Recent years have seen important developments in the field of heavy ion physics. It is now possible to study reactions involving most of the different heavy nuclei found in nature. The new phenomena observed have opened up new perspectives on the physics of finite many-body systems. The aim of the International School of Heavy Ion Physics is to discuss the use of heavy ion reactions as probes of nuclear structure and to investigate the possibility of producing new modes of excitation under extreme conditions. The school will offer training courses for advanced students and young researchers. One of the School’s main objectives will be to foster communication between theoretical and experimental researchers and students.