This paper underscores the dynamic and complex dimensions of becoming an intercultural doctoral student. It employs autobiography as a research method to portray the reshaping of ourselves as doctoral students to help us engage in self-reflexivity on our mediation of academic, personal and cultural identities in international doctoral education. Our self-narratives on how the plurality of our doctoral identities has emerged and how we have mediated these multiple identities show that becoming an intercultural research student is intimately linked to the process of self-empowerment and re-construction of oneself as a flexible and reflexive intercultural learner and human being. The paper concludes by discussing the notion of reciprocal intercultural supervision in doctoral education. It highlights the increased need for (western) supervisors to develop reciprocal interculturality and the capacity for greater agency in their international doctoral students so that both groups can understand each other better. 2015 Taylor & francis.