In this paper, we present the initial changes and continuing challenges that are faced by teachers and students due to the unexpected transition to online learning from the COVID-19 pandemic at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia. For this, the authors applied a phenomenological-case-study design, collecting qualitative data from purposively selected Ph.D. students (n = 10) and teachers (n = 4), examiners (n = 2), as well as the postgraduate coordinator. The results indicate that the teachers experienced some difficulties in effectively using learning technologies. Moreover, the students were overburdened with increased accountability and excessive challenges. However, the institutional capacity to support was relatively minimal. Despite these odds, the study participants showed higher levels of willingness and completed the program successfully. The study participants reported moderate satisfaction with their personal and professional experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to remind universities and colleges about the essential skills that students need in this unpredictable world, for example, informed decision making, creative problem solving, and adaptability.