Tuberculosis test causes discomfort to students

The tuberculosis test, required for the residence permission in the Netherlands, is part of the visa application and is questioned by many students. Some of them just do not feel comfortable during the procedure. Others do not agree with the nationality division. Below, there are some testimonials of international students who faced the test and disagree with it.

Paula Jacques, 22, is from Brazil. She took the test in February and had to visit the Dutch Health Service (GGD) four times. “They injected something in my arm, which got swollen and it was always itching. When I came back, I had to make blood exams, because of this skin reaction.” Paula was diagnosed with the tuberculosis bacteria, but the doctors said she would not develop the disease. “They offered me a treatment, but I doubted the diagnosis and didn’t want to take medicines. I just don’t get the point, once I can just refuse the treatment. For me it was inconvenient”.

Yulia Bodnar, from Ukraine, was also tested for tuberculosis in order to get her master degree in Journalism. She did not find the X-ray itself unpleasant. “I’m used to do it every year back home. It is a standard check which people who really take care of their health do regularly”. However, the compulsoriness of the test for a restricted number of countries made her feel frustrated. “It was a little bit weird because the reason of the test was based on my nationality. I probably would feel normal if all the students (both from EU and non-EU countries) had to do it”. On the other hand, she acknowledges the efforts of the Dutch state to protect citizens from diseases. “That deserves respect and, therefore, I cannot say I was angry with this requirement. Especially because it was free and the staff was absolutely friendly and helpful”, she concluded.

If every rule has an exception, it applies to Marcel van Hattem, 27. With a double citizenship – Brazilian and Dutch -, he grow up in Brazil. When he moved to The Netherlands, for his master’s degree studies, he did not have the obligation of doing the tuberculosis test because of his Dutch nationality. “I think it doesn’t make sense at this point. But bureaucracy works like that.” said Marcel.


Listen to podcast.

Asli Bildirici
Christiaan van Hattem
Gabrielle Bernardes
Isabela Bonfim



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