Only in recent years have self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) been distinguished from assigned expatriates (AEs). But there is still a lack of empirically based comparative results. Statistical analysis, performed on data from 193 expatriates (N AE = 67; N SIE = 126), indicates that self-initiated foreign work experience is significantly more likely to be chosen by women and those having lower job levels. Furthermore, boundaryless and protean career orientation only partially predicted which career path is chosen. SIEs have higher organizational mobility preferences, but do not differ from AEs in their boundaryless mindset and protean career attitude. Implications of these findings for research in expatriation are discussed.