This study adopted a social network perspective to explore the academic discourse socialization experiences of eight degree-seeking multilingual international students at a university in eastern China. Based on a triangulation of ethnographic interviews, social network questionnaires, and supplementary sources (e.g., voluntarily submitted recordings, texts about academic exchanges), the study revealed five patterns of students’ social networks, including heterogeneous-sparse network, heterogeneous-dense network, homogeneous-sparse network, homogeneous-dense network, and balanced network. This resulting network typology was utilized to interpret the role of social networks in individuals’ socialization trajectories, which were observed to include affecting capacities to negotiate academic norms , structuring channels to build and transform expertise , and shaping space for multicompetence development . While different network connections demonstrated different roles, networks with similar characteristics could exert divergent impacts, highlighting the mediation of a range of individual and sociocultural dynamics. Based on the findings, the study contributes to critical multilingual studies by offering theoretical implications for socialization research on community and competence, and providing practical suggestions for research, education, and program administration in international education.