On a Saturday morning recently, Le Xuan Thanh, from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology under the Vietnam National University, was teaching the flute at Le Thi Rieng Park in District 1.
Studying computer science, Thanh discovered his gift for playing the bamboo flute, and is now able to create the instrument himself.
Outside of class time, Thanh has spent time practicing the instrument and taught people who have enjoyed the same hobby.
Moreover, he can also sell the flutes he makes.
“Though the income is not high and I can only sell a few flutes a month, it’s my happiness to share my passion with people,” Thanh said.
Thanh is among numerous college students in Ho Chi Minh City who have found joy in having side jobs.
For example, Duong Yen Nhi from the hospitality faculty of Hoa Sen University discovered a passion of emceeing.
Nhi said she had the ability to meet more people and collect experiences by working in a field which has no relevance to her major.
“During a few talk shows with experts and CEOs I did emceeing, I have learned a lot from their stories of success,” Nhi said. “I see myself and the way I think have changed a lot.”
Meanwhile, Huynh Viet Hieu Minh from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities has chosen dancing to ease the stress of school.
He has joined in by performing at art shows and taught dancing for students or organizations in need of dancing performances.
“This kind of activity helps to ease stress, and practicing dancing is also doing exercise and creates an active and healthy body,” Minh said.
Fun could bring money
The extra jobs these students have chosen could earn them a decent income, which is enough to cover their student life.
Dang Hoang Vu from Van Lang University’s industrial arts faculty brought his childhood hobby of planting trees to his graduation thesis of making ornaments from small trees like cactus and mint, and later to his garden of ornamental plants.
He now earns an average of VND1.5 million (US$67) per week from selling products from the garden.
Also, a gifted voice has helped Nguyen Thi Nhat Anh from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities’ journalism faculty to earn money from singing at cafés and events in the city.
At her busiest, she is invited to 2-3 shows per week with the payment for a show ranging from VND300,000 ($13) to VND1.5 million.
However, the job has required Nhat Anh to put a lot of effort in it because she has to spend a lot of time practicing with bands, and has to ensure enough time to study at the same time.
“But I have met many people, which can be helpful for my job in the future,” she said.
Truong Thi Bich Phuong, instructor of life skills from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (Hutech) in Binh Thanh District, said students doing part-time jobs could earn more than lose.
The jobs provide them with experience and communication skills which could turn passive students into active ones, she added.
“If they haven’t put themselves into the challenge of finding a side job, maybe they have not explored all of their ability,” she said.