Swiss Expat Story: Caroline in Quebec, Canada

par MySwissWorld & Swiss Food Box Team

Helvetic post 22

We welcome you to our newest interview in our weekly series. Here we interview each week somebody from the community and learn a bit more about their lives. This week, from Scott-Jonction, Canada:
Caroline Schmid, a Swiss-Canadian with dual nationality, has been living in Quebec for 26 years. After completing her cook apprenticeship in Switzerland, she decided to spend two years in Quebec, where her mother is from, and eventually settled in the village of St. Isidore in Beauce. While running a home daycare, she met her future husband, and together they worked on his family dairy farm for many years. Now settled in a nearby village with stable jobs, Caroline shares her thoughts on what she misses about Switzerland and what she loves about her new country. She also discusses her future plans, including a return to Europe for retirement.
What is your name and where are you living now?
Caroline Schmid I live in Scott-Jonction, 25 minutes south of Quebec City. I have been in Quebec for 26 years.
What is your connection to Switzerland? Have you been born there, or do you have some roots in Switzerland? 
Switzerland is where I was born and where I lived until I was 20 years old. My father is Swiss and my mother is from Quebec (they met in Africa). We lived in Switzerland all our childhood and every summer we went to spend our summer vacations in Quebec with my mom's family. My brother, my sister and I have dual nationality since our birth (my children, as well). My brother also lives in Quebec since 2002 and my sister lives in Switzerland.

After completing my cook apprenticeship in Switzerland in August 1997, I made the decision to spend two years in Quebec. I settled in the village of St. Isidore in Beauce, where my mother is from, thanks to my dual nationality. When my two years were up, I decided to extend my stay for one more year. However, I couldn't find work as a cook, so I started a home daycare in my house. It was during this time that I met my future husband, who lived nearby.

After a few years of dating, we got married in 2004. In April 2002, I closed my daycare and joined my boyfriend on his family dairy farm. It was a joy to work with him every day, tending to animals, driving tractors, and managing the farm. In 2007-2008, while working on the farm, I went back to school to study agriculture. It was a challenging year, as I was also pregnant with our second child, a boy named Yakin, who completed our family in November 2008.

In the summer of 2008, I became a shareholder of the family farm, and we spent the next years working together, often seven days a week. However, due to a variety of circumstances and challenges, we eventually realized that we couldn't continue that way. We sold the farm in 2014 and moved to a nearby village, where we found stable jobs. My husband works as a technician fitter for the Volvo Group, manufacturing buses, and I drive school buses for two private schools. I also work as a library manager in one of his institutions, between the morning and evening bus routes, which allows us to enjoy life and spend time together.
What is the thing that you miss about Switzerland the most?
The mountains, the fendant (because I am from the Valais), my friends and the caotina.
What do you think is better or do you like more in your new country?
The autumn colors, the wide open spaces and the sunsets.

Do you have any plans of returning soon? For vacations or permanently.
My daughter and I spent Christmas in 2022 and we are returning with the whole family in the summer of 2023. My husband and I are thinking of coming back to Europe for our retirement, but maybe not to Switzerland.


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