A quick extra note on the theme of language. We are very pleased that we started refreshing our French language knowledge as soon as we knew God was calling us to France. Although the effectiveness of the various things we did over those two years varied quite a bit, we have certainly benefited a lot from what we’ve done.
We have met some fellow-students who were told by their mission not to do any French language preparation before they came to France. I have to say I personally believe that to be bad advice, which leads to unnecessary difficulty. If we’d followed advice like that then we’d be really struggling now. Part of the reason for this is that the school is intended to be a total immersion experience: everything is done exclusively in French.
If you believe God is calling you to country X, my advice would be to start learning or refreshing the language just as soon as you can. From our experience, the most effective way may well be to work with a personal tutor who is a native speaker of the language.
Professional language teachers are welcome to contribute their thoughts, I could be wrong!