TESLA Factory tour by Sneha

Student Name: Sneha

It’s not possible to get a chance to visit a car manufacturing factory every day. Last month, under the guidance of the Program Manager of the English Language Institute at UCSC-Extension, we visited the factory of TESLA which manufactures electric cars. This visit and tour helped me to realize that I am now living in the center of new technologies.  The aim of TESLA is to build affordable and zero emission electric powered cars and transform energy consumption. On our arrival at the factory, we were warmly greeted by a special welcome team and provided with a delicious breakfast. I was very excited when we entered the auditorium as the latest model 3 TESLA cars were being exhibited. One employee, who was an expert in the design of car batteries, gave us introductory speech, introduced the different models, and described some of the basic design concepts.

After the introductions, presentations, and breakfast was complete, our group entered the factory.  However before starting our factory tour, one of the team members took us through the rules and regulations of the tour including important information such as the fact that photos and videos were not permitted. Finally, we embarked on a tour inside the factory and showed each section of the factory.Â

The factory in Fremont, California, is quite large.  I observed many types of machinery, raw materials, and accessories which I had never seen before. Around 10,000 workers were spread throughout the factory. For my first time, I was surprised to see robots. It was an awesome experience to see how robots work together with humans! It is impossible to describe the integration of machines with workers.  Suffice to say, it took my breath away!! The gigantic robots were assembling, moving, and lifting the cars.Â

We learned that all cars are connected and that the company collects continuous data and also monitors each car. As a data base analyst, I was curious to know where the company saves and manages these huge amounts of data, but this was not covered in the tour.

After visiting the factory, we were served a delicious lunch. The interior of a dining hall was very beautiful and professional.  After lunch, we had a Q&A section with the head designer Franz.  At the end of the day, we were all given a gift which was original design prints.

It was an amazing experience which went beyond my expectations!!  I realized that we all can contribute our efforts to conserve the environment by driving emission free cars.

I truly appreciate UCSC-Extension and EC Silicon Valley for making this visit a reality.

TESLA VIP Tour with UCSC-Extension Students

Why study English or complete a Certificate Program in Silicon Valley?  If you are a business professional like Liang Ma from China, there is no other program which gives you access to internships, OPT, and company visits like UCSC-Extension.  Here is a review that Bruce, Liang Ma, wrote after he went on a VIP tour of the TESLA factory with the UCSC-Extension Program Manager.

Student: Bruce
Date: 7th July, 2017

As we know, Model 3 cars are very popular in the world. I suppose that a tour to visit the production lines is enticing for anyone. It was a fantastic tour for me, and I also had wonderful VIP catered lunch. I was especially excited when I visited the Model 3 production lines.

Before we visited the production lines of the Tesla factory in Fremont, an engineer introduced Tesla’s history and the technologies used in Tesla electric cars. Firstly, Model 3 cars are equipped with the most advanced batteries. If a car is full of electricity, it can be driven for 280 miles. Supercharge stations can also completely charge a car in an hour.  This data illustrates that Tesla has broken through crucial battery technologies . On the other hand, the guarantee of a car’s battery is ten years, which greatly eliminates the worries about batteries for consumers. Secondly, people can use solar energy to charge their cars at home by establishing a conversion system, and it means that the expense of a vehicle will be largely reduced.  I was also amazed to find out that Model 3 Cars can be parked automatically by autopilots. Although Model 3 cars are not fully autonomous vehicles, they are closer to making that a reality and these features can satisfy consumers’ expectations at this time.

When we entered the production workshop, I was amazed by the scene. The workshop was very big, and it took us an hour to go around the entire factory in a guided train tour.  The tour guide introduced the main processes used to produce the cars.  There was a lot of automation which did most of the busy work.  Plenty of parts were being produced, such as; batteries, trunks, and doors etc. Many cars were being assembled by a combination of automation and workers. A production line has many processes, and cars were carried by a long conveyor belt from one process to the next.

After we had lunch, the chief executive designer, Franz von Holzhausen, gave us a wonderful presentation about some of his ideas for designing Tesla Model 3, such as colors, styles, and functions etc. Although design is an abstract subject, I was able to understand some of his ideas in designing Tesla Model 3. We also received collector prints of the original designs of various Tesla models!!

Overall, I attained much valuable knowledge about Tesla Model 3 during this tour. This is my first time that I have visited any vehicle production factory. I think it was a very meaningful activity for students. I hope that I can attend more of these activities organized by the school later.

Stanford University Trip

UCSC Silicon Valley Campus is located in the heart of Silicon Valley which gives our students so many opportunities to participate in professional development.  Recently, a group of EC Silicon Valley @ UCSC-Extension students took a field trip to Stanford Campus to visit the Cantor Arts Center. The students spent two hours looking at the galleries.

First, the group admired artifacts from China and other parts of Asia, ranging from ancient to modern. The group talked about different artistic techniques, for example, painting dainty glass bottles from the inside; the historical uses of polished copper and silver mirrors; the significance of materials such as jade and ivory in Chinese culture and history; and artistic techniques such as engraving.

Students are looking at galleries

The group then moved on to the Rodin sculpture galleries and joined a tour group to learn about Auguste Rodin’s work. Finally, the group visited the second floor of the museum in which different artistic styles from different eras were shown. The group discussed different styles of painting, particularly portraits – old and contemporary – and talked about the meaning of abstract art. Finally, the group jokingly voted for which painting they might purchase if they were rich and had a lot of space in their homes.

Students are discussing artwork


After about two hours of browsing the galleries, the group took a short walk across campus to the campus bookstore. On the way, the group discussed the history of Stanford university and the difference between private and public universities. Under the beautiful arcades of the Spanish-mission-style buildings, the group took a few pictures and selfies and then settled down for lunch in the shade near the campus book store. After a brief look around the store the group stopped by the lavishly decorated campus church.

Students took pictures around Stanford campus before going home