Florentine from Casa Mia Coliving: Hi Matteo, how are you? Why don't we start off with you introducing yourself to our readers?
Matteo: Hi, my name is Matteo, I am 19 years old and recently moved to Singapore to study Business at ESSEC! This is my first time living in Asia and I am really excited to see how it goes!
Florentine: When you say recently, I assume you also had to do a hotel quarantine?
Matteo: Correct! I was doing the two week hotel quarantine, which was not too bad. If you stick to a routine you can manage! I actually saw that you guys wrote an article about it?
Florentine: We did. Many of our new members will have to go through some sort of a quarantine period so we thought what better way to help them through this than by giving top tips from two members that went through it themselves? If you want to check out the blog click here!
Florentine: So you have been here just over 2 months, which (sadly) means you haven't been able to take part in any of our amazing events yet (*due to Covid-19 restrictions). What has been the most memorable and fun moment of your stay up until now?
Matteo: Although I haven’t been to one of the events yet I have actually signed up for one already! The Bachata Class coming up on the weekend is something I am really looking forward to! I’ve never done something like this but think it is a great opportunity to not only learn something new but also meet members in the Casa Mia Coliving community!* I also enjoyed the cocktail set that we recently received. It is nice to come together at the end of the day and socialise with all my housemates and of course helps all of us get to know each other.
*Check out some videos of the event here!
Florentine: Agreed! Because of the whole restrictions it is really difficult to bring together our whole community, which essentially is part of our core. But I am glad that you are finding the send-outs helpful to bond with your housemates! Moving on to the house hunt itself, when choosing your home what were your top requirements?
Matteo: The most important thing for me was the length of the lease. As a student I want to be flexible. Especially because my program has a 6-month internship period, where I won’t be in Singapore during that time. I wanted to find somewhere where I wasn't stuck for a whole year. I also think when moving so far out of your family home and far away for the first time, it helps knowing you arent gone for ages and can move out after 3,4,5 or 6 months depending on how you are feeling. I also wanted to have a condo with a modern, fresh design with a desk in my room where I could work well (as I am a student). I also wanted roommates that would be fun to hang out with! Of course this is difficult to control but Casa Mia Coliving really helped me by suggesting homes that had similar flatmates!
Florentine: I completely understand your need for flexibility! I was also an exchange student here in Singapore, at Singapore Management University, and I wish I would have known about coliving back then! It would have saved me a lot of money and I would have widened my social circle! What was the most challenging part of house hunting?
Matteo: Hmmm… It was actually quite smooth! The only thing that was tricky was understanding the different locations in Singapore. For example, what are popular areas amongst expats and students, where is the nightlife good etc. Reading various blogs about locations really helped me. ESSEC is also very far away in Queenstown but I wanted to live in a bit more of a busy and lively area close to the city centre too, so seeing the map on Casa Mia Coliving’s website helped. I could visualise the locations a lot better!
Florentine: That's fair enough, it's very difficult to figure out which locations suit you if you have never been to the country! By the way, did you look at any other coliving operators?
Matteo: Funnily enough I didn’t! I only looked at private/entire apartments but the agents and landlords asked so many questions, specifically about salary too which I did not like. But I am very happy with my choice so I do not regret that I didn't look at others haha!
Florentine: That brings me onto my final question! Is your experience living up to your expectations?
Matteo: Yes, definitely! I really like the fact that the pictures of the apartments are very accurate. So many times real-estate companies will take pictures with a massive wide angle camera making the space look so much bigger than it actually is. The walk-throughs also really help to visualise the space if you cannot attend a live viewing. I’m also really happy about the fact that the team helps out with questions or problems very quickly! For example, my roommate locked himself out of the room at 11:00pm last week and we messaged the team. The lock was fixed the same night which is amazing service! I would recommend this space to anyone, be it exchange students, graduates on internships or young professionals!
Florentine: Thank you Matteo, that's so lovely to hear! We hope you enjoy the rest of your stay (and Bachata class!) Good luck on your exams and all the best for your upcoming internship!
Coliving provides the perfect solution for students like Mattéo. We enable a flexible, hassle-free, convenient and budget friendly alternative to standard housing. Many universities do not have on-site living opportunities for international students, so being able to sign a flexible contract at a student-friendly price is the perfect fix!
We love hearing from our members but what about you? Are you interested to read more about our members' experiences when moving in with Casa Mia Coliving? See what Gabriela has to say about her experience with Casa Mia Coliving here!