I have never been to Oslo, nor in Norway. I love COWORKIES for that: it gives me the opportunity to travel to unknown places and it makes me discover them not via touristic attractions but via the way people live and the way people work. COWORKIES brings me closer to the local communities. I feel extremely lucky to be able to travel this way and I am always excited to start a new chapter, a new destination.
Here we are, Welcome to Oslo! As soon as we landed, we had to run to our very first meeting with a coworking space. As it was already late during the day (6:30 pm) we felt very grateful to know that somewhere in the city, a team was waiting to show us their space. It’s named: Oslo International Hub. The name is in perfect alignment with what it stands for a place where international people meet.
More than a name, it seems this coworking space found the ideal location for it as well. Indeed, Oslo International Hub is situated in Oscars Gate its a beautiful street with old houses that are now home to several embassies, offices, AND a coworking space. While chatting with the team, we learned the House of OIH was quite special. Indeed, it used to belong to a Scottish-Norwegian couple responsible for developing this whole part of the city – known as Homansbyen after their name. Now this is the classiest part of Oslo, directly behind the Royal Castle. Homan insisted that all the houses had the same style of architecture – with gardens. Don’t be surprised to find fountains in each garden, this is how Mr Homan wanted it 🙂 And there is even a royal touch to it all, the head gardener of the Royal castle recently wanted to do his own startup. The OIH garden, now a nominee for prettiest garden in town, was the royal gardener’s first project after the royal palace!
Now, let me tell you more about OIH. We actually visited the team twice: the day we arrived and the day we left. The first time we went there, as it was late during the day AND Holiday season, we could not experience the buzzing environment it usually is. We were lucky enough to meet few community members with who we could chat a bit. Jorn, Begilhan, and Prashant, the core team of OIH, took the time to show us around. We walked through the 4 floors and I liked how they used the space to cater to the needs of their community.
Indeed, the community of OIH is composed of International Companies (such as Air Liquide) who decided to expand / enter the Norwegian market, but also consultants, institutions (the French Chamber of Commerce sits there for instance), service providers, freelancers, and startups. I actually realized, while being there that it was the first time I saw a mix like this one. I got quite intrigued to find a government Institution inside a coworking space. It proves the point of what coworking stands for bringing together a community of like-minded people.
The second time we went there (on a Friday afternoon) is actually the time I could get a better feeling of the community sitting at OIH. Indeed, we attended a very nice event called “Friday Social”. That day, the sun was shining so the team set up everything in the garden. When everyone came down to enjoy the delicious waffles (made by the team), I saw that the people gathering around the space was a community of expatriates and international people: from France, Norway, Turkey, Romania and many more. It was also for me the first time I could see people inside coworking spaces wearing suits or nice shirts. I loved it.
We ended our time at OIH taking a selfie in the garden. Please have a close look at how the dog is striking a pose #funstuff. If you are in Oslo or plan to visit the coworking spaces there, I highly recommend passing by OIH (try to be there on a Friday to get to meet the members too 🙂 ).
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