A student needs the following documents to re-enter the U.S.:
A current and valid passport
A valid F-1 visa
A valid Form I-20 signed by a designated school official (DSO)
Passports should always be valid for at least 6 months into the future. If you need to renew a passport you should contact the embassy of your home country. Renewal procedures and processing times are different for every country. Information about foreign embassies located in Washington, DC can be found at http://www.embassy.org.
If you renew your passport during your stay in the U.S. you will have two passports (your old and new one). Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will honor the unexpired F-1 visa in the old passport if both passports are presented at the same time.
You should check to see if your F-1 visa in your passport is still valid for re-entering the United States after departure. If not, a new one must be obtained at a U.S. consulate or embassy while out of the U.S. It is not possible to obtain F visas while in the United States. Make sure you will have enough time to get your visa before having to return to the U.S. Different countries have different waiting periods for doing so. You can find out more about U.S. Embassies from http://www.usembassy.gov/.
It is best to apply for a new F-1 visa in your home country. Third-country visas used to be common, but now new regulations are being made that will probably eliminate this possibility. Check with the Office of International Student Services before trying to get a visa in Canada and Mexico.
To get a designated school official's signature on the I-20 you should bring the I-20 by the Office of International Student Services around 2 weeks before you plan to leave the U.S. In order for the DSO to sign the I-20, you must be in good standing.
What's an I-94 card?
The I-94 card records your arrivals and departures, and also gives you your F-1 student status. You may need to show your I-94 card when applying for a Social Security Number or Driver's License, so we recommend printing a new card after each trip outside of the United States.
To find and print your I-94 card, visit the Department of Homeland Security's website at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html.
Travel after Studying at Westminster College
After you have finished studying at Westminster, you have 60 days before you either leave the U.S., change your visa status, begin a new program of study, or apply for optional practical training. If you finish studying at Westminster at the end of the spring semester and plan to begin your new program in the fall semester, you may legally stay in the U.S. over the summer break as long as you receive the new I-20 from your new program within 60 days of finishing at Westminster.