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I was a recent admit to the 3 year architecture program. It says the first 3 quarters begin in Eugene, thereafter you apply to transition to Portland. Portland is where pretty much all of the non foundation courses I want to take are as I'm pursuing urban design with some focus on connecting with urban planning. My questions are:


Does the 3 quarters limit begin with the summer term?

Corresponding questions:When exactly would be the earliest transition point to Portland and how competitive/common is it to do the transition to Portland?


What is it like beginning a stint in Eugene and then moving?

Corresponding questions: Are there many C-list postings for such short term housing or does everyone do graduate housing..and is the graduate housing in Eugene nice...how much does it cost?


Any feedback from those in the know here would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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From my understanding, the first summer term goes over intensive foundation course to get you up to speed to begin studio classes in the fall. The three term requirement would logically begin in the fall, so you would be able to begin research in Portland the following summer or fall, depending on class schedules. I wouldn't rush the foundations and studio courses, as they are sequenced for a reason. For a more accurate answer, email the architecture department, they are happy to answer questions.


I did my undergrad at UO, and Eugene is really fantastic and weird and fantastic. They have a small urban center, surrounded by suburban sprawl that would be a great to study while you are in Eugene.


As for housing, you can find housing on Craigslist for the academic school year or apply for grad student housing. Most rental management companies expect students to stay for only the academic year, but sometimes offer one year leases. Also of note, property management companies in Eugene have a reputation for being a bit sleazy. It is easy to find a room in a house or apartment on Craigslist (try to stay away from directly west of the campus as there is a higher rate of break ins in this area). The graduate housing is comfortable (not fancy), and average in affordability for it's proximity to campus, I would recommend it because there is little hassel involved. If you want grad student housing apply now! Don't expect to get family housing while you are in Eugene, there is a one year wait list. 


Hope this helps!

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Thank you! That's very helpful. My concern mostly stems from trying to coordinate things with my partner. She's considering either Portland or Eugene, but as she is applying to the interior arch program (beginning summer 2014), she might just want to live in Eugene.


Is the job market in Eugene roughly equivalent to Portland? We live in Philly, so we don't expect it could be worse than it is here, and we've managed somewhat OK. Are there a good deal of admin jobs available at the University? Thanks for all the info!!

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I would check the University job listings board. The economy is somewhat depressed if you ignore the jobs created by the university, but cost of living is low so it almost sort of balances out. Eugene is definitely a college town (not like State College, PA), but it's not large like Portland, and definitely not robust like Seattle. The job market will be larger in Portland, but I'm not sure about how much better it is. There is a saying in the Portland arts job market: someone either has to die or retire for fresh talent to land a job. 


Feel free to PM me if you have any questions that you aren't comfortable posting here. 

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Portland market right now is currently a slow mover. I am hearing that some offices are more inclined to have staff work longer hours (doubt that equates to OT) to fill the void of lean design teams. If you have connections who have scouted Portland previously, call them up. Eugene's market, in my opinion, is much slower and you may have to look at whats on campus as well as in design offices. I got through Undergrad with work study jobs as they paid more than standard student positions.


Some will say go the recruiter route. I will say this. Recruiters used to fetch a finders fee from the firm for placing you. These days, generally, that is no longer the practice. Instead, the recruiter takes their cut out of what you make and for as long as you work. That period of time is a moving target. It is not something akin to a 3 month period. It's more like 6months to a year or more in some cases. That's assuming you have work to last you that long and more. Remember to check the fine print. As far as a recruiter is concerned, you were placed by them and are under contract with them until that period is up. Should your firm want to offer you a permanant gig, they would have to wait or buy out the remainder of your contract.


Housing....well, if you can get to do a scouting mission that will help. Off campu life was decent to good when i was there. There are more apartments now and the price scale is substantially varied. I would look up the address of the place if possible and overlay bus stops and bike maps. There's some options away from campus but you have to imagine that from time to time you may be in studio and you will either be pulling an all nighter or biking home at some point. Parking around campus is a whole different animal. Spending your first year in Eugene, gives you the chance to scout Portland and see which studio mates you may be a good fit with. Then you can pool resources and consider looking in the Northeast and Southeast neighborhoods to start. In my opinion, Beaverton would be too far to trek to and from school, esp when you factor in studio.

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