If there is one thing that Young Leaders Development Programme participants learned after the gruelling training sessions, it is that variety is the spice of life. Over the past seven months, 28 students from seven universities have attended many inspiring events, including an orientation camp, a leadership skills and time management workshop, an environmental protection seminar and Outward Bound training. Organised by American International Assurance Foundation since 1996, the programme is aimed at enhancing leadership and communication skills, as well as strategic thinking and problem-solving techniques, among the undergraduates. The foundation's senior vice-president Alwin Lam Mun-dart said: ' We hope that young leaders can recognise the importance of continuous self-improvement, which enables them to keep pace with the rapid development of our society.' During the training courses, the participants also attended a number of speakers' platforms, where public figures such as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong Cheng Kai-ming and music conductor Yip Wing-sie shared their secrets of success. The highlight of the programme was the trip to Guangzhou and Shanghai in July when participants visited the prestigious Zhongshan and Fudan universities. 'The past seven months were really eventful, and I think the most interesting part is definitely our visit to Shanghai,' said Daniel Tam Ka-nam, a second year student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (UST). 'The growth of the city is so dramatic that you wouldn't believe it until you saw it. There are skyscrapers everywhere and the pace of industrialisation is absolutely amazing,' the 21-year-old said. At the awards ceremony for the programme, UST students received the Best Report Writing award, while both the Best Presentation and Most Outstanding Team prizes went to the University of Hong Kong.