Over the summer Rafa Gonzalez del Castillo was in crisis: His professors had found major flaws with his final project to qualify as an architect — throwing his future into doubt.

Now he's back on track to fulfilling his dream. He resubmitted his design for a riverside greenhouse and terraced farmhouse and got a thumbs up.


This is an update of Class of 2012, the AP's yearlong exploration of Europe's economic crisis through the eyes of five young graduates.


But Rafa has no illusions in today's crisis-wracked Spain. He and millions of other students have just been squeezed by a hike in university fees. And he knows that it's when he gets his qualification that the really hard part begins: Spain's building industry is in the dumps and youth unemployment stands above 50 percent.

"When I'm done with university," says Rafa, "I still don't know what I'm going to do."

With the job outlook so bleak, Rafa has started learning Portuguese with an aim of possibly moving to Brazil to find work as an architect — as the rapidly developing Latin American country prepares to host the soccer World Cup and Summer Olympics.


Next up ... Athina


Follow The Class of 2012 on the AP Big Story page:



Follow The Class of 2012 on Twitter: