We are Strive 3D and would like to thank you for joining us and express our excitement for having you. Here at Strive we pride ourselves in offering quality short-term exchange programs for international students studying 3D game design.

What you can expect from our programs:

Individuals gain first rate knowledge and training in various aspects of 3D game testing including: Art assets, programming, interaction and polishing, through the entire process of a game.

In addition to the classroom knowledge students gain access to exclusive game companies in Seattle with company tours and guest lectures.

During the course of their stay participants in our program are able to experience American culture & lifestyle as well as the wonderful metropolitan area of Seattle.

We have compiled a handbook for your convenience, in it you will find information you will need before you depart and what to expect when you arrive as well as tools and links for while you are here!

We love what we do and would like to make this experience one of the best you have ever had. If there is any thing else you need, or any other information that will help you, please don’t hesitate to ask. Welcome to the program!

-The Strive 3D team

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HandBook Contents:

-Packing list

-Information on Seattle

-Popular tourist attractions

-Map of popular tourist attractions

-Purchasing tickets to local events

-Information on Free WiFi around the city

-Information on getting around Seattle

-Including: map & website links

-Information about local weather & climate

-Conversions: measurements & temperature

-Information for money bank and currency exchange

-Information about the University of Washington

-Campus map

-Dining locations

-Classroom information (Wi-Fi)

-Residence Halls

-What to expect from company tours

-What to expect from home stay families

-Useful community resources

-Local grocery stores

-Calling cards


-Post office

-Visa information

-Lost & Found

-Emergency information

-Information & location of University of Washington Medical Center

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Know Before You Go:

A couple of things to help prepare you for your trip:

For some of you this may be your first time traveling outside of your own country or perhaps your first time traveling into the United States. Prior to your departure there are a few things you should do to prepare.

Once you have been applied and accepted into the program you should overview the:

Pre-departure Checklist:

-Apply for your passport (which may take up to 8 weeks in some countries) or ensure that your passport is valid for at least 3 months after your intended period of stay.

-Fill out student application for program on the Strive 3D website: Student Application

-Make copies of your important documents (including passport and bank cards) in case they are lost or stolen. Optional: scan your important documents and save them to your e-mail account for easy access.

-Ensure that your computer has the appropriate software as well as data space for the duration of the program.

-It is important to note that the United States does not have nation wide health care at this time. If you should wish to do so you can purchase international health insurance for the duration of your stay, if you do not already have it.

-There are many different companies offering health and other types of insurance, to compare offerings and rates, check out a bucket consolidator like this: International Travel Insurance

-If you are taking medications at this time ensure that you have enough of your prescription drugs to last for the duration of your stay. Also all medications should be transported in their original labeled containers along with documentation of the prescription when traveling in the U.S.

-Purchase any items that you might need while abroad (e.g. money belt or a/c adapter).

-Prior to your trip you should notify your bank that you will be out of the country (apx. 3 days before departure) to ensure that a block or hold isn’t placed on your account while you are over seas.

To ensure that you have all the items that you will need for the duration of your stay please over see this packing list.

 Packing list:


-Photocopies of important documents including insurance documents

-Credit cards

-Bank contacts

-Money belt

-Cell phone or international calling card




-Power chords

-USB cord

-Watch/alarm clock


*Optional Ethernet chord (recommended for faster connections in the dorms)

General Items


-Water bottle




-Comfortable walking shoes

Summer & Spring items

-Bathing suit


-Beach towel

-Sun block

Fall & Winter items






*You do not need to bring bedding or a towel (these items will be provided by the dorm or your home stay families)

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Seattle is a wonderful city with so much to offer. The metropolitan city is home to over 3.5 million inhabitants. It is located in what is known as the northwest region of the United States. Seattle’s culture is rich in art, music, festivals, and sports.

Nicknamed the emerald city due to the expansive lush forests in the area and paired with Seattle’s mild, temperate marine climate allows year-round outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, cycling, snow boarding, boating, kayaking, rock climbing, and multiple team sports. Seattle music scene has been famous for being the hometown of rock legend Jimi Hendricks and birthplace of “grunge” and epic bands like Nirvana & pearl jam. Since the 1980’s Seattle has become the technological center for the nation with companies like Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Nintendo, and many more. With so much to do and see there is something for everyone, and will keep you coming back for more.

Another resource that we have provided for you is a compiled list of popular tourist attractions: links to their websites, address, phone number, hours, and cost. You can find more under the “Community” tab on the Strive-3D website.

You can also find a link to a map of popular tourist destinations around Seattle:

Tourist Attractions

Seattle is a great place to experience many different things including music, art, culture, comedy, sporting events and much more! To get an idea of what there is to see and do check out the weekly community newspaper “The Seattle Weekly” for up and coming events or online with the Seattle Weekly’s Calendar of events.

Purchasing Tickets to local events:

You can search and purchase tickets for events all over Seattle by visiting one of these websites:

-For mainly arts, culture, and comedy, and some concerts shows visit: Brown Paper Tickets

-For most concerts and major theater visit: Ticket Master

-For sporting events visit: StubHub

Free WiFi around the city:

You can access free WiFi all over the city at any Starbucks or McDonalds which can be found almost everywhere. WiFi can also be accessed anywhere on the UW main campus, here is also a list of businesses near the UW that also offer free WiFi.  Another resource to help you find free WiFi is “Hotspotr” which has compiled numerous businesses by location which offer free WiFi in various Seattle Neighborhoods.

Getting around Seattle:

During the course of your stay you are provided with an “Orca card” which gives you unlimited travel within Zone 1 (Please see link to King County Zone 1 Maps) on all King County buses, trains, or ferry.

Some student’s will be staying outside Zone 1 boundaries and will be provided with a zone 2 card to access their home stays.

Please be reminded that all Strive activities will be within zone 1 boundaries and any travel outside these boundaries will require an additional fare.

There are a couple of different ways to plan your way around Seattle:

The first and perhaps the easiest are to simply type in you desired destination into Google maps, select the “directions icon”, highlight the “bus” icon and then “get directions.”

If you would like to get specific bus route schedules and search for routes based on the time you need to arrive at your next destination use the King County’s online Trip Planner, or find a specific schedule, route, or bus stop check out the King Country metros Rider Tools.

Another useful tool is One Bus Away; with the app you can search by route number or current location to find the next or the nearest bus.

Please be advised that all information provided on these sites is not guaranteed or always accurate. Your home stay family is a great resource on local knowledge about bus routes and transportation. Please make your self very familiar with how to navigate throughout the city. Useful information to gather would include:

Departure time and route to arrive at the UW for class

How to get home from a central location down town Seattle

At what time do the buses stop running towards your home?

You may also refer to the map of frequent routes to and from downtown Seattle.

Please note that all units are measured in miles in the United States.

For conversions from miles to kilometers please see below:

To convert Miles to Kilometers: Multiply Miles by 1.609.

To convert Kilometers to Miles: Multiply Kilometers by.6212.

Local weather:

Despite being often referred to as the “rainy city” the city offers moderate temperatures and mild climate. The months May to late September are typically sunnier and dryer than the fall, winter, and spring months; which are typically characterized by rain and moderate to low temperatures. Hotter weather dose occur for short periods throughout the summer and snowfall always occurs in the nearby mountain ranges but rarely within the city center. For more information follow the link to the average temperatures by month.

Temperature conversions

°F to °C Deduct 32, then multiply by 5, then divide by 9
°C to °F Multiply by 9, then divide by 5, then add 32



Money, banks, & currency exchange

Bank, ATM, or credit cards can be used almost anywhere, exception would be at small independently owned and operated businesses. Please note that many international banks will charge you for using your card overseas. To avoid fees a reasonable of moneys should be taken out of ATM’s, which can be found on many major streets and business.

To check to latest and most current exchange rates check out this real time Currency Converter.

University of Washington:

The University of Washington (nicknamed the UW or “U-dub”) was founded in 1861 and has grown to the size of a small city. The University is now ranked 25th in the worlds 100 best universities and has an impressive campus and numerous resources. The surrounding neighborhood called the university district or U-district has so much to do and see. University Street runs north and south and has many shops and restaurants in addition to the nearby university village.

Within the UW campus you can find many workspaces, restaurants, cafes, & entertainment venues. The main entertainment center is the Husky Union Building or the HUB, which has bowling, pool, and arcade style games.

Please see the attached map of the UW:

Strive3D - UW Campus Map

Strive3D – UW Campus Map

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Husky Cards:

During the duration of your stay you will be provided with a “Husky card” for you allotted meals that you will receive on campus on days when there is class. These cards will work at any UW venue including dining halls, cafes, and markets.


Classrooms are available Monday through Thursday from 9am to 3pm. You are welcome to use any open workspace that you will find throughout many of the common areas on campus. Wi-Fi access can be acquired at any help desk.

Residence halls:

During the summer months (July, August & September) the dorms are available for program accommodation. The residence halls are corridor style with a shared bathroom. The rooms all are furnished with a wardrobe, desk, and twin sized bed. Bedding, towels, soap, and drinking cups will all be provided. If desired a desk lamp can be checked out at the front desk of the residence hall.

All the residence halls also come equipped with lounges, laundry facilities, and microwave ovens. Many of the halls offer gaming consoles and wreck-room game tables (which equipment you can check out at the service desk). Residence halls are also equipped with a free local phone, which can be used to contact any local phone number. To use the laundry facilities you can load funds onto your husky card (please be advised that funds that are loaded onto these cards for laundry purposes can not be refunded).

Internet connection in the residence halls can be accessed two ways through a guest network ID and passwords acquired from the residence hall help desk, or by Ethernet chord (which may provide a faster and more secure connection).

Strive3D - UW Housing & Services

Strive3D – UW Housing & Services

Company Tours:

Company tours are a unique and valuable asset to our program. We are grateful that we have been awarded the opportunity to visit some of the northwest greatest gaming companies. This is something that we hope to continue to offer for the following groups. It is important to be on your best behavior while visiting these companies. While visiting companies you are provided with overviews of the workspace and company operations as well as current projects. In some cases groups are awarded the opportunity to gain exposure to games and materials that have yet to have been awarded to the public and are required to sign non-disclosure agreements. Company tours may also include question and answer session with company developers, producers, and designers.

Home stay Families:

During the course of your program you may have the opportunity to stay with a home stay family. Living with an American family can be a valuable contribution to your experience while living in the states. It is important to understand that American families vary a great deal and that the United States and especially the northwest has become a very diverse community with individuals and families from all walks of life.

During your stay with your home stay family they are expected to provide you with two meals a day and provide you with the basic services of food, bed, and laundry. However many of the host families go through rigorous screenings and are only allowed participating in the program if they are suitable candidates. However if for any reason you are unhappy with the placement of your home stay you may request to be transferred at any time by communicating with any member of the Strive team who will then contact the home stay family company.

Useful community references:

Grocery stores:

There are numerous grocery stores nearby which provide cheap locations for drinks, snacks, and other goods. The two closest locations within the U-district are:


4732 Brooklyn N.E., Seattle, WA 98105

(206) 522-4565


2746 NE 45th St # 2 Seattle, WA 98105‎

(206) 523-5160

Calling cards:

Calling cards can be found at most major gas stations convenience stores (such as “AM PM” or “7-11”) as well as major grocery stores (including Safeway & QFC) at the customer service counter. Cards can also be purchased online from online retailers such as this one.


Many souvenirs can be found down near pikes place market and on the waterfront located on one of the many piers.

UW apparel and souvenirs:

The Dog Den

4509 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 547-6005

M-F: 10:00 AM – 09:00 PM
Sat: 10:00 AM – 09:00 PM
Sun: 11:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Post office:

The nearest post office to the UW is located at:

4244 University Way NE
(between 42nd St & 43rd St)
Seattle, WA 98105

Mon-Fri 8:30 am – 5:30 pm

Sat 8:30 am – 3 pm

Visa information for visitors in the United States:  

Generally speaking a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter into the United States must first obtain a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay.  Applications for visitors should be applied for prior to departure with the U.S. embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over their permanent place of residence. The application process should be completed as soon as possible to ensure that it is processed prior to your departure.

These application forms can also be found online:

Visa electronic application form

Before submitting this form you will need a valid passport that is valid for 6 months beyond the intended period of stay. In addition to your application and passport you will also need 1 2×2 photograph (for specifications please see photograph requirements)

Leaving & Re-entering the United States:

Before you leave the United States you should check with the country you intend on visiting to inquire about the visa and travel procedures.

Lost & Found:

Items that are either lost or found will be sent to the University of Washington’s lost and found and will become abandoned property after 30 days. For lost items please call: 206.543.1447

For items lost or stolen off campus please call the Seattle Police Department: 206.684.0850

Emergency services:

It is important to note that the United States has no national health insurance system and so health insurance should be purchased prior to your trip to avoid high health costs in case of an emergency.

If you are ever in an emergency situation you can dial 911 from ANY phone (even a cell phone that has no sim card or cellular plan) and gain access to the police, an ambulance for medical emergencies, or fire fighters. Once you dial 911 you will be connected with an operator who will send the appropriate assistance to you.

University of Washington Medical Center:

The nearest hospital for emergency care & medical services is the University of Washington medical center located at:
1959 Northeast Pacific Street  Seattle, WA 98195

Strive3d - UW Medical Center (South Campus)

Strive3d – UW Medical Center (South Campus)

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