Rafael Gonzalez del Castillo
Twitter Rafael Gonzalez del Castillo

Madrid architecture student Rafael Gonzalez del Castillo says he was devastated when he first found out he wouldn’t be able to graduate on time. But after considering his post-graduate employment prospects, staying in school didn’t seem all that bad, he told the Associated Press.

Castillo, 24, is one of five European students the AP is tracking for one year for its special report, “Class of 2012.” The report will keep up with the twenty-somethings as they graduate and head into what the AP calls “the worst economic crisis Europe has seen since the end of World War II.”

In a webcam interview earlier this month, Castillo said he has to start over with his final project. “But it doesn’t matter,” Castillo says, “because with the crisis and the economic news with the government, we don't have any good job [sic] to find when we are done with university."  Maybe he’ll go abroad, he says.

“I see myself working abroad, at least for a couple of years,” he said in another video. After spending the last five years studying to become an architect, Castillo says the one thing he wants to avoid is taking a job in a bar or supermarket just to get by.

On this side of the Atlantic, job prospects for architecture students don’t look much better. In June, Amanda Hess visited the University of California-Los Angeles and found the students on the brink of graduation there were just as frustrated as Castillo. Rising tuition prices and unemployment rates are leaving architecture students at UCLA—and seemingly worldwide—frustrated and out of work.

Castillo, who expected to graduate in October, now hopes to finish by the end of the year after fixing his final project, a design for a riverside greenhouse and terraced farmland.