Where should I learn Mandarin?

I am considering moving to China for a year to a year and a half so that I can learn Mandarin Chinese and at least become conversational. I have had recommendations for Kunming, Chengdu and Hangzhou amongst others. Where is the best place for a chinese Immersion program? What is the cost of living including lessons? Can I become conversational in a year to a year and a half?
One thing. I am Black. Will this be a problem?
Thank you

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