In the small town in Virginia, from where I hail, when you say, “I go to the Wharton School,” you always get the polite response of, “That’s nice, business is cool, what are you studying?”

In the city of Philadelphia, where I reside most of my year and now call home, when you say, “I go to the Wharton School,” you tend to get the response, “Nice! Where did you do your undergrad?”

In the city of Melbourne, where I am studying on exchange for a semester, when I say, “I go to the Wharton School” I have only gotten the response, “Wow! Isn’t that a really hard and good uni?”

To which I can finally respond with all the statistics I have learned about rank, average student test scores, average student incoming GPA and employment statistics from being a Wharton Ambassador. The more I share statistics like the fact that 94 percent of graduates have job offers when they leave Wharton, or that the average SAT score for a Wharton student is 1466, the more proud I become of what Wharton’s name and its marvelous network has accomplished.

It is such a great feeling to go to another country and have them recognize the name Wharton.

To look in my first textbook for the University of Melbourne Business School, cracked open before semester begins, and see Howard E. Mitchell, an ex-Wharton professor who has helped with the research within.

Wharton junior Melanie Smith enjoying her time in Australia

Wharton junior Melanie Smith enjoying her exchange semester abroad in Australia

To have professors who are colleagues with Wharton professors. Such as past Wharton MBA professor Karen Jehn, who is currently a management professor at Melbourne, or Michael Smith, current econometrics professor at Melbourne and past guest professor at Wharton.

To see potential for Wharton graduates to expand their companies here in the city of Melbourne.

After getting away from the United States and the competition to always be the “best” business school and to have people recognize where I go to school, I have come to a realization:

I had to go 10,000 miles across the globe to finally realize what an amazing honor it is to study my undergraduate career at the Wharton School.

To learn from the top minds of our time.

To network with the leaders of tomorrow.

And to graduate with the esteem and honor of being a Wharton alumni.

Editor’s note: This blog originally appeared on the Wharton Undergraduate Program’s Student Voices blog on Aug. 4, 2014.