While people in Vietnam understand “Tet” as a time to rest after a working year and often spend the days before it preparing for the holiday, many students choose to work to earn more money prior to returning to their hometown to unite with family.
Tet, which is the Vietnamese term for the Lunar New Year festival, will fall on February 19 this year.
People usually have ten days off for the holiday, depending on their workplace’s policies.
This year has seen a variety of part-time and seasonal jobs for students with a 10 percent increase in payment compared with last year.
Nguyen Trong Hoang from the Ho Chi Minh City Student Assistance Center said the center is offering more than 1,500 jobs for students at VND12,000 (US$0.56) – VND30,000 ($1.4) per hour.
The center has helped more than 200 students get part-time jobs.
It is also recruiting around 400 students to protect the annual Flower Street in District 1 from February 16 to 22 – or from the 28th day of the final lunar month to the fourth day of the Lunar New Year.
Seasonal jobs for Tet include house decorating, Tet gift wrapping at supermarkets, emceeing at Tet fairs, waiters and waitresses, and promoting products have attracted a large number of students.
Students working at a trade fair usually receive VND150,000 ($6.99) for an eight-hour shift.
Nguyen Thi Bich Nga, a student from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities, said she was paid VND10,000 ($0.47) per hour for selling clothes at a shop at a night market in Thu Duc District.
“The payment will be higher as Tet draws near,” she added.
Apart from Ho Chi Minh City, other cities have also seen the bustle of the Tet working season.
In the central city of Da Nang, many students choose to work at shops at local markets.
Nguyen Thi Nguyet, a fourth year student at the College of Education under the University of Da Nang who works at a shoe store in Hoa Khanh market, said she started working at the store right after her school closed for Tet.
Nguyet earns VND100,000 ($4.66) per day and a bonus if she is able to sell many products.
“I have a long holiday for Tet, so I decided to stay here and work to get money to buy my family something for the festival before going back to my hometown in nearby Quang Nam Province,” Nguyet said.
Meanwhile, designing calendars for Tet is what Ho Van Tuan, a senior at the Da Nang University of Science and Technology, does to earn money before returning to his hometown in Hue.
“I have done this job every Tet holiday for years,” Tuan said. “I earn around VND 150,000 [$6.99] – VND200,000 [$9.32] per day.”
Not only does it help students earn money for Tet, working during the time before the holiday also provides students with the chance to learn more experience and skills.
Bui Thi Le Phuong, who is in charge of introducing her company’s products to customers, said her working environment is very dynamic.
“Talking to customers helps me improve my communication skills,” Phuong expressed. “I feel more confident doing this job.”