Giving it your best shot- learning from others



Diamond Sheffield Building


Here are some wonderful observations from Tudor from Romania, another story celebrating the UK’s multiculturalism and openness. He writes beautifully about how his experience of living in the UK has made him open to  others and  how creative it is that we have so many different cultures living side by side,. I also love how he has used the British expression, ‘give it your best shot’

Tudor’s Story

In 2011, I moved to the UK from Romania to start my degree at University of Sheffield and a new life.

I still remember the day when my dad took me to the airport. I was so overwhelmed by the fear of the unknown that I was as pale as snow. However, as soon as I stepped off the plane all the nervousness faded away – I knew I had to give my best shot at this new and exciting opportunity.

Many people who immigrate to a new country struggle with culture shock. For me, the only shocking thing was the kindness and friendliness I was greeted with. Everyone was willing to help you with directions – people were randomly engaging in friendly conversation, I could not believe it!

The UK is multicultural and generally very accepting. One day you might meet someone from Spain, then the next day someone from Japan. It’s a mixture of languages, cultures that intertwine beautifully with the Brits and lead to new friendships, new families and innovation. Every single person that crossed my path since I moved here taught me something and helped shape my adult self into a person who is open to others regardless of nationality, skin colour, religion, sex or sexuality.

I am very grateful to have had this amazing opportunity to start afresh, be accepted, treated as an equal and valued as a person! Sheffield and the UK are now my home and whenever I come back from a holiday abroad I get that feeling “ahh…it feels so good to be home”!


Tudor Sirbu,

Software Engineer


Putting together the traditional and the contemporary combining a UK and African perspective

Please see below some wonderful art from Robert Bakama, an artist from Uganda who uses traditional embroidery techniques inherited from his family with a contemporary feel.  This seems to me a great example of how blending cultures creates something new and different.London painting with colourspicture of telephone boxpicture of london 2


I thought I might add something today about the different ways the English express surprise. I thought about this as a friend asked why a place was called ‘Stone the Crows’. It sounds very strange unless you know what the phrase means.


The word ‘I was surprised’ from your manager generally means they are cross with you. They might say ‘I was surprised you said x at a meeeting’ or ‘I was surprised to see that you copied so many people into that email’. It means you haven’t get them in the loop and have got it wrong.

When the English use an expression to express such as the ones below, they generally are expressing an enjoyable surprise, things have turned out much better than expected e.g:

What the Dickens?

Stone the Crows

I am flabbergasted