Why Should I Join Mensa? What Are the Benefits of Membership?
Mensa is a thriving community which provides its 140,000+ members worldwide with exciting opportunities for social, cultural, and intellectual stimulation. People join Mensa for many different reasons – for intellectual discussion on a diverse range of topics, for a lively social calendar, or to visit places or hear speakers often not available to the general public. Some join just because they can!
There are many intelligent reasons to join Mensa. Whether you actively attend Mensa social gatherings or simply relish the intellectual stimulation that membership promotes, you'll find the benefits of Mensa membership to be numerous indeed.
Here’s what some members say about being part of the Mensa community:
I enjoy encountering many different opinions within Mensa. In most cases, we manage to exchange opinions and discuss even sensitive issues without major fights. My horizons definitely became broader and I have been enriched with lots of new information. And yes, the daily dose of humour is addictive! Thank you for adding color to my days (and to my grey matter as well!). Amy, 36
It is an honour to be a member of Mensa. From the very first moment, my eyes have been sparkling: finally, I arrived in a place where people share similar thoughts, say similar puns, have similar associations like I have. Naturally, I also see the differences: different characters, attutudes and views - some of these I embrace, others I reject, but this makes the world complete. We cannot be different in the same way. George, 44
Originally, I just wanted to have my IQ tested. I guess I was looking for some external reinforcement. I thought I would never have the time to attend programmes as I had two young children. Out of curiosity, I finally joined Mensa - and I have been a member for 14 years now. I found a great community, interesting activities, lots of love - and, eventually, a husband as well! Eve, 48
What Special-Interest Groups (SIGs) Are Available to Mensans?
Some SIGs will focus on lively social interaction, some will encourage the sharing of cultural knowledge on a specific field of interest, while others will concentrate on the development of intellectual pursuits. And some SIGs will combine all three!
Whatever your passion, there's almost certain to be a SIG somewhere that will provide what you’re looking for.
In fact, Mensa offers approximately 200 SIGs, in mind-boggling profusion from African violets to zoology. Along the way you'll find microbiology, and systems analysis, but you'll also find Sherlock Holmes, chocolate and Star Trek. There are the expected: biochemistry, space science, economics; and the unexpected: poker, roller-skating, scuba diving, UFOs, and witchcraft. There are SIGs for breadmaking, winemaking, cartooning, silversmithing, and clowning. Heraldry, semantics, and Egyptology co-exist with beekeeping, motorcycling, and tap dancing. Sports SIGs cover the classics: baseball, basketball, and football; and the not-so-classic: skeet shooting, hang gliding, and skydiving.
But you might be passionate about something that’s not on the list. If so, why not start your own SIG?
And if you live in a remote location, don’t worry! There’s a plethora of SIGs you can join up to virtually.
That Looks So Much Fun! Tell Me More About Mensa Gatherings
Yes, Mensa meetings are anything but dull! You’ll quickly get to know many fellow Mensans who share your social, cultural, and intellectual interests.
All over the world, groups of fun-loving Mensans congregate on a regular basis. Some groups have special get-togethers or activities throughout the month, some meet weekly, and others, especially the larger groups, have events nearly every day. Of course, participation in local group activities is always entirely your choice. And you can turn up as often or as seldom as you like.
Often, people just meet up for dinner, drinks and conversation, for get-togethers featuring a speaker, or for a lively, freewheeling discussion. There are also widely attended annual conventions offering workshops, seminars, and parties. In addition, numerous regional gatherings are held each year, offering social and intellectual excitement.
What If I’m Just Looking for Intellectual Stimulation and I Don’t Have Time for SIG Activities?
Mensa provides intriguing ways to flex your mental muscles, and you’ll receive access to a range of intellectually stimulating publications.
For example, you’ll receive your national magazine with contributions by Mensans on a wide variety of subjects. Your magazine will feature the ‘Mensa World Journal’, an interesting and thought-provoking section containing views and information about Mensa around the world.
In some countries, in addition to the national magazine, you may receive lively newsletters informing members of local activities and events, as well as other absorbing items and announcements of special interest.
‘Isolated M’ is a popular and informative newsletter sent to those members who are geographically or otherwise isolated. It is available at a nominal cost to any member.
Publication information is also available for specific National Groups. And you'll find a wealth of other intellectual resources at regional, national and international conventions.
Does Mensa Offer Any Publications to Non-Members?
Yes, the Mensa Research Journal (MRJ) is offered to the general public via subscription. The scholarly research articles presented in each issue are selected from a wide array of research journals, both nationally and internationally.
As an outreach of the Mensa Education & Research Foundation, the MRJ also seeks to educate readers on themed topics. Editors are chosen from many professions to review current research articles on intelligence and the myriad forces that impact intelligence, both negatively and positively. The selected group of articles brings the themed topic to you in a single, attractive presentation.
Published in the US, the MRJ is the same great value internationally, due to a grant from Mensa International Limited (MIL). Published three times per year, MRJ is one of the lowest priced research journals on the market.
Entries from the Awards for Excellence program are highlighted in one journal each year. Some recent themes are, ‘Lead Weights on Intelligence’, ‘Intelligence: A Diamond in the Rough?’, and ‘Memory’. The MRJ accepts reviews on books related to intelligence, and posts educational events on a calendar. Each issue cover has a unique design, created by the Art Design Editor to represent the chosen theme.
You don’t have to be a member of Mensa to subscribe – just someone interested in the latest information on the nature of giftedness, intelligence measures, loss of intelligence, increasing intelligence, or declining intelligence. To subscribe, please visit Mensa Research Journal.
What Other Benefits Does Mensa Offer?
In some countries, Mensa sponsors a members-only credit card and insurance program.
There is also a great program called ‘SIGHT’ that aids traveling Mensans. SIGHT is the perfect way to meet members of the worldwide Mensa family, and to get the most out of your trip. Although SIGHT often makes it possible for members to stay with fellow Mensans, some of them may be able only to serve as day hosts, while the services of others may be limited to providing information, sightseeing tips, and guidance.
However, your local SIGHT coordinator will do their best to help you find whatever you are looking for. All you have to do is fill out a SIGHT request form and send it them.
Can Mensa Help My Community?
Mensa members can find many opportunities to contribute to the betterment of society through volunteer activities within their communities.
Many Mensa groups offer scholarships for gifted students. The Gifted Children Resource Program compiles and provides information for gifted children at national and local levels.
This All Sounds Great! How Can I Join Up?
To find out, please go to the next menu tab, 'Become a Member', or click on the following link: https://www.mensa.org/join-mensa/become-member
To see your national Mensa's website, email address, and other information, please click on the yellow button below.
If you happen to be resident in a country that doesn’t yet have a national Mensa group, please contact Mensa International for more information.