English | KOREAN


Written by Charles Freeman


A member of American MENSA, I began participating in MENSA Korea events not long after arriving in this country.   Once I knew that I would be coming to Korea, I had made inquiries with MENSA Korea, as I felt that the best way for me to make friends and adjust to life in a new country would be to join an existing club of some kind, and I had always enjoyed my experience with MENSA in the United States.

I was impressed with how warmly I was received by the Korean MENSANs involved with the foreign guest member Special Interest Group (SIG).  I spoke no Korean whatever on my arrival; so, it was very reassuring to me to meet interesting, young, friendly people who could speak with me in English.

I still do not understand Korean well, but I nonetheless like to attend the Monthly Gatherings when I can, as the lecture format of the meetings presents and excellent opportunity for me to watch and listen to a live Korean speaker without having to struggle on my end of a conversation. 

The discussion topics are always different and diverse, and these lectures are always a different experience, even if my lack of comprehension is the same.

Recently, I attended one such lecture on the topic of “Qi Energy,” and I participated with the rest of those assembled in going through some physical exercises used to demonstrate the principle.  It was a little bit awkward, but, nonetheless, fun.

I have also enjoyed the opportunities I have had to meet with members following or outside of the formal Gatherings.   The people I have met thus far have all been quite captivating.

From the start, I noticed that there is something quite different about MENSA Korea.  Compared to the MENSA gatherings I had attended in the United States, the Korean meetings were much more well-attended, and there seemed to be many more young people.  In fact, most of the Korean MENSANs I have met appeared to be fresh out of college, if not still in university or graduate school.

And they all seemed to be engaged in something interesting, from medicine to nuclear engineering or international business.  Korean MENSA is a dynamic organization that promises many learning opportunities.

I have enjoyed my Korean MENSA experience thus far, and I hope to continue on as a foreign guest member for as long as possible (I do not yet know exactly how long I will stay in this country).  I highly recommend to any foreign MENSAn that he or she should make every effort to participate in MENSA Korea while in the ROK.