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.
Mensa get-togethers are anything but dull! All over the world, groups of fun-loving Mensans congregate on a regular basis for lively conversations over dinner and drinks, for intellectual discussions and debates on a diverse range of topics, and for get-togethers featuring a speaker. Some groups have 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.
We recommend getting involved in the Mensa community scene from the get-go. It's the quickest and most fun way to meet people and make new friends.
Here’s what some members say about being part of the Mensa community:
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, it's almost certain there'll 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 are loads of SIGs that you can join up to virtually.
What if I’m just looking for intellectual stimulation and I don’t have time for a busy social schedule?
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 newsetters 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.
And you'll find a wealth of intellectual resources at regional, national and international conventions and other gatherings which, depending on the coronavirus-related rules and regulations in your country, you'll be able to attend. For example, in August 2021, you can join members from around the world to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mensa’s founding. The event will be held over 6 days in Houston, USA, and it will feature a wide variety of talks, workshops, seminars, tours, games, and other forms of entertainment, with a focus on providing stimulating cultural and intellectual experiences.
Does Mensa offer any publications to non-members?
Yes, the Mensa Research Journal (MRJ) is offered to the public via subscription. Published three times a year, the MRJ is one of the lowest priced journals on the market due to a grant from Mensa International Limited (MIL). The scholarly research articles in each issue are selected from a wide array of research journals, both nationally and internationally.
As an outreach of the Mensa 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. A sample selection of MRJ articles can be viewed on the Mensa Foundation page.
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?’, ‘Memory’, and 'Artificial Intelligence'. 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?
1. You can join our new and exciting online Workplace (WP) community - a place where you can meet likeminded Mensans from all over the world. No subject to deep, no joke too high-brow. So, when you join the Mensa community, why not join our fast-growing WP community? Everyone's welcome! Come, contribute, and share your thoughts and ideas!
You can join WP groups that you like, or start one of your own. Here's a list of some of the existing WP groups:
Mensa World | Mensa Life | Photography | Cats | Languages of the World | Globetrotters | Anime & Comics | Pokémon Go | Philosophy | Humour | Innovation | Polymath | Space | Science News | Chess | Heavy Metal | All Things Japan | Martial Arts | Latinoamérica | Prime Numbers | Unpopular Opinions | Books & Reading | Quizzes and Puzzles | World Music | Psychology | Video Games | Movies & Series | Gifted Children | Modern Sapiens & Other Species
2. Mensa members can find many rewarding and challenging opportunities to contribute to the betterment of society through volunteer activities within their communities.
3. Many Mensa groups also offer scholarships for gifted students. The Gifted Children Resource Program compiles and provides information for gifted children at national and local levels.
4. In some countries, Mensa sponsors a members-only credit card and insurance program.
5. And last, but by no means least, members have access to a fantastic 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 the program 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.
This all sounds great! How can I get my IQ tested? How do I join up?
Please contact Mensa International if you happen to be resident in a country that doesn’t yet have a national Mensa group.