Local student still without study abroad refund despite doctor's orders not to go

FARGO, N.D. (KVLY) A local NDSU student reached out to our Whistle Blower Hotline after she says she wasn't given a refund for a study abroad trip despite medical reasons.

For the past three years, Nicole Olson has had a lot on her plate.

"I was officially diagnosed with five different mental disorders, and I still have a lot of problems with them," Olson said.

But in early 2017, Olson's mental health was in a good place and she signed up for a 12 day trip to India at the end of the year.

But Olson's health later dramatically declined and on a December trip to the hospital, Olson's doctor gave a heartbreaking order.

"He was like, 'I highly recommend you do not go on this trip because it would just be a mental disaster for you,'" Olson explained.

Olson gave the doctor's note to administrators and she says they told her they'd refund as much money back as they could at the end of the month.

"The refund ended up being about $100 for a $4,100 trip. And I understand that there are some things that can't fully be cancelled, however I was basically promised a little bit more than that $100," Olson said.

But Olson wasn't the only one who got that $100 refund. She says Study Abroad Services overestimated the costs and everyone on the trip ended up with that much cash back in their pockets— Meaning Olson really didn't get a refund at all.

"It was kind of hard to deal with because it is a lot of money. And when we all got a refund, I was just like, 'Okay, what about my individual case? Like, all of these students went and I didn't even get to experience it!" Olson said.

Olson says with the short notice, she didn't expect her air fare to be reimbursed, but says hotel and busing fees weren't paid for until the group got to India—Fees she estimates to be at least $1,000.

"I'm just asking that I get back anything else that I can instead of just the $100 that everyone else got," Olson said.

We reached out to NDSU, but they say legally they can't comment on the situation.