Local Atmosphere

Tuition (in-state)
$27,653 ($8,789)
Admission Difficulty
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5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The town is so laid back and accepting of students.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Eugene has a great local food scene as well as craft beers and local vineyards

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There's always something going on, whether it be music, art galleries, sports events, etc.

3 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Amy Beemer
Pacific Palisades, CA
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

The beauty of Eugene is that it's suited to fit any interests, from big-town business to small-town suburbia. Eugene offers the feel of a mid-sized city without the hassle of traffic and chaos. An hour from the Cascade Mountain Range and an hour from the Pacific Coast, the variety of scenery is endless. The outdoors and nature-related activities are huge at the University because of the backdrop made up of lush greenery and flowing rivers.The town offers a laid-back atmosphere, with a big percentage of the population classified as politically liberal. From time to time, you will run into the occasional "hippie," but that's the beauty of Eugene—you never know what you will come across.

Eugene is the clear definition of a college town. The city thrives on the school. You will likely see people sporting Ducks apparel or local restaurants and bars representing the school as well. There is always something to do or somewhere to go. Whether it's hiking Spencer's Butte, going to the Saturday market downtown, or going to an athletic event on campus, you will never be bored. There is always some sort of event going on at campus. Although there are a good amount of things to do in the surrounding area, most students stay around campus to remain entertained. However, some people do complain about Eugene (excluding campus) not being exciting enough. The city is not a busy Los Angeles, and by no means a chaotic New York, but for Oregon, it is a fairly large city with a variety of things to do.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. 1959 graduate Phil Knight and 24-year track and field head coach Bill Bowerman founded Nike in Eugene.
  2. Lane County is home to 73 recreational sites.
  3. Money magazine rated Eugene–Springfield among the best six U.S. cities in which to live.
  4. Oregon and New Jersey are the only states without self-service gas stations.
  5. Sunset magazine has named Eugene one of the top five college towns in the West, and Cosmopolitan called Eugene one of the eight great college towns in the nation.
Notable Natives
  • Ken Kesey – author, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
  • Phil Knight – founder and CEO of Nike
  • Steve Perry – lead singer of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies
  • Steve Prefontaine – international track star
  • Ahmad Rashad – NFL Hall of Famer and NBC Sports commentator
Points of Interest
  • Hult Center for the Performing Arts
  • King Estate Winery
  • Pacific Coast
  • Saturday Market
  • Willamette Pass Ski Resort
  • Willamette River
Shopping Centers
  • Gateway Mall
  • Valley River Center
Movie Theaters
Cinemark 17
2850 Gateway St.
(541) 741-3438
Movie Theaters
Regal Valley River Center Stadium 15 & IMAX
500 Valley River Center
(541) 242-0580
Major Sports Teams
Eugene Emeralds: Minor league baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Portland, Ore.: : 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Seattle: : 5 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 135 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 131 responses

  • 5% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 76% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 11% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 5% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 2% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 130 responses

  • 40% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 50% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 10% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 130 responses

  • 25% Totally.
  • 45% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 30% No way.



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