As one of Turkey's leading state research universities, Middle East Technical University was founded with an international mandate in 1956. Since then internationalization has constituted one of the pivotal axes of METU's institutional development. Officially founded in 1992, International Cooperations Office (ICO) coordinates METU's internationalization efforts, strives to enhance the university's international network and the range of international activities strategically. In this vein ICO has built long-lasting relations with some of the world's prominent universities and its number of international collaborative protocols exceeds 800.
Besides initiating collaborative agreements, ICO works for making the most of international project development opportunities, coordinates and implements international study and internship programs for students as well as teaching and training activities for faculty members and administrative staff, organizes programs for international delegations at the university administration level. Having the aspiration of achieving internationalization beyond the scope of numbers, ICO also focuses on improving the qualitative aspect of international partnerships, projects and mobilities. For this purpose it works for intermingling the aspects of research and teaching in international collaborations, valorizing intercultural awareness throughout the campus and thereby contributing to the creation of an ever more multicultural and diversified campus.
Every year students and staff from more than 50 different countries visit METU campus and more than 450 METU students and 150 METU staff visit international partners on a short term basis through structured programs. ICO highly values each and every individual mobility, believing in the importance of perspectival and mutual learning for the personal and professional development and well as for becoming global citizens.