The world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing policies and measures such as social and physical distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus. These policies and measures have however impacted the learning experiences of millions of domestic and international students. Universities changed their teaching and learning methods from physical to virtual presence following national, international, and World Health Organization (WHO) mandates. However, these rapid shifts had a tangible impact on the quality of education as well as on students and teachers. Using the snowball sampling technique, this study thus seeks to examine the experiences and challenges (distance education, learning experiences, social life, etc.) faced by Southeast Asian students studying in Turkish universities. Through interviews conducted between May and June 2021, this research found that these students felt lonely and anxious during the pandemic, which had an impact on their academic performance. As a result of their immigration status, they were unable to adequately deal with distance education and saw it as ineffectual, unproductive, and a waste of time. This research has implications for policymakers and stakeholders, as well as for both receiving and sending countries.