This dissertation focuses on the expatriate experience of US-TAs (United States Teaching Assistants) and how they are affected by acculturation and culture shock throughout their stays in Austria. Although US-TAs are influenced to varying degrees by acculturation and culture shock, the research shows these are not the primary reasons why some US-TAs leave Austria after one (1) year and why others seek to stay for a second (2nd) year. Instead, this dissertation will indicate how the search for identity (particularly relating to one’s job/career) among US-TAs plays an important role in their decision to try and stay in Austria or not for a 2nd year. Additionally, the abroad experiences of US-TAs are compared with the abroad experiences of private industry expatriates from an Austrian MNC (Multinational Corporation) and from an American MNC. This comparative study was carried out with both quantitative and qualitative research methods from May-November, 2010 in Austria and in the U.S.A. The dissertation concludes with a summary of the comparative results.