Many students from other provinces in HCM City choose to find temporary jobs or do social work during Tet instead of returning home for the festival.
Nguyen Thi Nga, a fourth-year student at the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities, works at a restaurant in District 1 for VND250,000 (USD11.9) a day.
Nga, from the central province of Thanh Hoa , says this is for the second year in a row that she has decided to stay back.
"I can save several millions of dong by doing the work during Tet as well as gain some work experience," she says, adding that many of her friends plan to do the same.
Nguyen Trong Hoang, an official at the HCM City Centre for Students Support, says more and more students are spending Tet in the city and finding jobs because their hometowns are far away and they want to get some money as well as experience.
The centre has found nearly 4,000 seasonal jobs for students this year, he says.
Entertainment sites, Tet flower fairs, supermarkets, restaurants, and coffee shops are among places with high demand for seasonal workers, he says.
Many students also join the charitable Voluntary Spring Camp organised by the city to experience a meaningful holiday.
Tran Van Nam of the HCM City University of Technology plans to call on orphans and disabled children at shelters, poor patients at hospitals, and underprivileged families living remote areas to spread some Tet cheer.
"Though I cannot spend the holiday with my family, I feel happy doing good deeds," Nam says.