knew the city pretty well.

Besides I was studying law, I had some other interests in many areas, so I can describe myself as a curious person.

I did one semester in an exchange program (similar to Erasmus) two years ago in Rio de Janeiro. I was surprised and excited to learn about the South American lifestyle. The atmosphere was crazy and it was the best because I am really interested in Brazilian culture, especially music and photography.

When I’m traveling, I enjoy living like locals, that’s why in Brazil I visited favelas and discovered truly the local customs.

Why did you choose Brussels?

I was thinking of getting fresh air and experiencing a new city. To be honest, I was a little bit tired of Lisbon, of the world of law and I was looking for my first working experience. Suddenly appeared the opportunity to work with a Madeiran MEP at the European Parliament, after being selected to do an internship at her office and Brussels sounded great because it’s the Europe’s center of political life and here I could develop my language skills, personal growth and get better at networking.

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

For sure I was looking for a co-living concept. I had already shared an apartment when I lived in Brazil but it was different because we were only Erasmus students and we were in another step of life. I shared the room with two other good friends from Madeira.

Here in Cohabs I can share with young professionals and I get a more independent experience. The housemates’ lifestyles are converging more because we are all experiencing the first times of our working life. I’m living with people with whom I didn’t have any commonalities at first glance! However it has been great since my arrival!


How and why did you choose Cohabs?

I was searching for a co-living experience and I saw one of your posts on Facebook. It sounded like a fresh concept with good conditions, young people and runned by a dynamic company. Louis, the intern at Cohabs showed me by Facetime Ma Campagne house and put me in touch with one of the housemates. She told me about the lively community and the pleasure of living in a Cohabs house.

How would you describe your roommates?

I can’t say anything wrong about them because they’ll read it! (Laughs) I would say they are really welcoming, outgoing and funny. Also, I feel respected by the others and I’m doing all my best to respect the lifestyle of the others so I’d say respectful too.

Furthermore they are always ready to make plans, go out, have a talk… They are definitively available for personal stuff as well, and they are open-minded people.

What’s the most unexpected thing about co-living?

I didn’t think I was able to create such bonds with my housemates. I’m getting new close friends, we are (editor’s note: the cohabitants of Ma Campagne) planning to do a group trip with we all 11 together in November and I’m getting along well with everyone in the house! I didn’t believe it would be so easy (laughs).


Let’s imagine you’re 35 years old, you come back to Brussels to live here. Would you prefer living alone in your own flat or sharing a house with some young professionals?

I think I won’t choose co-living because I wish I could afford my own proper place with my boyfriend, maybe my family (laughs). I believe co-living is great and enriching but mostly for young professionals who don’t have a stable financial and marital situation yet.

Are you enjoying your life in Brussels? What’s your favorite place and why?

I simply love it! I find Brussels quite cosmopolitan, rich in culture, not too large so you can find comfort and our neighborhood (editor’s note: Saint-Gilles) is really good. I think my favorite place is the rooftop of Jam Hotel because it’s an amazing, cosy place, the design is great and it’s never overcrowded in afterwork times. I enjoy wandering around in Saint-Boniface and coming across new creative restaurants and I like Bozar for art!

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

(Laughs) I don’t know if I could tell this story. We should ask the permission of Baptiste first (editor’s note: one of her housemates).

Last week, we hanged out with the housemates on Friday evening. We had a few drinks in Châtelain. It should be a funny evening. I came back home early with some of them.

The next morning when we woke up we crossed Matthieu and Baptiste who were just coming home. Baptiste had bandages all around his face. We were shocked at first glance then we laughed when he told us his story. He fell off his bike just before reaching the house and spent the rest of the night at the hospital with Matthieu.

We are currently staying away from him because he simply can’t wash his hair for 10 days (laughs).

Would you recommend Cohabs to a friend? Why?

For sure! 100% because I love my room, I’m never alone and I enjoy living in such a flatshare. The design is great, furnitures are comfortable and the garden is lovely but I have to try it in the Summer for a greater experience (laughs). I am actually thinking about extending my contract to stay here even more time!

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