This paper reports findings of a qualitative study that explored international students' identity negotiation during their cross-border studies against the backdrop of the internationalisation of higher education in Asia. Through a comparative narrative-based case study of two Burmese international students' experiences during their studies in a Hong Kong university, the paper reveals both similarities and differences in their negotiation of (i) identities as 'non-local'/'international' students in the university context and (ii) national identities in relation to the local community and the imagined global/international community. In particular, the findings illustrate the divergent ways in which the two international students negotiate the meanings they attach to the 'non-local' student label, respond to local students' (mis)recognition of their national identities, and perceive the (in)compatibility between their national and global identities. Overall, the findings point to the diversity and heterogeneity in international students' experiences which appear to be variably shaped by differential dispositions and capacities in exercising strategic agency for identity (re)construction. The case study also calls for the need to problematise the reification and over-simplification of the so-called 'international student experience' and argues for the importance of paying attention to the complexity of international students' identity negotiation in the context of international education. Copyright © 2022 Routledge.